Suffolk start East County Week with Essex clash

Fiona Edmond will be a key player for Suffolk

Fiona Edmond will be a key player for Suffolk - Credit: Archant

Suffolk Ladies face perhaps their toughest test of East County Week when they face Essex at Hunstanton on Monday in their opening match.

Vanessa Bell’s players, runners-up to Norfolk last year, hope to go one better. The massive incentive is that the county finals are to be hosted by Felixstowe Ferry between September 18 and 22.

Bell has trimmed her squad down to those who took part in training and practice matches. She has developed a team spirit which she hopes will produce results.

County champion Alice Barlow, now playing out of Hintlesham, and England Senior champion Fiona Edmond are key players but there is plenty of experienced back-up.

Essex, who have always had the better of Suffolk until last year at Bishop’s Stortford, include teenage star Lily-May Humphreys who is now based at Stoke by Nayland now that Channels, her former club, has closed.

Humphreys has been named in the biennial Vagliano Trophy Junior team to represent Great Britain and Ireland against the Continent of Europe at Bogogno in Italy on June 30 and July 1.

She won the Astor Salver at The Berkshire this month with rounds of 71 and 68 which left her six under par.

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Clacton’s Faye Trigg is Essex champion. She beat club colleague Katy Yates in the final at Colchester. Humphreys did not take part.

Norfolk, the holders, have a testing opening match against Hertfordshire who have been a power in the East for many years.

Norfolk’s Amelia Williamson and Amy Taylor are talented young players who could be destined to go far in the game.

The other match on Monday is between Bedfordshire and the Cambs and Hunts team. On all days the first match foursomes start at 8.30, the second at 8.54 and the third at 9.18. The singles start at 12.40, 1.28 and 2.16.

Suffolk v Essex

Suffolk: Vanessa Bell (captain), Sharon Luckman, Fiona Edmond, Vicki Inglis, Lottie Whyman, Abbie Symonds (all Ipswich), Alice Barlow (Hintlesham), Lils James (Bungay).

Essex: Faye Trigg, Katy Yates (both Clacton), Kelly Martin, Bella Jay (both Chelmsford) Ashley Chalmers, Emily Irons, Harriet Lynch (all Thorndon Park), Lily-May Humphreys (Stoke by Nayland), Megan Henry (Chigwell), Ashley Croft (Stock Brook), Sophie Madden (West Essex). Reserve: Holly Haslam (Stock Brook).

Rest of programme: Tuesday: Beds v Suffolk, Herts v C and H, Essex v Norfolk. Wednesday: C and H v Essex, Norfolk v Suffolk, Beds v Herts. Thursday: Norfolk v Beds, Herts v Essex, Suffolk v C and H. Friday: Suffolk v Herts, Essex v Beds, C and H v Norfolk.

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