Essex won the English Women's County Finals held at Stoneham Golf Club in Hampshire. They won all five matches to earn the title for only the fourth time in the event's 69-year-history

Essex survived a nervy final day to emerge as deserved winners of the English Women’s County Finals with an impressive 100% record.

Victory over Somerset in the final match of the six-team round robin series earned the East region champions their fourth title success in the event’s 69-year history and their first triumph since 2012.

Wins against Buckinghamshire and Kent on day one were followed by more joy against Cheshire and Nottinghamshire for a young squad skippered by non-playing captain Amanda Colgate-Herbert.

That teed up the final day drama against Somerset – with the team showing great character as well as skill to get over the line.

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Katy Yates was the rock upon which the success was built – the 22-year-old from Clacton-on-Sea winning all five of her games to lead from the front and inspire Essex to victory.

Speaking after the win for a team that featured players ranging in age from 13-24, Yates said:

“It’s nice to win this considering we lost a lot of our East region team from the June qualifier. We have new faces and Essex has a bright future.

“Hopefully the younger players have learned a lot from this week and we can see more of them in the county team going forward.

“It’s my first time at County Finals but as one of the older ones I try and be a leader. Megan Henry is the biggest leader, I’d say – and also the biggest child!

“I’m not sure how we’ll celebrate – but we do have a three-hour drive home. It’s a pity we can’t properly celebrate but with nine juniors it’s difficult anyway. We don’t want them banned from the county!

“I’m personally pleased with five out of five, but I made it difficult for myself. I do like to drag a match out!

“The first day I played 36 holes and that set the tone. I broke my six-iron too. My head flew off half way into the third match and I've been without it since then!

“I’ve only needed it three times since then so I’ve been lucky. The pins worked in my favour on quite a few of the par threes.”

Essex Captain Colgate-Herbert added:

“I’m a bit stunned to be honest but very, very proud. They are an amazing young team.

“I was county captain the last time we won in 2012 so it’s great to be here again to witness this.

“Hopefully, the younger players who have been part of this week can develop and other youngsters learning of this win can be inspired to play more golf and be part of this sort of event in the future.”

Although Essex made it over the line it proved to be a tense final day at Stoneham Golf Club in Hampshire.

Essex understood a win against Somerset would guarantee them the title – and even a defeat might not be fatal to their hopes.

But at one stage it did look as if Buckinghamshire might sneak up on the rails to take the title.

With Essex down in four of the five matches through the turn, Buckinghamshire knew if that score stayed the same and they gained three and a half points from their match against Nottinghamshire, the trophy would be theirs for the first time.

However, while Bucks didn’t lack fizz, they couldn’t quite reel in Essex.

Buckinghamshire did win their match 3-2, but could only watch on as Essex controlled their own destiny.
With four wins out of five, Buckinghamshire secured second spot with Nottinghamshire – boasting three wins out of five – taking third spot.

In the final match on the final day, Kent edged out Cheshire to win 3-2.

Cheshire, Somerset and Kent all won one match apiece over the three days and finish in that order in the table on the basis of game points earned.

The 2023 English Women’s County Finals will be staged at King’s Lynn Golf Club in Norfolk.