County's Set Fair after Win Double; Sussex Pairings Clean Up at Final Reckoning

Article excerpt

Byline: GRAHAM MARSDEN

THE Daily Mail Foursomes Finals turned into a celebration of Sussex golf yesterday when Cowdray Park lifted the women's title and Willingdon captured the men's crown.

Leading the charge was 17-year-old Hannah Ralph, who capped her own remarkable year in style. Ralph, who has won the Sussex Ladies' and Girls' Championships and the South East Under 18 Champion of Champions title, partnered Debbie Cheasley, 32, to success in the tightest of women's finals.

Ralph said: 'The year started off well, I have worked hard and it has just got better as it has gone on.' Anthony Killik, 20, who plans to turn professional in April, rounded off his amateur career by helping Mark Wootten lift the men's title.

The final challenges of Northamptonshire County's Kirstie Jennings and Sarah Carter and Bristol & Clifton's David Mann and Martin Millett both floundered on the rocks in the water hazard that surrounds the 17th green at Marriott St Pierre.

It was particularly heartbreaking for the Northamptonshire women, who had played the previous eight holes in three under par.

Jennings, 34, and Carter, 36, have no fewer than five county titles and over 30 years of county team experience between them and they threatened to take control of the women's final with three birdies in four holes from the ninth. But Cowdray Park fought back with birdies of their own at the 13th and 14th as the final burst into life on the back nine.

Cheasley drilled a five-wood on to the green at the 185-yard par-three 13th and Ralph sank the putt from 20 feet to take the match back to all square. Then Cheasley's greenside bunker shot at the par-five 14th set Ralph up for another birdie, this time from five feet. …