Teams from around the County arrived at Brokenhurst GC to be greeted by bright sunshine and a stunning looking course. There was a real buzz around the clubhouse as the 6 teams prepared for the day ahead and renewed friendly rivalries.
The morning semi-finals in the Trophy paired Basingstoke against Hockley and Romsey against Alresford.
In the first match a very strong Hockley team comprising of Chris Quinn, Beth Goater and Helen Bailey proved to be too strong for Basingstoke who were represented by Diane Oram, Sarah Deacon and Jackie Isgar. Beth and Helen both won their matches leaving Chris Quinn and Diane Oram to be called in at all square through 14 holes.
The other match between Romsey and Alresford was a much closer affair and went down to the wire. Kelly Travers from Alresford managed to secure a narrow win on 17 against Romsey’s Sara Barnes whilst in the 3rd match Katie Biddlecome (Romsey) won an even tighter match against Jane Scott on the 18th. This left the match between Julie Cole (Romsey) and Lynne Cowser (Alresford) as the deciding match. In yet another tight match which had fluctuated both ways Julie Cole sunk a great putt on the 18th to take the match to extra holes before finally securing a win on the first extra hole thus taking her team through to the afternoon final.
Whilst all this was going on teams from Stoneham (Elaine Hutchings, Louise Caplen and Sharon Cullinane) and Army (Eilean Cunningham, Arlene Castle and Ailsa Fraser) locked horns in the North Hants Plate final. Yet again this was a close encounter with Louise Caplen securing a win in match two against Arlene Castle before Ailsa Fraser levelled matters up with a win over Sharon Cullinane. This left Elaine Hutchings to battle it out with Eilean Cunningham with neither player giving an inch. Matters were all square after 18 holes which meant the members had to give way on the 1st tee as extra holes were required. The 1st was halved before Eilean won the 2nd to win on the 20th and ensured the North Hants Plate went back up the M3 with Army.
A quick lunchtime turnaround and a slightly delayed start to the afternoon final which got underway at 2.15 with the sun still shining brightly. Beth Goater and Sara Barnes got proceedings underway and Beth took early control and had a 3 up lead going into the back 9. Beth remained in control of her match and clocked up a 5&4 victory. Meanwhile, match 2 between Helen Bailey and Julie Cole saw them trading pars and birdies with neither player managing to get more than a 1 hole lead. All square at the turn and the pattern continued. In the match behind cheers could be heard from the watching spectators as Chris Quinn and Katie Biddlecombe battled it out in another close match. An especially loud cheer greeted Katie’s chip in birdie 2 on the difficult par 3 10th only to be followed by a birdie 3 from Chris on the following hole to once again level the match. The 12th was halved in par before Chris went on to win 13, 14 and 15 thus winning the match 3&2. Helen and Julie had just finished the 17th where they were still tied at all square and shook hands on a half. Cue celebrations for Hockley who had narrowly lost out in last year’s Plate final but came back to win the North Hants Trophy in 2018.
Congratulations to all six teams who made it through to finals day and treated us to some excellent golf.
Our thanks go to Brokenhurst Manor Golf Club for allowing us to use the course and for their hospitality throughout the whole day which ensured everything ran very smoothly.