Richardson Trophy

The Richardson Trophy is a matchplay team event which is participated in by all six Northern Counties of England, i.e. Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cheshire, Durham, Northumberland and Cumbria. Each County plays the other 5 counties every year in daily matches and seven players per team.

One year there are 3 home matches and the following year there will be two home matches for each County. The matches are hotly contested and winning the Trophy is the Jewel in the Crown for the winning County. To read more about the history of the Trophy, click here.

Richardson Trophy Matches 2022

 Date  Venue  County  Result
 Monday 20th - Tuesday 21st June  Hexham (Away Northumberland
 Wednesday 22nd - Thursday 23rd June Darlington (Away) Durham
Sunday 26th - Monday 27th June Hesketh Cumbria
Sunday 10th - Monday 11th July Hesketh   Yorkshire
Sunday 17th - Monday 18th July Hesketh Cheshire  

Richardson Trophy Matches 2021

 Date  Venue  County  Result
Tuesday 25th May - Wednesday 26th May Silloth Cumbria (Away) 3.5 - 3.5
Friday 4th June - Saturday 5th June Formby Ladies Durham 7 - 0 
Monday 21st June - Tuesday 22nd June Oakdale (Away) Yorkshire (Away) Lost 6 - 1
Saturday 10th July - Sunday 11th JulyFormby LadiesNorthumberland4.5 - 2.5
Sunday 18th - Monday 19th JulyWilmslow (Away) CheshireLost 6 - 1

Richardson Trophy Matches Report

Without our usual competitive match against the B team and the Welsh Northern Counties we were a bit low on Matchplay practice early in the season. In addition, because of the pandemic we’d had to move our Championship to the end of September. Finally, only three Lancastrians got Matchplay practice at the Northern Vets Championship at Bishop Auckland in May. We had an uphill task to catch up but the players were focused and all seemed well.

This year’s series of matches has been played with a greater sense of camaraderie because of all the difficulties we have had to overcome due to Covid 19. In March, the 6 Northern Counties agreed to reduce the chance of infection by having no caddies. For the fit players it had no ill effects. It’s actually meant the players have chatted more instead of immersing themselves with their caddies. A squad system was also in operation which helped with late call offs. Thanks go to all who were prepared to be reserves - it helped smooth problems before they arose for the Captain.

The first Richardson Trophy match was on May 26th at Silloth on Solway Golf Club against Cumbria. We had a couple of late call offs for health purposes and the squad system coped.

Lancashire formed their own bubble. We ate all our meals in the Silloth Clubhouse and the food was excellent. Ann Lowe was visited by The Phantom of the electric trolleys as her trolley misbehaved in the practice round. A swift swap with the trolley of the Vice Captain Carmel and Ann was able to win her game against the Cumbria champion. Sara Fitzgerald, from Ormskirk, announced her arrival to the Richardson trophy matches with a very good win against the experience Jamboree team player Janette McWhirter.

Silloth has a great variety of holes, some blind tee shots and some sunken greens. It was presented in excellent condition but it did take a bit of knowing. the golf from both sides was a very high standard. it was fitting that the match was halved because one game was lost on the 17th and we had two games going down the 18th.

Despite our lack of match practice we thought we were now off and running to our first home match against Durham. When the President and the Captain drove home from Silloth little did they know what would ensue in the next 5 days. With less than 10 days’ notice, the Durham captain dropped the bombshell that they were not prepared to travel to Formby. At the time, the Covid figures were very low. In Sefton, less than 20 in 100,000 were infected. Despite the intervention of the NCVLGA Committee, Durham stayed at home. Durham had to concede the match as there was no valid reason for them not to honour the fixture.

It’s difficult to evaluate how much damage not having that home fixture did to the team. Anyway, we had to prepare ourselves for our away match against Yorkshire at Oakdale GC in Harrogate - an Alister MacKenzie layout with some sloping fairways and greens that had to be respected. It’s easy to say getting off to a good start in golf lets you relax a bit, and puts your opponent under a little pressure but it can be difficult to start well in uncharted territory. Our top 2 games both lost on the 17th but they had been playing catch up from early on. Our youngest player managed a win on the 17th showing how important a tidy short game is. Our 6:1 loss to Yorkshire was hard to fathom and it put us back to the Practice Ground to prepare for our next home match on July 11th. Well played Yorkshire - local knowledge was a boon.

Apart from a 10 minute downpour during the practice round at Silloth, we had enjoyed fair weather in the matches and Formby was also kind weather wise. By July, the Formby Ladies course was beginning to show its teeth and finding the fairways and greens is the key to success. Clare Seddon led out the team in the sunshine and had a good tussle with the Northumberland champion Claire Brown. Play was of a high standard and it was first blood to Northumberland. Sharon Eales, another new team player at number 2, won her first point for Lancashire against Candy Brown. (Sharon was selected for the Jamboree Team which was a boost for Lancashire and the North.) Sara Fitzgerald secured another winning point for Lancashire. These 2 young players could form the backbone of the team for many years to come. The tail wagged although the games were a bit tight and the overall score was 4.5 to 2.5.

Northumberland, like Lancashire, formed a wee bubble, and took their meals at the clubhouse. We were truly delighted to welcome all their team. They were prepared to travel from North Tyneside to Formby when the Covid figures were extremely high. We thanked them wholeheartedly for their support.

The season was progressing and our next match was away to Cheshire at Wilmslow. The practice round and the match were played in extreme heat. Even the Met Office had issued a hot weather warning. There were 2 call offs for the match and the Phantom of the Trolleys struck again. Sadly, Carol Helme was not so fortunate and pushing her trolley, she got some more exercise than she would have liked in the heat.

Well, what a game we had against Cheshire. On paper the score of 6:1 looked black.

Further scrutiny revealed how close some of the games were. We lost 2 games on the 17th, Chris Appleby, playing in her first game this year lost on the 18th on the last putt, and Ann Lowe saved us by winning on the 18th. With a little bit of luck and a couple less putts, who knows? We were able to field another new youngster, Min Dennison from Hillside. She will be an asset to the Association for years to come.

Like so many Richardson Trophy matches over the years, it was a match played in a very friendly spirit. Cheshire asked us if one of their players who is undergoing a course of chemotherapy could have a trolley puller. The 100% positive response from all our squad was heart warming. Cheshire then suggested her opposition could have a caddy too, showing these matches are played in the very best sporting spirit, it’s not win at all costs.