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Thursday, 18 December 2014

Rowland returns to pip Lamb to the title

Matty Lamb, from Hexham, made a stout defence of his county stroke play title at Morpeth over the weekend – but lost out to another of Tynedale’s young guns.

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Hexham’s Matty Lamb has made an impressive start to the new season.

Prudhoe’s Tom Rowland, back in the UK on a break from his studies at University of North Carolina in the USA, pipped him by one shot.

Lamb shot three rounds of 69, but his 75 on the second 18 holes proved expensive.

Rowland shot 74, 68, 70 and 69 for an aggregate of 281, giving him victory by one shot.

Lamb is putting his burgeoning career slightly on hold as he prepares to take his GCSEs at Queen Elizabeth High School.

Although desperate to play the sport full time, the 16-year-old recognises the importance of getting his qualifications.

He said: “I have got lots of tournaments to play this season, but my exams come first.

“I’ve had to turn down trips with England to Arizona and Germany, and am missing my defence of one title as I have to take an extra further maths paper.

“But it will make me even more determined to play well for the middle part of the season.”

Matty may now have lost his trademark, long mane of curly blond hair, but his results this year have been unaffected.

In the Faldo Series North at Moortown, he tied for first in the overall under-21 age group and won the under-16 title to qualify for the World Final.

The youngster followed this up by shooting the lowest round of the week at the season's first Junior Major.

His five-under par 66 secured a fifth-placed finish in the Peter McEvoy Trophy at Copt Heath, Solihull.

And recently, he was the runner-up in another Junior Major - the Fairhaven Trophy at Lytham St Annes.

Once his exams are out of the way, he will play in the British Boys Championship at Prestwick and enter regional qualifying of The Open Championship for the first time.

Of course, Matty is hungry for more success in the future after a record-breaking 2013.

For he became the youngest ever winner of both the Sir Henry Cooper International Junior Masters and the Northumberland County Men's 72 Hole Strokeplay Championship.

The Hexham golf club junior member also maintained a 100 per cent winning record in an England shirt, with victories over Spain, Ireland and Scotland.

It has been a busy couple of weeks at Bellingham, where lovely weather made the course especially enjoyable.

The Hadrian League Challenge Cup winner was David Cowan on 80-10-70, with David Dunn runner-up.

The Walton Cup was won by Mark Walton with a tremendous score 82-16-66, with Allan Murray second, while Brian Hardon won the Stableford Qualifier with 31 points.

The Bill Elliott Memorial and Calcutta Cup qualifier was won by Matthew Blackith on 72-4-68 with Alan Varty runner-up.

Di Hutchinson won the ladies’ Challenge Cup on 92-20-72, ahead of Jane Jones.

In the eighth round of the Stocksfield Fred Punshon League James Cram won with 38 points, Darren Brewis was second with 37 and third was Stephen Cram with 36.

The following day the club sweep was won by David Byerley with an excellent 39 points.

James Cram was second with 38 points, again beating Darren Brewis into third place – this time on the back nine.

In the ladies’ section the Catnach Fours were won by Val Michael and Brenda Mills, just beating Joyce Eccleston and Wendy Jones into second place with Muriel Devere and Carole Smith in third.

In the Prudhoe ladies’ section, the Dolly Douthwaite Trophy was won by V. Morrell, with 31 points, from L. Haddow.

The Coronation Foursomes qualifiers were M. Kennington and P. Booth on 28 points.

There were mixed fortunes for Prudhoe in the T.R Percy competition, with a 5-2 home win over Whitley Bay 5-2, but a 5 1/2 to 1 1/2 defeat at Alnmouth.

The Shield team beat Tynemouth 4-3, and Ponteland away, both by a 4-3 margin.

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