Bishop Auckland win Clark Cup

Bishop Auckland Golf Club capped another magnificent season with victory in the Clark Cup.

Bishop added Durham County’s team knock-out championship to their Teesside Union league title and the Durham County Mixed Foursomes crown successfully defended by Jess Hall and Jamie Birkbeck.

The final at Chester-le-Street with Eaglescliffe proved a to and fro contest, with Bishop edging the match 3-2 to win the 70th Clark Cup.

Bishop lifted the trophy for the 11th time – a new record – following their first win in 1953.

Led by captain Steve Ridley and team manager Mark Walker, Bishop’s team got off to a losing start as Tom Smith narrowly beat Jamie 3&1 in the top match after playing 16 holes in six under-par.

John Howarth then beat Ryan Elliott to put Bishop’s first point on the board, before Wayne Hewitt made it five wins from five in the cup with a 3&2 victory over Richard Mason.

Eaglescliffe’s hopes were raised when Steve Jackson went down 2&1 to Julian Wynn, making it 2-2.

In the final match, Kevin Hamilton was 1dn to Harry Caygill on the 15th tee, but won the hole. He followed it with a birdie two on the 16th and made a terrific two-putt from off the green on the 17th to win the cup.

Bishop’s triumph was very much a squad success with eight players used throughout the campaign – Jamie Birkbeck, John Howarth, Graham Milne, Wayne Hewitt, Craig Wren, Steve Jackson, Kevin Hamilton and Niall Bennison.

In the Junior Clark Cup final, Consett – represented by Luke Bonser, Jessica Dorritt, Sophie Murray, Elliott Ward and Matthew De Vallans-Toor – ran out 3.5-1.5 winners over Tyneside.