Didsbury pro Barber helps England turn tables on Spain

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VICTORIOUS: England team manager Janet Melville and coach Peter Barber with the winning side. (Images courtesy Trevor Booth)

DIDSBURY professional Peter Barber helped England to turn tables on Spain in impressive style when they swept to a 15-9 victory in the annual under-16 international at Preston Golf Club.

They’d lost the previous three encounters but this time they won with a session in hand.

Team coach Barber commented: “The team were very keen not to lose for a fourth time and they performed fantastically. They all played a part in the victory, which was great. Both teams played very good golf and the standard was very high.”

The highlight of the match was the first day singles when all eight England players won and they led 10-2 at the close of play.

They wasted no time in clinching the victory on day two, taking 2.5 points from the foursomes, to reach the necessary 12.5 points to claim the trophy.

England’s top scorer was Yorkshire’s Barclay Brown who won all four of his games, while Surrey’s Annabell Fuller was unbeaten with three wins and a half.

Barber, a former European Tour player who played for England as a boy, inspired the team by telling them: “It is such a proud moment to be playing for England and if you win you will always remember this day, who you played and how you won – I still do.”

He had special thanks for Preston Golf Club’s support for the event, which he described as outstanding.

The match started as a curtain raiser to the North of England U16 Championship, with England enjoying much success in the encounters at Pannal and Heswall.  It was expanded three years ago into a stand-alone two-day match and until now the Spanish have been all-conquering, winning at Madrid in 2014, at Seacroft, Lincolnshire in 2015 and again in Madrid last year.

Past England team members include Ryder Cup player Matt Fitzpatrick and fellow Tour winners Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston, Tommy Fleetwood and Melissa Reid all figured in the international back in their early amateur days.

The England team was: Barclay Brown of Hallamshire, Yorkshire; Dominic Clemons of Gog Magog Cambridgeshire; Annabell Fuller of Roehampton, Surrey; Tom Gregory from Stoke Park, Berks, Bucks and Oxon;  Charlie Hilton of Ifield, Sussex; Lily May Humphreys of Stoke by Nayland, Essex; Mimi Rhodes of Burnham & Berrow, Somerset and Caitlin Whitehead of Kendal, Cumbria.

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