Teen Brandon leads Leighton’s charge for junior honours

Leighton's juniors
Leighton's juniors

A Leighton Buzzard-based teenage golfer has captained his Bedfordshire County Schools team to victory for a coveted inter-county trophy.

Fifteen-year-old Brandon Waddington, who since taking up golf six years ago has slashed 40 shots off his starting handicap of 54, skippered the Bedfordshire team that beat Hertfordshire, Essex and Middlesex schools for the McPartlin trophy.

And the Beds team of six boys and three girls won in style, storming to victory after clawing back a deficit with an outstanding 49 point contribution from Patrick Elkins-Daye (Millbrook), helping the Beds team register a record-breaking 295 points from the best seven cards that counted.

Vandyke student Brandon, whose father Jason is head steward at the Plantation Road club, contributed 37 points to the Bedfordshire total, with team organisor David Sweetnam praising Brandon for his leadership skills.

It was the fifth time since 2000 that Bedfordshire, fielding their youngest ever squad, have won the trophy. Runners-up were Essex with 277pts, third Hertfordshire with 276pts and Middlesex fourth with 260pts.

And junior school players coached by Leighton professional Will Tebbs excelled in a Beds Schools competition on the Academy Par 3 course at Bedfordshire golf club. The best score of the day was carded by Leighton junior Elin Tommey (Parkfields Middle) with 39pts over nine holes, taking just 34 shots to complete the course.

Sommer Chan (Woburn Middle) won the girls category with 31pts, with Henry Wooster and George Rae (Greenleas Lower), Charlie Hillis (St Leonard’s Lower), Max Brunker and George Wooster (Linslade Academy) and Josie Down (Leighton Middle) all winning prizes in their age categories.

Twenty former skippers of the Leighton club turned out for the Past Captains competition on Sunday, with Adrian Stephenson winning with 39 points, three clear of Nick Clarke and Steve Leng who also won the team prize with colleagues Steve Denisi and Brian Valentine.

Leighton Seniors lost only one of their eight matches against The Bedfordshire, with two halved in a 6-2 victory. Skipper David Debell and Stephen Maddison got Leighton off to a flyer with David Newby and Ron Dickinson following with the biggest win of the day - five holes up with four to play.

Seasoned campaigners Geoff Allatt and Keith Camp notched a comfortable win before David Roberts and Kelvin Young and Terry Wright and Len Neal sealed victory with holes to spare.

David Kingham and Graham Avery and Graham Robinson and Kelvin Young halved their matches.

Leighton Ladies beat the previously undefeated Pavenham Park 5-2 in their Shield match with wins by Avril Simpson, Patti Marriott, Christine Rimmer, Beryl Wood and Barbara Rickard, having beaten Aspley Guise by the same score, while the Mixed team has beaten Bedford 5-4, Aspley Guise 9-2 and Whipsnade 5-3, losing only to John ‘O Gaunt.

Retired nurse Zan Nicholl teamed up with Debbie Gibb to win Leighton Ladies Invitation Day with 47pts, two clear of Sylvia Dell and Jane Nichols with Barbara Deacon and Maria Hall a shot behind.

Niki Clarke won Leighton Ladies Croxford Cup, beating Oonagh Russell and Alison Hurville on countback after the trio all finished with 39pts.

Stephen Maddison, Martin Broadley, Joan Waples and Sheila Turnock teamed up to win Leighton’s Ladies and Seniors Texas scramble with a nett 57.2, just 0.3 of a shot clear of runners-up John Preston, Geoff Dimmock, Gillian Chehade and Judy Ammon.