Hampshire beat Somerset at English Finals

Rowlands Castle's Tom Robson Picture: Andrew Griffin

Hampshire got off to the best possible start in the English County Finals in North Cornwall by beating Somerset 5-4, at Trevose GC.

Rowlands Castle’s assistant secretary Tom Robson was the hero, turning his match against England junior international Thomas Plumb around on the last hole to gain the crucial half that gave the South East Champions the victory.

They had trailed 2-1 after the morning foursomes and it was the Rowlands pair of Robson and left-hander Billy McKenzie that prevented a whitewash.

They won the 17th to go three up against Somerset’s Will Poole and Phillip White.

And after McKenzie had beaten England international Josh Hilleard 3&2 in the battle of the left-handers at the top of the order after lunch, it was Robson who was left out last on the course to gain the winning half, leaving the Rowlands pair undefeated on the day.

Hampshire – whose captain Martin Young, from Brokenhurst Manor, is playing in his eighth finals in the last 16 years and who also fought back to gain a half against England international Tom Sloman – will face Northumberland tomorrow in their bid to win only their second English County Championship since 1926.

Justin Rose, who was in the team as a 16 year old that trumphed back in 1996, sent the team an inspirational good luck video message which the players watched in the team before heading out on to Trevose links set against a spectacular headland overlooking the North Atlantic.

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