Leighton Golf Club ladies end 18-year trophy drought

By Stuart Oliver

By Zoe Ashton
Friday, 18th March 2022, 12:29 pm
Updated Friday, 18th March 2022, 12:32 pm
Ladies Captain Lesley Bednarek (centre) receives the Barney Hallam trophy from Seniors’ Immediate Past Captain Denis Leitch, surrounded by some of the Leighton members who took part.
Ladies Captain Lesley Bednarek (centre) receives the Barney Hallam trophy from Seniors’ Immediate Past Captain Denis Leitch, surrounded by some of the Leighton members who took part.

It’s the smallest silver trophy in Leighton Buzzard golf club’s bulging cabinet – but arguably one of the most keenly contested every year.

So how fitting was it that this year’s Barney Hallam foursomes contest between the Club Ladies and Senior sections was staged on International Womens’ Day….and won by the narrowest of margins by the Leighton Ladies, ending an 18 year drought since last winning it in 2004.

In a see-saw battle, Ladies Captain Lesley Bednarek and her successor-to-be Oonagh Russell got the ball rolling with a victory over Club Captain Graham Freer and Immediate Past Seniors Captain Denis Leitch, with Christine Giles and Christine Robinson crucially halving their match against Geoff Allatt and Graham Pellow before Jane Parry and Jackie Stimpson beat Kevin O’Donoghue and Mike Smith.

The Ladies looked doomed as the men carded four successive wins. Harry Adam and Stephen King beat Lynn Newnham and Joan Waples. Martin Broadley and Mike Turnock toppled Judith Harper and Niki Clarke, Martin Garrod and Mike Turnock beat Ann Gray and Gill McDougal, and George Bashford and Robbie John beat Elsa King and Diana Pellow.

But the Ladies hit back with their own four straight wins. Sandra Bellis and Lila Garrod beat Danny Nairne and John Preston; Sue Preston and Barbara Rickard beat Terry Lingham and John Harper; Val Brown and Jill Nutkins taught retired teachers Paul Johnson and David Sweetnam a lesson and Judi Malpass and Marilyn Myatt toppled John Bateman and Phil Rickard…leaving a last-hole win by Derek Browning and Peter Sheridan over Pam Stannard and Carmen White-Lawes a “dead rubber.”

With Seniors skipper Andy McDonalds a sickness absentee, Immediate Past Seniors skipper Denis Leitch had the task of presenting the Barney Hallam trophy to Lesley Bednarek after their 6-5 victory, with one match halved.

[] Justin Moss and Jamie Thomson won Saturday’s Leighton’s Captain’s Cup qualifier on a shortened course with 34 points, beating Graham and Matthew Westlake-Tritton by a shot, while 33 points was enough to give John Tarbox and Jeff Beaseley a passport from the Sunday qualifier to the April 9 final, beating Dan and Adam Waite and Andrew Jenkins and Graham Magill by two shots.