A STUNNING chip shot from Matt King helped Stoke by Nayland Golf Club start the 2017 Leslie F Wood Championship with a victory at Colchester Golf Club.

King produced a superb shot within inches to halve the hole to give his side an 8-7 victory in the Essex County competition played with a ten-man team whose handicaps are all over 7.5.

The matches are all played off scratch, with five foursomes in the morning and ten singles in the afternoon.

And the morning scores were very tight, with each club gaining 2½ points.

Stoke’s first pair out lost but Martin Cotton and Ian Thompson levelled the scores and the remaining three matches all finished all square.

After five singles, Stoke by Nayland had only added one point to the morning scores courtesy of John Smith.

But the middle order rallied with three wins and last man out Gary MacKay also put a point on the board.

With one match still on the course, Stoke by Nayland led 7½-6½ and it was all down to King.

He was all square with the 18th hole to play meaning the play-off players would have had to go down the first in a sudden death finish with a Colchester win.

Colchester's Ian Thompson was preparing to go down the play-off hole when King came up trumps, to seal Stoke by Nayland's win and book a second-round meeting at Colne Valley GC, in round two.

Results: Foursomes: Andy Higginson/John Smith Lost 1 Down, Martin Cotton/Ian Thompson Won 2/1, Chris Major/Jamie Mardell A/S, Rob Benson/Richard Bland A/S, Matt King/Gary MacKay A/S - SBN 2½ Colchester 2½.

Singles: Martin Cotton Lost 6/5, John Smith Won 6/5, Andy Higginson Lost 3/2, Chris Major Lost 3/2, Jamie Mardell Lost 2/1, Richard Bland Won 3/2, Rob Benson Won 2 up, Ian Thompson Won 2/1, Matt King A/S, Gary MacKay Won 4/2.

Karen Lewis and Trisch Jackson scored 37 points to win Stoke by Nayland Lady Vets' Jane Thomas Greensomes Trophy, on the Gainsborough course.

Runners-up were Gill Dutton and Barbara Rowe, with 29 points.

Forty ladies contested Stoke by Nayland Ladies' monthly medal, with Jane Golding scoring nett 74 to win.

Results, Silver division: 1st Bev Thompson 76 nett; 2nd Sue Latham 77 nett ocb; 3rd Margaret Bentley 77 nett.

Bronze division: 1st Jane Golding 74 nett; 2nd Kate Fitzgerald 81 nett; 3rd Fiz Grundy 82 nett.