Celebrations, tears and a drenching for the captain – all after Gloucestershire were crowned English Women’s County Champions for the first time.

Andra Knight was soaked by her ecstatic team as they edged Yorkshire 5-4 in a dramatic head-to-head for the title at Waterlooville.

After finally achieving their goal, following their sixth consecutive appearance in the event, Knight said: “I can’t believe we’ve done it. I’m overwhelmed. What a team!

“They have gelled together all week and they just fought and fought and fought.”

Five of the final day’s nine games were decided on the 18th with county champion Becky Gibbs, soon to be married, clinching the match for a perfect wedding present.

Gloucestershire had to win, while Yorkshire could have taken the title with a halved result following a week of matches.

The South West champions won the foursomes 2-1 and the two teams traded blows in the afternoon singles.

Alex Giles and Alison Knowles finished par, birdie to win the last two holes to take half a point each for Gloucestershire and Yorkshire.

Gloucestershire’s Bethan Popel then beat Olivia Winning 3&2, while Megan Clarke replied with her own 3&2 success for the White Rose county.

With Rochelle Morris on course for a 2&1 Yorkshire success in the bottom game, the outcome of the championship rested on the clash between Gibbs and Hannah Holden.

She won the 18th, reaching the green in a regulation three shots, to start the celebrations.

“I enjoyed it, but it was stressful,” Gibbs said. “I knew it was all one me because I like to know what’s going on. I just really wanted to do it for all of them and it’s amazing.”

Team coach Kirsty Taylor added: “We are just a great team. We have worked together on team building and it’s taken a while to bring it all together but they all deserve this.

“This is a young team which is growing, it’s been a work in progress for a number of years, and how good will they be next year?”

Picture courtesy of Leaderboard Photography

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 23 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former captain and committee member, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the national Tournament Administrators and Referee's Seminar. He has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying and the PGA Fourball Championship. A member of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. Steve is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth 2 3-Wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Hybrids: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Irons: TaylorMade Stealth 5-A Wedge Wedges: TaylorMade Hi-Toe 54 and 58 Putter: Sik Sho Ball: TaylorMade TP5

Handicap: 11.3

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