Jubilant Scottish golfers wasted no time in celebrating after completing a hat-trick of wins in Leighton Buzzard’s annual five-nation “international” on Saturday.
The six-strong team with family roots north of the border had not won the coveted trophy until six years ago – and have now won it five times since breaking their duck.
They retained the trophy in style, with the top five scoring pairs carding 232 points to beat England by nine points. The team was captained by Graham Hazel who teamed up with Mark Hammond on the day. Other squad members were Colin Beesley and Dan Latimer (48pts), Stuart and Colin McLeod (45pts), John MacKay and Tim Mitchell (49pts), Derek Shaw and Dave Embury (44pts) and Robin Lawes and John Brydon (46pts).
Fire chief Graham Freer skippered the England team, carding 46 points with Barry Witherden, with colleagues Nick King and Tim Martin (49pts), John Latimer and Jamie Stone (45pts), John Preston and Steve Maddison (42pts), Peter Sheridan and Simon Thornton (41pts) and Andy Tizzard and John Woolford (39pts) completing the England line-up.
Third-placed Rest of the World, skippered by Paul Ellam carded 219 points, with Paul and Voja Savic scoring 43pts, Phil Coumbe and Mike Smith 41pts, Mark Knight and Barry Kent 44pts; Manny Barker and Will Sampson 42pts, Steve Leng and Gary Hart 46pts and Shane Bentley and Ada Stephenson 44pts.
Ireland scored 216 points to finish fourth, with skipper Lee Sanders and Mark Reynolds carding 44pts, Steve Schmidt and Joe Brinded 36ps, Lewis Scott and Brandon Sanders 46pts, Trevor McAleese and Tony Conneely 41pts, Mick Day and Stuart Mills 39pts and Tony Brinded and Danny Reynolds 46pts.
Club Captain Robbie John won the wooden spoon with 209 points carded by Robbie and Matthew John 41pts, Paul Bishop and Kevin Winchester 45pts; David Hawkins and Alan Jenkins 36pts, Terry Lingham and Jon Evans 37pts; Simon Warrington and Dave Roberts 41pts and Dave Evans and Dan Hill 45pts.
Leighton’s new Faulkner Family Foursomes champions are Lee and Niki Clark, beating Alex and Mike Smith on countback after both pairs finished with 68.5. Angela and Richard Samuels finished third a shot behind on 69.5.
Leighton juniors Henry Wooster and George Stephenson represented Bedfordshire against Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk, finishing runners-up to Essex for the Keith Bass Trophy.
Senior golfers at Leighton lost their unbeaten home record and won away for the first time all season – all in the space of three days.
The home defeat against Beds & County was registered despite skipper Peter Myrants and Keith Oddie, Christopher Figg and David Sweetnam and Andrew Mcdonald and Graham Pellow giving Leighton a 3-0 lead with George Bashford and Robbie John halving. But they lost the last four games and 4-3 overall.
Two days later, the tables were turned when Leighton won away for the first time all year, taking the honours at Stocks 3-2 with one match halved. Wins by Peter Myrants and John Tarbox, David Bishop and Denis Leitch and Danny Nairne and Ian Rimmer ended the drought with Graham Pellow and Keith Griffiths gaining a vital draw.
“Losing at home and winning away made it a sweet-and-sour week” said Seniors skipper Peter Myrants.
PICTURE CAPTION: Members of the jubilant Scottish team after their victory in Leighton’s “international.”