Close encounter and Lancs lads retain crown


LANCASHIRE’S golfing young guns secured a dramatic victory in defence of their Four Counties title.

The annual competition pits the boys team from the Red Rose county against their counterparts from Cheshire, Nottinghamshire, and Shropshire and Herefordshire.

Lancashire’s new-look team –  only Harvey Talarczyk from Royal Lytham & St Annes had played in the winning line-up in 2016 – again came out on top after a close-fought battle at Shifnal Golf Club.

After losing two of the top three matches in the opening round against Shropshire & Herefordshire, Lancashire fought back strongly to run out 5-2 winners.

But it was a much closer affair against Cheshire, with Luke Bartram from Rossendale securing a vital point for Lancashire in a 3 ½-3 ½ draw.

In the final match, Bartram was one down after 14 holes but birdied the next three – helped by magnificent approach shots under pressure at both 16 and 17 – to grab a 2&1 win.

Lancashire again had to battle for the honours against Nottinghamshire, and while they took the opening three matches they were pegged back to 3-3 leaving Ben Harvey (West Lancs) needing to pull off the match-winning point – which he did in style, with a great tee shot to five feet at the par three 17th and a successful conversion of the birdie chance.

With Cheshire only halving their encounter with S&H, Lancashire were champions once more.

Southport and Ainsdale’s James Holland led the way for Lancashire, winning all three of his matches, while Harvey Talarczyk was unbeaten with two wins and a half.

Lancashire Junior Chairman Neil Dalton said: “The boys came together as a team and played some outstanding golf, especially at a time when it was required in the matches against Cheshire and Nottinghamshire.

“A special mention must go to James Holland after winning all of his matches and Harvey Talarczyk, who was not well during the tournament but still won two of his matches and halved the other.

“I am immensely proud of the way boys conducted themselves throughout and their achievement in retaining the title against strong opposition.”

LANCASHIRE: Greg Holmes (Royal Birkdale), Harvey Talarczyk (Royal Lytham & St Annes), Grady Rogerson (Royal Lytham & St Annes), Ben Harvey (West Lancashire), Luke Bartram (Rossendale), James Holland (Southport & Ainsdale), Oliver Ravenscroft (Hillside), Nathaniel Bellamy (West Lancashire) Reserve: George Holland (Southport & Ainsdale)


TOP SHOTS:  (from left , back row) Luke Bartram, Ben Harvey, Harvey Tarlaczyk, Oliver Ravenscroft, Greg Holmes, Nat Bellamy, Grady Rogerson . (Front) Dr Steven Reid (president), James Holland, Neil Dalton (junior chairman)

Meanwhile, the strength in depth of the Lancashire team helped them secure a 9½-2½win against a talented team representing the Bolton Golf Association. The match was much closer than the scoreline suggests, with Lancashire’s resilience often pulling them through on the back nine.

FIXTURES: May 10 Collinge Trophy (at Wilpshire GC); May 11 Lancashire Seniors v Shropshire and Herefordshire Seniors (at Whitefield GC); May 13 Lancashire v Northumberland (at Bolton Old Links); May 14 Lancashire Boys Championship (at Nelson GC); May 15 Lancashire Seniors v Cumbria Seniors (at Carlisle GC); May 24 Collinge Trophy (at Accrington)









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