Compared to some other counties in the South West, DevonGolf does not have a huge pool of women to play in the county teams. Bringing forward young girls and women into the county is a priority but, in the meantime, with only a few dedicated souls to make up a team, Team Manager Vicky Holloway brought her skills, expertise and years of experience to bear and suddenly DevonGolf's Women's Second Team were in the South West Women's Second Team final at East Devon Golf Club against Somerset.
The DevonGolf team of Lorna Elliott (Dartmouth), Jess Francis (Churston), Charlotte Husband (Exeter), Carys Morris (Portmore), Rebekah Nicholls (Stover) and Sophie Page (Exeter) gathered at the club, knowing the Somerset team were fresh from coming second in the England Golf Women's County Finals just 2 weeks ago - and 3 members of that very successful team were playing for Somerset in this, the Women's South West Inter-Counties' Final 2021.
Picking the right pairings for the morning's Foursomes is always tricky. Vicky's first pairing were Sophie Page & Jess Francis v Ellen Reakes & Carys Parker. Ellen was part of the Somerset team for the England Golf Women's County final and this gave Somerset the psychological advantage. The DevonGolf fought hard but lost 4-2. Next up were Lorna Elliott and Rebekah Nicholls v Abby Gary & Libbie Dezis. This time the DevonGolf pair came back with a win 1 up. Last out were Lauren McGinnis and Carys Morris v Jess Haines & Frankie Dezis, Jess and Frankie were both part of the Somerset team from the national final. Lauren & Carys found the going tough and lost 6-4. The morning's result was 2-1 - and everything to play for!
It was hoped the weather would brighten up for the afternoon and, for a while it did. The rest of the time it decided monsoon rain and wind was the order of the day and not one of the players in the singles escaped it. Buoyed up by the morning's score, first off for Devon was Lauren McGinnis against national finalist Ellen Reakes. Lauren played her own game, taking chances where she could and won 1 up. Sophie Page was playing national finalist Frankie Dezis and was unable to shake her off to lose 6-5. Rebekah Nicholls, recently returned to golf, played Carys Parker and in spite of a shaky start, remained her usual calm self and brought home the afternoon's second win 4-2. Charlotte Husband, a busy nurse who hasn't had much time to play, beat Libbie Dezis 4-2. The excitement was mounting. Jess Francis played Somerset's Abby Gary and lost 4-2 making the afternoon's points 3-2 in Devon's favour. Unfortunately, not knowing it all rested on her young shoulders, stalwart player Lorna Elliott couldn't beat national finalist Jess Haines and Devon were the runners up at 5-4 - just one game in it!
Team Manager Vicky said, "I couldn't be more proud of the team. They haven't had much time to practice or gel and were up against some very experienced and very low handicap players. I told them just to go out and enjoy it but they did more than that. They very nearly won!"