When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Hants aim for English crown
6:00am Monday 23rd September 2013 in Sport
HAMPSHIRE will head into golf’s English County Finals boasting the strongest squad possible, according to their captain, Richard Elmes.
The men’s team travels to Minchinhampton this week, bidding to win the competition for only the second time in their history, writes GORDON SIMPSON.
Throughout this season, Hampshire have had to contend with a number of high-profile absences, due to international matches and other commitments.
However, Elmes, who is captaining the side for the last time, has a full complement of players to select from for the finals.
“It’s the first time this season that I’ve had my full team and been able to field the best players available,” he said.
“The only person who would have been there if he was available is Neil Raymond, but he has obviously turned pro now.”
The seven players Elmes has chosen to travel to Gloucestershire are Martin Young (Brokenhurst Manor), Harry Ellis (Meon Valley), Mark Burgess (Blackmoor), Tom Robson (Rowlands Castle), Gavin O’Neill (Royal Jersey), Ryan Henley and Elliot Groves (both Stoneham).
The Hampshire, Isle of Wight & Channel Islands side, who won the south east qualifier in July, will begin with a match against south west champions Devon on Friday (September 27).
Over the following two days they will then face northern winners Lancashire and Midlands victors Leicestershire & Rutland.
The English County Finals started in 1926, but Hampshire’s only ever victory came in 1996, when they triumphed at Woodhall Spa.
Elmes explained how desperate the current crop of players are to add the county’s name to the honours board again.
“The lads are right up for it,” he said.
“They have been talking about it a lot. They’re really excited about it and looking forward to it.
“I was talking to Ryan the other day and he was saying he doesn’t remember there ever being such a buzz about it.
“We’ve got a brilliant team, and we’ve got a really good vibe going through it. Everybody is coming into it in good form.”
For Elmes, the event has added significance, as it will mark the end of his two-year spell as captain of the men’s team.
“This will be my swansong, so it would be nice to go out on a high,”
“We haven’t won it since 1996, so it would be great to be crowned English champions
Comments are closed on this article.