Archer on target as he claims Alliance crown

PHIL Archer, back playing regional events after a successful spell on the European Tour, claimed the Manchester Alliance Matchplay Championship for the first time when he beat previous winner Graham Cox in a close finish at Ashton-on-Mersey.

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CHAMPION: Phil Archer receives the trophy from Alliance president John Dowd

The Birchwood-attached professional  narrowly overcame Gatley’s Tom Bolton after being one down with two holes to play in the semi-finals as Cox eclipsed Ringway’s Ollie Pantoja on the last green.

Archer was quick out of the blocks in the final, winning three of the opening four holes and was still two ahead with four to play. But when Cox produced a birdie then and eagle the score were level.

But a wayward tee shot on the 17th put  Archer back into the driving seat and he holed the winning putt as Cox’s effort rolled by.

In the assistants’ final, Hazel Grove’s Ben Thompson beat Chorley’s Andy Palmer 4&2.

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