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Brokenhurst Manor Golf Club’s Martin Young completes Hampshire's first win of the season in South East League

BROKENHURST Manor Golf Club's Martin Young helped new county captain Lawrence Cherry kick off his South East League campaign with a comprehensive win over Kent.

Hampshire ran out 8-4 winners after claiming the tricky morning foursomes session 3-1 while proving too strong for the visitors in the afternoon singles.

The match served as the perfect warm-up for the county championships, where Young completed his historic Hampshire Slam nine years ago.

Young – who held all four men's trophies after his double triumph at the 2014 Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands Amateur Championship at Hockley Golf Club – produced the biggest winning margin of the day.

The Brokenhurst Manor ace, in his 30th season playing in inter-county matches, was pitted against Kent debutant Nic Elliot in the afternoon singles. It was a mismatch, with Young missing a chance to close out the victory on the 11th hole.

But he shook hands on his win when six-up after playing the 13th, which gave Cherry the seventh point his side needed to claim victory in the first match of the season.

Six years ago, Young captained Hampshire to just their second English County Championship title in 90 years and their first since Justin Rose was in the team 21 years earlier.

But it is now 11 years since Hampshire last won the South East League, and with Dorset having moved across to the South West Channel Division, they have just three league games in the South Division.

Therefore, winning the first match is vital, and losing one game out of the three will likely end any hope of reaching October's annual final against the North Division champions.

Young has played in nine finals, winning the Daily Telegraph Salver three times between 1999 and 2002 and helping Hampshire share the title in 2001 and 2009.

He has ended up on the losing side just twice in that period, having also appeared in the English County Finals eight times since 2001.

Young would love to add a fourth Sloane-Stanley Challenge Cup to his resume at Hockley this weekend.

But at 53, the former England Mid-Amateur Champion (over-35s), who claimed the Logan Trophy at Hayling in 2005, admits it is now a matter of fitness – not just for him.

Young said: "The hardest part for me now is the slog of playing three days of 36 holes of golf in a row.

"Whoever gets to the final will feel shattered by the time they have played the final, especially if it is hot and breezy up on Twyford Down.

"Hockley has been a great course for me – I have done well there, winning the Courage Trophy (county strokeplay), the Mid-Am and County Foursomes, as well as the county championship in 2014."

Surprisingly, Young has never won the Delhi Cup – the opening event of the Hampshire of Order of Merit since 2014.

"I have never played the Delhi – that's why," laughed Martin, who needs one more county championship to become the joint third most successful player in the competition's 129-year history.

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