Smells like teen spirit as young golfers win inter-club contest

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A six-strong team of teenage golfers from Leighton Buzzard’s Plantation Road club have beaten four other clubs in the final of a regional inter-club competition for young players.

Leighton’s squad of Josh and Ollie Banwell, Ben Proud, Shin Bateman, Callum Campbell and Freya Daniels qualified for the five-regional team final by finishing champions of the local Vale League last season and they emerged victors by a 10-point margin, receiving the Bert Yates Trophy last won by young Leighton golfers in 1977, after clocking up 177 points at Sonning Golf Club.

With the top five scores counting, skipper Josh saw his creditable 33 points discounted as brother Ollie, Callum and Ben each scored 35 points, Shin 36 points and Freya 37 points as the young Buzzards soared to victory.

Runners-up defending champions Beaconsfield with 167 points while East Berkshire took third place with 166 points.

It’s the latest in a run of successes for the Leighton juniors, with Callum having recently been crowned Bedfordshire schools handicap champion and Ben, Freya and Ollie – all pupils at the Cedars Upper school – winning the County schools team handicap trophy.

They will represent their county in matches against Herts, Middlesex and Essex for the George McPartlin trophy in July.

Leighton’s juniors have also beaten Abbey Hill, Mentmore and Aspley Guise in the Vale league this year and are favourites to retain their title and qualify to defend the Bert Yates Trophy next year.

Ben was a junior stableford winner earlier in the year which so far has seen his handicap reduce from 17 to 10; Callum has seen five shots pruned from his handicap while Adam Cobb has been cut from 50 to 29.

Other club junior competitions have been won by Andres Valentine, George Stephenson and Teddie Jones.

Junior Organiser Gavin Samuels said: “We owe a huge thanks to Rapid Platforms who have supplied the team with golf ball sponsorship for the year and to Quarters Estate Agents and Fleetline Paint and Body for sponsorship which has enabled us to buy new team kit.”