Where Eagles dare


Eaglescliffe went one better than 12 months ago when they won the Northumberland and Durham Inter-County Foursomes Championship – the traditional opener of the North East season.

Last year Tom Smith and Will Skipp lost out to City of Newcastle’s Phil Ridden and Alex Dixon in the final but this time Smith teamed up with Sam Donald to win a tight final on the 18th hole at Consett.

The pair were 2up with three to play against Ponteland’s Russell Hayhoe and Duncan Ross before the Pont pair made birdie on 17 to be 1dn playing the last. Both were close to driving the green at the 18th and when Hayhoe played an excellent pitch from below the green to 10ft and Smith chipped to 4ft from just off the front of the green, the pressure was on.

Ross added more pressure when he holed that 10ft putt for a birdie and Donald had to step up and roll in his tricky 4ft putt for a half and a 1up win.

“You just have to trust your putting stroke when it comes to one like that,” said Donald. “Nothing beats winning something like this when you’re playing with a mate.”

It was only Eaglescliffe’s second victory in the championship – their first coming 34 years ago.