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Yorkshire win boys’ county crown

Yorkshire powered their way to victory in the English Boys’ County Championship, beating BB&O – Berks, Bucks & Oxon – 7-2 in the final day’s title decider at Northamptonshire County Golf Club.

In the three-day round robin, also involving Staffordshire and Somerset, the northerners were on impressive form, conceding just 4.5 points in their 27 games.

The classy performance gave them their first title since 2012, their eighth overall – and wiped out the memories of last year when they lost by just half a point.

Team manager Philip Woodcock said: “The boys have done really well and I am absolutely chuffed, thrilled to pieces. It makes up for last year!”

Yorkshire were in determined mood from the outset and, as they did on the previous two days, won all three morning foursomes. The perfect score of nine wins out of nine is a new record for the county boys.

It left BB&O needing to win five of the six singles and they made sure the games were all hard fought. But Yorkshire edged closer to victory when George Heath, 17, completed his sixth win from six games by defeating England boy international Conor Gough, 3/2.

It fell to 15-year-old Ben Schmidt to take the team over the winning line when he beat Taylor Paul 3/2. Schmidt came in to the team when Alex Fitzpatrick was called up by GB&I and proved his worth, supplying three foursomes wins with James Swash and making a great singles debut this afternoon.

He took command of his game with a sparkling run from the 7th of birdie, eagle, par, par, birdie to go five up. But Paul pulled one back with his own birdie on 14 and won 15 with a par before Schmidt clinched the victory on 16, for himself and his team. “It’s great, I’m lost for words,” he said. “I had some really good holes to give myself a cushion for the match.”

The scoreline was completed when Swash won 2up; Charlie Daughtrey halved with Melan Dhaubhadel and Callum Macfie halved with Fraser Bown. BB&O’s full singles point was won by Harrison Arnold, who beat Michael Hay 2up, signing off with a birdie four on the last.

In the day’s other match Staffordshire and Somerset halved with 4.5 points apiece. Somerset took the early lead, winning two of the three foursomes, but Staffordshire proved stronger in the singles, winning 3.5 of the six points on offer