Marsh helps England win in Spain

Nick Marsh wish the successful England team in spain
Nick Marsh wish the successful England team in spain

Nick Marsh helped England hold off a charging Spanish side to score their sixth victory in the European Nations Cup at La Reserva, Sotogrande.

The four-strong team of Halifax-born Marsh, Ashley Chesters, Paul Howard and Ben Stow edged home one shot clear of hosts Spain.

England coach Graham Walker commented: “With a few holes to play the tournament was tight. We needed a big finish and the team responded in great fashion.

“Ashley Chesters, the double European amateur champion, birdied the 15th and then parred in. Ben Stow, the Brabazon champion, eagled 15, birdied 16 and then parred in.”

Meanwhile, Howard, who was first to finish, had gone straight back on to the course to caddy for Marsh over the last few holes, underlining the side’s strong team spirit.

Marsh is the English amateur champion and Howard has just added the New South Wales amateur championship to the 2014 South American amateur title.

The European Nations Cup was played in cool weather and very testing winds, particularly on the first day when gusts of up to 35 km per hour delayed play.

However, England had prepared thoroughly and, with the players holing out impressively on the fast, sloping greens, the team were straight into the mix.

They were second after the first round, four shots behind Ireland, and took the lead after 36 holes – and refused to be dislodged, despite Spain’s efforts.

Conditions were such that there were only nine rounds below par during the tournament, from a total of 256 played.

The 20-year-old Marsh, formerly a member at Lightcliffe and Elland but now playing out of Huddersfield, was joint 11th out of 73 players. He was second to Chesters among the English players, after rounds of 80, 72, 74 and 77.

The best three scores from four counted on each day and England finished with 897, Spain with 898, France with 902 and Ireland with 904.