Monday morning, the first day of Junior County Match Week. The girls were in great spirits as they teed off in the morning match against Kent. Chloe Burdon lead the girls out, playing against Darcie Smith she had a very tough and closely fought match finishing on the 18th with the match all square.
The whole team played good competitive golf to finish the match with a very creditable 5.5 – 1.5 point win.
The team were: Chloe Burdon, Ellen Nicholas, Salysa Mason, Anya Olsen, Katie Field, Anna Wills and Lille-Beau Thorpe.
In the afternoon, Sussex were scheduled to play their stableford foursomes round which was completed in good time leaving the opportunity to call at the M&S Food Hall on the way back to the hotel. Supplies of on-course snacks are now replenished and the girls are well prepared for today’s matches against Hampshire and Surrey.
Tuesday started with our match against Hampshire. The team was Chloe Burden, Ellen Nicholas, Gudrun Nolan, Katie Field, Anya Olsen, Anna Wills and Yasmin Hang. We were in fighting spirit, but with all matches being extremely closely fought, we sadly found ourselves losing with the smallest of margins in a number of matches, resulting in a 3-4 loss.
The girls brushed aside their disappointment and got themselves fired up again, Rob Chruszcz gave them a good team talk, we encouraged them to feast on the healthy snacks and replenish their energy systems in preparation for what was always going to be our toughest match of the week….
In the afternoon we took on the team of Surrey (county champions over and over)…..Chloe Burden once again led the team out and played an extremely tough opponent in the very ‘on form’ England team player, Rafiah Banday. Chloe unfortunately went down in a 5/3 defeat, but following her was the mighty force in Ellen Nicholas – beating Surrey’s Canice Screene 3/1. New girl Anna Wills was moved up the field due to a number of our girls being on the same handicap, and she proved her class by beating Ellie Lace 3/2. Salysa Mason gave of her best, but went down 2/1, we then had another rookie in Gudrun Nolan and she halved her match. Anya managed to bring in another half and it was all down to our final match with our youngest team player Lille-Beau. LB certainly didn’t let us down….a true fighter and another force to be reckoned with she beat Gabby Shacklady 2up. Never in our wildest dreams would we have predicted this win – Sussex 4 – Surrey 3……..our girls were amazing!
Celebrating aside, we came back on Thursday morning with more fighting spirit, the team they encountered this time were the hosts Middlesex. Another young team in the making, but we knew it wasn’t a walk in the park – and we were also aware we had our chance to prove ourselves as champions…… Chloe once again led the girls out and brought in our first win 2/1. Ellen Nicholas was up against the unbeaten Haruhi Nakatani and certainly found her match, going down 6/5. Anna Wills continued with her successes and brought in the half, followed by the remaining four team players bringing in fantastic wins – Salysa 8/7, Gudrun 4/2, Anya 5/4, Lille-Beau 7/5.
It felt like the whole world had been watching us, and were waiting with baited breath for the final result…..it was apparent that although we had given absolutely everything, and both Surrey and Sussex had won three of their matches, after having to go to Countback of games, we found ourselves 3 games down to Surrey and had therefore come in as Runners up for the 5th year running!!!
How close do we have to be before we win the County Match Week Trophy??? Surrey are most definitely a force to be reckoned with, but Sussex are proving they are a strong team in the making……I have no doubt we will get there very very soon.
Our thanks go to the brilliant support group we have in the families and friends that were there on the sidelines and commenting on our interactive chat groups…..but I personally want to add the biggest thanks to our amazing County Coach Rob Chruszcz (also known as Team Minion Mascot), County Captain Ann, and Past Captain Sandra….I have had the most amazing experience working alongside these superb girls in our first JCMW together, and I couldn’t have done it without these people by my side.
We are all looking forward to hosting Junior County Match Week here in Sussex in 2019.
Report by Louise Simmons, CJO