Somerset seal the South-West Counties matchplay championship
UNBEATEN Somerset are the South West Counties matchplay champions for the first time in 12 years after winning three and drawing two of their matches at Cumberwell Park. But the week's big prize went to Wiltshire again.
The home county romped away with the strokeplay championship and will now represent the South West in the finals in September at Beau Desert for a remarkable fifth time in six years.
England international Ben Loughrey (Wrag Barn, Swindon) signed for nine-under-par 133 to beat Henbury's Nick Day by four shots with Craig Adams (Farrington) and Phil White (Wells) a further shot behind in the individual championship. Gloucestershire's leading player Day was the favourite and was eight-under-par after 27 holes after completing his third nine in five-under but he dropped three shots on the final stretch.
Wiltshire won the team award by a convincing 25 shots ahead of joint runners-up Somerset and Devon.
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Somerset beat Dorset, Devon and Cornwall and drew with Wiltshire. They required to halve the final match against Gloucestershire and White, Gregory, Adams, Small and Popham won the singles as Somerset took a 5.5-2.5 lead. Sam Day and Burnham's Jamie Clare gained the foursomes win that clinched the result although Gloucestershire claimed the other three matches to force a 7-7 draw and earn the runners-up spot.
Somerset captain Phil White praised all his players. He said: "The team were really focused this week and the spirit among the guys was excellent. After our Channel League title win last year this shows that we are a very strong matchplay side."
Matchplay result: Somerset 4, Gloucestershire 3.5, Wiltshire 2.5, Devon 2.5, Cornwall 1.5, Dorset 1. Strokeplay result: 843 Wiltshire, 868, Devon 868 Somerset (138 Craig Adams 67 71, 138 Phil White 65 73, 144 Jamie Clare 70 74, 148 Ellis Cook 78 70, 148 Tom Small 72 76, 152 Sam Day 75 77), 870 Cornwall, 871 Gloucestershire (137 Nick Day 68 69, 140 Tom Workman 73 67, 142 Laurie Potter 69 73, 147 Tyler Hogarty 75 72, 152 Charlie Mclean 76 76, 153 Andy Rudge 75 78,) 889 Dorset.