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7th October 2011

Kent completed a hat-trick of Seniors County Championships by beating close rivals Dorset 6½-2½ at The Gog Magog , Cambridge, completing a clean sweep of the other regional winners, while Staffordshire relegated Lancashire to the wooden spoon by beating them 5-4 (picture © Tom Ward).

On a day of sunshine, strong winds and dipping temperatures, Kent rekindled the form that seemed to be deserting them by taking all three foursomes then the top two singles to seal victory before Dorset gained some consolation.

Conditions were difficult to say the least. Although the course was spared the squally showers forecast, the gusting wind made it tough to stand still let along make a swing and scoring, generally, underlined that fact.

However, one man who bucked the trend was Kent's Andrew Stracey. The England senior international was rested from the foursomes but revelled in the wind, carving out an 8 and 7 victory over David Barton in the top single, Stracey being three under par for 11 holes.

It left the Kent man with an overall record of four-and-a-half points from five games, impressive in the windy conditions that prevailed throughout.  That left Kent needing one more win to see them home and it was delivered by Chris Hurst when he beat John Smith 5 and 4 in the second single to complete Kent's third successive triumph.

It was also a triumph for newly appointed Kent captain Mark Singfield. "I am delighted we have defended the title and won for the third successive year," he said. "We won all three foursomes which gave us a solid base for the singles but I felt for the last Dorset pair who suffered on the final hole.

"But being three ahead going into the singles was a happy position and Andrew Stracey gave us a superb start. He is a quality performer and to be three under for 11 holes was outstanding in these conditions."

So will he continue to lead the Kent side? "I'll do so if I'm asked but I'd like to think that if I could improve my game I might stand a chance of selection."

After edging the foursomes 2-1, Staffordshire were quick out of the traps in the singles, Bob Aston romping to a 7 and 6 win over Mike Gray before Steve Wild secured a 4 and 3 win against Ken Sargent.

That put the Midlanders within sight of overall victory and it was left to Roger Humphreyson to see them over the line with a 6 and 4 success over Dennis Greenup, the former being one under par at the conclusion.

But there was a sting in the tail for Lancashire as they took the remaining three games, Stewart King came from 1-down with six to play to beat Glenn MacBryde 3 and 2, while Robert Fox also staged a recovery with two back nine birdies to overcome Andrew Dathan 4 and 3. Then Alan Gillespie made the scoreline more realistic by beating Neil Copestick 3 and 2 after leading all the way from the second hole.

However, with three defeats, Lancashire were left with the wooden spoon.

Results and more information about the Men's County Finals can be found on the Championship section of the EGU website .

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