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Champions stumble at the first

Northamptonshire County's Kelly Hanwell
Daily Mail
28 Apr 2009

Kelly Hanwell and Kirstie Jennings went out in the first round of this year’s Daily Mail Foursomes to continue an astonishing run of disappointment for defending champions in the women’s event.

The Northamptonshire County pair lost by two holes to Northampton’s Jackie Turner and Theresa East as the champions fell at the first hurdle for the fourth year in a row.

Lesley Diamond who lifted the women’s trophy with Moira Sleeman at the Marriott Forest of Arden in 2007, fell in last year’s first round when she joined up with Denise Fiori to represent Sandy Lodge – and that repeated a fate which befell 2006 champions Kelly Tidy and Elaine Clark, from Manchester Golf Club, and 2005 winners Hannah Ralph and Debbie Cheasley, from Cowdray Park.

Kelly Hanwell, 31, said: ‘It was disappointing but at least we are lucky enough to have been to the finals and won it. It is early in the year and we were a bit rusty. Theresa is a good player who plays for the county second team, so 13 shots were a lot to give away so early in the season against a strong team.’ Kelly will concentrate instead on trying to win the Northamptonshire county title for the third time in four years next week.

At least reigning men’s champions Tony Gooch and Mark Hill, from Great Torrington, made it through to the second round – after being give a bye in the first.

The only men’s team to retain the title were Victor Logan and James Hope, for Dirleton Castle, in 1978 and 1979, although 1987 champions Ian Gilland and Andrew Smith returned to win the trophy again in 1990.

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