Yorkshire make impressive start to defence of Counties Match Week title

DEFENDING champions Yorkshire ignored the foul weather which befell the opening day of the Northern Counties Match Week at Sandiway GC, in Cheshire, to record a resounding 8-1 win over Durham.

Yorkshire's Northern Counties Match Week squad, who are led by captain Jean Waring, second left on front row.

All three of their morning foursomes pairings – Huddersfield’s Megan Lockett and Rotherham’s Olivia Winning, Fulford’s Charlotte Austwick and Lees Hall’s Holly Morgan, and Cleckheaton’s Megan Clarke and Olivia Hamilton – won and impressively so.

Austwick and Morgan won 7&6 and the other pairs by 6&5.

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Singles victories followed for Lockett, Winning, Woodsome Hall’s Rochelle Morris, Morgan and Lightcliffe’s Hannah Holden.

Team captain Jean Waring had intended to play all nine of her squad at some stage, but Selby’s Megan Garland was forced to sit out through illness.

Winning was also feeling under the weather, but still came up with two victories.

“I’m really chuffed that they’ve started so well,” said Waring. “We had a very long day (Sunday) and we had a late dinner and so they were very tired.

“But they played some outstanding golf and the pairings gelled as I would have expected them to.”

Today Yorkshire play Cumbria, who were yesterday whitewashed by Lancashire.

Visit The Yorkshire Post website for daily reports on County Week HERE

The Red Rose county and Cheshire are seen as Yorkshire’s two main rivals for the title, and Waring’s strategy will alter today when players will be deliberately stood down.

“We’ll be changing the pairings and singles line-up to rest people so they will be fresh for Wednesday and Thursday,” said Yorkshire’s captain.

“We will be trying to give everyone a rest so we’ll have our strongest team out to play Cheshire and Lancashire.”

The horrendous weather did dissipate after lunch, and so it should. Waring had not expected to find herself in need of wearing a woolly hat, scarf and gloves in summer as she followed her team round the Cheshire lay-out.

“It was very miserable in the morning it was very cold, wet and very windy,” she said.

“It’s a tree​-lined course so the wind sort of funnels along and changes direction. They were pretty tricky conditions.”

Yorkshire 8 Durham 1 (Yorkshire names first)

Foursomes: Olivia Winning and Megan Lockett bt Briony Bayles and Alice Jones 6&5, Charlotte Austwick and Holly Morgan bt Natasha Martin and Ella Crang 7&6, Olivia Hamilton and Megan Clarke bt Emma Martin and Rebecca Woolley 6&5.

Singles: Megan Lockett bt Natasha Martin 7&6, Olivia Winning bt Ella Crang 5&4, Charlotte Austwick lost to Briony Bayles 6&5, Rochelle Morris bt Rebecca Woolley 7&6, Holly Morgan bt Alice Jones 5&4, Hannah Holden bt Emma Martin 6&5.

Other matches: Lancashire 9 Cumbria 0, Cheshire 8.5 Northumberland 0.5.