Buckinghamshire County Ladies Golf Association

Women’s County Finals 2023

The following players represented Buckinghamshire at the recent Women’s County Finals at Kings Lynn Golf Club from 21-24 September 2023: Ella Butteriss (Beaconsfield), Megan Dennis (Woburn), Lulu Leetham (Buckingham), Lily Robinson (Buckingham), Alice Kozlowski (Ellesborough), Demi Maxey (Abbey Hill), Georgia Lloyd (Buckingham), Rachel MacKinlay (Harewood Downs), Ellie Lichtenhein (The Buckinghamshire), Emily Gilmour (Beaconsfield).

We got off to a wonderful start against Lincolnshire on Friday morning. Despite losing the first Foursomes match 4&3 we pulled through and won all four other matches to achieve a 4:1 victory. Megan Dennis leading out the Singles matches showed her superior qualities in beating Ellie Haughton 6&4 and Ella Butteriss also dominated against Courtney Martland wining 6&5.  Ellie Lichtenhein continued her good form displayed all season by delivering her first Singles point against Nel McDougall. This excellent start to our Finals matches settled the nerves and strengthened the team spirit and confidence levels.

Friday afternoon saw us facing the mighty Yorkshire in a thrilling match up and again we came out victorious, defeating this strong County 4:1. I was so proud of Rookie Demi Maxey who, together with Rachel MacKinlay beat their opponents 4&3 on her debut in the County First Team.

Saturday morning started with a much anticipated showdown against the defending Champions, Essex. We only lost 1 Foursomes match and Megan Dennis pulled off the biggest win of the day with a 7&5 defeat of Katy Yates.

The afternoon saw us matched up with Dorset the only other County who hadn’t lost a match at this point. The matches ebbed and flowed and at the beginning it looked very likely that we might face our first defeat. But then the news spread through the team that both Megan and Ella were leading their Singles matches yet again, delivering a 9&& defeat of Sienna Birch and 6&5 defeat of Chloe Haesler respectively.  Alice lost her Singles and Lily & Rachel had also lost their Foursomes at this point.  Lulu & Ellie were 2 up with 3 to play but lost 16 and 17 to go all square. Our nerves were jingling at this point and as their Captain I could barely get myself to watch. Two good drives down the 18th fairway left Dorset to play into the green first. They duffed their shot and Lulu promptly delivered a wonderful shot into the back of the green. Dorset then had another bad chip onto the front of the green before Ellie trundled her putt down to the hole and the match was conceded by Dorset (we won 1 up), thus giving us an overall 3:2 victory.

Being the only County undefeated after 4 matches, Buckinghamshire topped the League Table with 8 points and our nearest rivals were on 5 points each. We therefore knew on Saturday afternoon as matches came to a conclusion that we could no longer be beaten and would walk away with the Trophy. Whist we did have very brief celebrations at this point we gathered around shortly after to discuss the strategy for the final match on Sunday. We were determined to show up again in full strength on the final day and not unduly influence the outcome of the event for other counties who were still very much playing for positions.

We pulled off another 4:1 victory on Sunday versus Surrey with both Ella Butteriss and Megan Dennis completing their 5 wins out of 5 singles matches. Emily Gilmour, one of our two rookies, got her first outing in the Foursomes alongside Lulu Leetham but sadly they lost their match narrowly 3&2.

Being presented with the Trophy during the prize giving ceremony brought tears to my eyes as I introduced the individual team members and gave thanks to all the organisers, helpers, volunteers and our fabulous backroom team, headed up by Tony Bowers, our County Coach, Lynda Hilton, County President and Helen Mines, House Mum.  I am so very grateful to all the supporters who came to Kings Lynn to line the fairways in the red jumpers, the parents and caddies and all those executive members before me who had the foresight to invest in our junior development pathway and coaching programme which brought us to this point. To walk away with the Trophy in our Centenary year is doubly special and we will be talking about the excitement and celebrations for many more years to come.  I couldn’t be prouder of the 10 young women and girls who literally performed at the very best of their abilities and displayed great team spirit, drive and determination over the 4 days of fierce competition.  RESPECT to you all!

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