Slater quick to dou­ble up as she claims English match play ti­tle

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - CRICKET - CHRIS STRAT­FORD

LINDRICK’S Ni­cola Slater had shed half of a six-hole ad­van­tage in the English women’s open match play cham­pi­onship fi­nal be­fore slam­ming the door firmly shut on Roe­hamp­ton’s Sammy Fuller with a 35ft birdie putt.

It gave the York­shire county player a 3&2 vic­tory in the event’s cli­max at Kirby Muxloe – and the ac­qui­si­tion of a sec­ond tro­phy in the space of five play­ing days.

Eng­land Golf girls’ squad mem­ber Slater had shot 65 69 for a five-shot vic­tory in the Brid­get Jack­son Bowl at Handsworth, near Birm­ing­ham, be­fore head­ing to Le­ices­ter­shire for the English match play cham­pi­onship.

“I went into it ex­pect­ing to do well, and I like match play,” said the 18-year-old. “I en­joy both match play and stroke play, but I feel you can be a bit more com­pet­i­tive in match play.”

This said, she ad­mits to be­ing some­thing of slow starter in NI­COLA SLATER: match play, as was in ev­i­dence in her semi-fi­nal when she trailed Emily Bren­nan (Tren­tham) by two holes at the turn be­fore win­ning – but not in the fi­nal when she was four up at the half­way stage and six up with six to play.

Trail­ing early on ap­peals, it seems, to her sense of the dra­matic. “Gen­er­ally in match play I tend to be down at the start,” she re­flected. “I don’t know why it is although I quite like the come­back idea. I’m quite good at bat­tling from be­hind.”

Fuller showed a sim­i­lar pen­chant for drama, first by deny­ing Slater a 7&6 win with a sand save at 12 and then by win­ning the fol­low­ing three holes.

But Slater’s birdie two at the par-3 16th ended the fight­back and brought her ninth round in six days – two of them in prac­tice – to a close.

As she en­joyed a day’s rest from golf yes­ter­day she re­vealed that she did not feel as tired as she had after help­ing York­shire ladies – the Green Army – win a third con­sec­u­tive North­ern Coun­ties Match Week ti­tle at Hud­der­s­field last month.

“I don’t feel par­tic­u­larly tired, to be fair,” she com­mented.

“I felt more tired after Coun­ties Week than I am now. Kirby Muxloe is quite an easy walk­ing course, it’s not like Hud­der­s­field.”

Was crowned English women’s open match play cham­pion at Kirby Muxloe.

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