Cornwall show individual strength to land Channel League title
A show of singles strength enabled Steve Rickard's Cornwall to clinch the 2013 Channel League following a last-day win over Glamorgan at Radyr Golf Club, Cardiff.
Cornwall's 10½-4½ triumph in Wales enabled them to overtake defending champions Devon and win the regional men's amateur golf league title on game points.
Cornwall and Devon won five of their six league matches to finish 1½ points clear of third-placed Glamorgan.
However, thanks to their big win in Wales, Rickard's county team totalled 57½ game points to Devon's 53, to claim their first Channel League title since 1997.
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It was nip and tuck in the opening foursomes at Radyr, top and tailed by halved matches but eventually won by Cornwall, edging ahead 3-2 by lunchtime.
The Duchy powered to victory in the singles, claiming 7½ of the ten points on offer to storm to the league title.
Launceston's Richard Jasper got the ball rolling with a 3&1 win over Jack Bush after Bowood Park's Josh Greenaway eventually lost on the 18th to Richard Hooper.
Perranporth's Conor Wilson beat Craig Medling 3&2 and St Mellion's Joe Yorke finished 1-up against Luke Thomas as Cornwall closed in on the win they needed to clinch the league title.
Chris Johnston (Perranporth) and Joe Cruse (St Enodoc) both won four and three, beating Ben Westgate and Ian Flower respectively. Cruse never looked back after holing a 12-foot putt for an eagle three on the par five eighth.
Rob Davies (St Enodoc) and Adam Curtis (Bude and North Cornwall) both celebrated their debuts with two and one wins. It was a fine day for the debutants.
Davies had combined with St Enodoc clubmate Cruse to win 7&5 in the morning foursomes, while Cornwall Juniors captain Curtis and Sandy Kirton (Perranporth) secured a valuable half.
With the league title secured, Kirton lost to Brent O'Neill at nine, while Perranporth's Chris Fleming halved with Alistair Jones at ten.
In the morning Yorke and Johnston had finished one-up against Westgate and O'Neill.
After a 16-year wait, the coveted regional league team title was heading back to Cornwall.
Coincidentally Bude and North Cornwall's Rickard – a county golf stalwart both as player and non-playing skipper – was captain the last time Cornwall won the league, in 1997.
In his post-match speech Rickard paid tribute to all the county players – not just those on duty for the Duchy at Radyr – who had represented Cornwall in league matches, helping them to five wins.
2013 Channel League final standings: 1 Cornwall, 2 Devon, 3 Glamorgan, 4 Somerset, 5 Gloucestershire, 6 Wiltshire, 7 Gwent.