Imperious Yorkshire ladies heading for English County Finals after Northern Counties triumph

Captain Fran Dickson (Alwoodley) with the Yorkshire squad after their successful defence of the Northern Counties match Week title.
Captain Fran Dickson (Alwoodley) with the Yorkshire squad after their successful defence of the Northern Counties match Week title.
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YORKSHIRE ladies will head for the English County Finals at Felixstowe Ferry in September as the Northern Counties’ representatives after winning Match Week for a second year in succession.

Fran Dickson’s side defeated Cheshire 6.5-2.5 in their final match at Morecambe to complete a hugely impressive week that saw them win all five of their encounters.

Charlotte Heath, left, made her Yorkshire debut alongside Huddersfield club-mate Hannah Holden.

Charlotte Heath, left, made her Yorkshire debut alongside Huddersfield club-mate Hannah Holden.

Alwoodley’s Dickson had selected three teenage newcomers in her line-up – 17-year-old Nicola Slater (Woodsome Hall), 15-year-old Charlotte Heath (Huddersfield), and 14-year-old Mia Eales-Smith (Lindrick) – and the trio gelled superbly with the experienced members of the squad to overwhelm the opposition.

Dickson paid tribute to England Golf coach of the year Steve Robinson (Sandburn Hall), for his role in helping steer Yorkshire to the title.

“Steve has been fantastic, both in the build-up and all week,” said Dickson.

“He has just always seemed to be in the right place at the right time out on the course.”

She and Robinson had discussed when to ease the three debutants into battle, and opted for Wednesday’s match with Cumbria after tough opening skirmishes with Durham and Lancashire.

Their foursomes pairings proved particularly effective, winning all five morning sessions without losing any individual battle, and conceding only three halves in 15 match-ups.

2015 county champion Megan Lockett, also from Huddersfield, won eight of the nine matches in which she was involved, halving the other yesterday in the company of Rotherham’s Olivia Winning in the foursomes.

The other members of the successful squad were Rochelle Morris and Melissa Wood (Woodsome Hall), Hannah Holden (Huddersfield), Selby’s Megan Garland, and Holly Morgan, of Hallamshire.

Morgan will be the only player unavailable to Dickson – due to returning to college in the USA – when Yorkshire look to go one step better than last year in the English County Finals when they were beaten 5-4 by Gloucestershire in a final-day title-deciding tie.