RISING Ringway golfer Ellis Courtnell hit a terrific winning score of 43 points to win the annual Joanne Morley Junior Golf Challenge at Sale Golf Club.

The course was in good condition, considering the heavy rain in recent weeks, providing some excellent greens for some top juniors from Lancashire and Cheshire, who were great credit to their clubs, parents and organisers for their impeccable display both on the course and in the clubhouse.

Morley, a true British golfing legend, was on the course throughout the day seeing the players off from the first tee, watching them play around the course and being there to meet them and present the prizes as she has done now for more than 20 years of great help and encouragement for the competition.

Sale officials, led by captain Terry Crewe and lady captain Jenny Page, also gave fine support on and off the course to all of their visitors, backed by their staff in the pro shop and in the clubhouse.

There were plenty of prizes on offer provided by the Golf Foundation, organisers WGTB Golf and various clubs across the region.

The early leader was Cheshire Junior star Harry Gittins (Congleton) with 37 points but he was overtaken by Aristo Wood (Whalley) with 40 points and Aaron Mohun (Delamere Forest) on 38, before nine-year-old Courtnell lifted the bar to triumph.

He won the coveted Joanne Morley Trophy, a round for four at Prestbury Golf Club, an assessment at the Trafford Driving Range and a special Open Golf handy bag as his reward for some excellent golf.

Junior organiser, Isobel Parry, said: “Ellis is a real talent and a lovely boy with it.

"He's very bright with an amazing understanding of the game of golf for someone who is only nine years old.

"We managed to get him accepted onto the Cheshire Under-12s' coaching programme this year with John Heggarty and Peter Barber.

"He really enjoys practising and his handicap has dropped from 30 in April 2018 to 17 at the moment.

"I'm sure that when he gets a bit bigger there will be no stopping him.

"He's very popular with everyone and is a real chatterbox when he's out on the golf course but, I'm glad to say, he doesn't waste any time when it's his turn to play a shot.”

The top girl was another Ringway star, Siobhan Grayson, who has played in the competition for several years and finished with 36 points to lead in from Sale junior captain, Jess Jordan, on 34, and Ella Maxwell (Knutsford) on 34.

The other boys’ prize was taken by Charlie Watts (Delamere Forest) with 37 points.

The Nearest-the-Pin prize for boys on the third hole was won by Dan Myers (Reddish Vale) and as no girls made the green on the 17th, a raffle for the prize, decided by Sale captain Terry Crewe’s lucky number, was won by Imogen Marsland (Lymm).

The Ringway team (who recently won the Manchester Alliance’s Williams BMW Junior Team Knockout) completed an excellent hat-trick with a total of 114 points from their top three scorers – Courtnell, Grayson and Tom Pughe – backed by Luca Moola and Cole Self to win the team prize.

The final mystery team prize was won by Wood, Amy Pardon (Prestbury), Gittins and Marsland.