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Flying start for Hants in English County Finals
8:44pm Friday 27th September 2013 in Sport
Hampshire, Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands have beaten Devon 6-3 in their first match at the English County Finals, while Lancashire fought back to beat Leicstershire 5.5-3.5 in the day's other contest.
There were wins for former English Mid-Amateur Champion Martin Young (Brokenhurst Manor), Blackmoor's Mark Burgess, county champion Ryan Henley (Stoneham GC) and Gavin O'Neill from Royal Jersey in the afternoon singles.
In the top two games, Rowlands Castle's Tom Robson was beaten on the last by Open qualifier Jimmy Mullen, from Royal North Devon, and last year's English Amateur champion Harry Ellis (Meon Valley G&CC) lost 2&1.
The South West champions briefly help up Hampshire captain Richard Elmes' team's bid to win the English County Championship for the first time since 1996 - when a 16-year-old Justin Rose was in the team that triumphed at Woodhall Spa – but the South East champions were always up in the other four games.
In the morning foursomes, Robson and Stoneham's Elliot Groves crushed Devon pair Adam Bridgewater and David Blick 5&3 after Young and O'Neil had put the first point on the board playing in the bottom match by thumping Peter Lawrence and Dan Rosevear 6&4.
Ellis and Henley narrowly lost out to Mullen and David Ashley after the Devon pair came from behind earlier in the match.
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