Haverhill Ladies claim first county cup in tense decider

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A team of ladies from Haverhill Golf Club won a closely-fought final with Felixstowe Ferry to become county champions by lifting the Stearn Cup on Sunday.

The Stearn Cup is a Suffolk Golf Union county competition contested by ladies’ teams from golf clubs across the whole of Suffolk, and Haverhill’s team had performed wonderfully already just to reach the final of this prestigious competition.

The final itself was played over 36 holes by three pairs from each team at Halesworth Golf Club in fine sunny weather.

Haverhill’s six players: Lyn Fish, Mandy Williamson, Mary Sail, Linda Alexander, Anna Fairhead and Sally Price, went into lunch ahead in all three matches, but the afternoon proved very different with the ladies from Felixstowe making a spirited comeback over the second of the two 18-hole rounds for each pair.

The final result was in the balance with the match tied on one win for each team and the final pairs match looking likely to be decided on the last of the 36 holes as Haverhill girls, 1up after 34 holes playing the 17th, missed the green with their second shot while their opponents had a better shot putting their ball to the back of the green.

A quite superb chip from Mary Sail put the Haverhill ladies’ ball to within inches of the pin for a certain par, meaning the Felixstowe girls had to hole their 40-foot putt to take the match to the 18th.

A miss for that monster putt saw wild celebrations break out among the Haverhill girls and the crowd of supporters following them as Haverhill won the third and deciding match to win the Stearn final 2-1.

Champagne was the order of the day for the Haverhill team in the clubhouse as the Stearn Cup was presented to Haverhill team captain Doreen Derby by Suffolk Ladies Golf president Hermione Scrope.

Haverhill Golf Club captain, Val Shipp, who had supported her girls throughout the competition, said she was delighted the ladies’ section of the club had captured their first county trophy during her year as captain, a real testament to the progress at Haverhill Golf Club.

Haverhill Golf Club has an active and growing ladies’ section and any ladies interested in joining or starting golf can do so by contacting the club professionals, Paul Wilby or Ollie Rush, who offer a series of starter courses to get into golf.