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NORFOLK’S first-team golfers put up a bold show before going down to a narrow defeat against Cambridgeshire in a thrilling start to the Anglian League season.

Captain Chris White’s side split the morning foursomes 2-2 at Ramsey Golf Club. But the visitors were just edged out in a see-saw afternoon of singles play that ended with Cambridgeshire recording an overall 6.5-5.5 win.

Four of the eight individual match-ups went down the closing hole and three of them finished all-square.

In the first game out, Casey Patterson lost on the 18th green where Matt Bacon clinched a battling half-point just moments later.

Two of Cambridgeshire’s emerging young stars, Oliver Toyer and Sam Marshall, impressed with comfortable victories over Simon Butts and Carl Green.

But Norfolk rallied in the second half of the singles encounters with White securing a half and former skipper Simon Clark bagging a 2&1 victory.

Next, Josh Chamberlain completed a fine afternoon’s work with a 3&1 win on the 17th green.

In the final match Norfolk’s Scott Wright trailed against Nic Smits, but staged a late recovery to finish honours even.

Norfolk captain White said: “We played a very strong Cambridgeshire team with a few of our best players missing. To lose by only one point was a testament to the resilience within the squad.

“I was delighted to see Matthew Bacon make his county return and play so well. I was also pleased to see my foursomes partner and former county captain, Simon Clark, continue his form as leading points scorer.”

Norfolk: Chris White (Hunstanton), Simon Clark (Great Yarmouth & Caister), Simon Butts (Hunstanton), Matthew Bacon (Royal Cromer, Casey Patterson (Royal Cromer), Josh Chamberlain (Thetford), Carl Green (Great Yarmouth & Caister), Scott Wright (Swaffham).        

Picture caption 1 (credit Norfolk County Golf Union): Norfolk first team ahead of their Anglian League season opener away at Cambridgeshire; Bob Carrick (Norfolk County Golf Union president), Simon Butts, Chris White, ?, Matt Baker, ? Carl Green, Simon Clark, Robert Barnard (NCGU match manager).

Picture caption 2 (credit Rushmer PR): Chris White claimed a victory and a half in his first match as Norfolk captain

Anglian League result

Cambridgeshire 6.5 Norfolk 1st team 5.5 (Played at Ramsey  Golf Club)

 

Foursomes (Norfolk players named first)

Matthew Bacon and Casey Patterson won 1-up v Danny Loveday and Teddy Hall

Simon Clark and Chris White won  4&3 v Tom Burgh and Chris Handy

Josh Chamberlain and Scott Wright lost 5&4 to Oliver Toyer and Sam Marshall

Simon Butts and Carl Green lost 4&3 to Nic Smits and Paul Hodgkin

 

Singles

Patterson lost 1-up v Hall

Bacon A/S Hodgkin

Butts lost 7&6 v Toyer

Green lost 5&4 v Marshall

White A/S v Handy

Clark won 2&1 v Loveday

Chamberlain won 3&1 v Burgh

Wright A/S Smits

 

*NORFOLK’S second-team lost out 3.5-8.5 against their Cambridgeshire counterparts at Royal Norwich.

Matt Strudwick and Sean Rafferty claimed Norfolk’s point as the visitors built a 3-1 lead in the morning foursomes.

Strudwick also ran out a convincing 7&6 victor in his singles match-up. Similarly, Norfolk teenager Sully Goddard impressed in securing an emphatic 5&4 win with some stunning golf.

But a strong Cambridgeshire second string had too much on the day for captain Peter Murphy’s hosts and ran out comfortable winners.