JANE Brackenbury held off a strong challenge from Tina Mulford to win the Winter League at West Berks.

Consisting of 13 individual stableford competitions with the best five scores to count, Brackenbury took an eight-shot lead into the final round played on Saturday morning and it was obvious someone would have to have an exceptional round to displace her.

Mulford with 38 points had that round and was seven shots clear of second-placed Sian Soanes, but came up just two shots short.

Brackenbury scored 29 points in the final round and did not add to her total of 162, while Mulford took her total to 160 to claim second spot and Gale McAuley, who was third with 31 points, took third place overall with 157.

The men’s competition finished in balmy sunshine when the pairs competition was a ‘multiplier’ when individual stableford scores are multiplied together, a format which exaggerates a good and bad round and can make a mockery of a leaderboard. It invariably leaves the result of the six-round competition in doubt until the final Sunday.

Kevin Hopwood and John Harris led going into the final round with 235 points from Mark Ramos and Derek Smith on 228, Tony Athawes and Luke Prestoe on 227 and Jason Kendal and Garry Postlethwaite a further shot back in fourth spot.

Garry Dixon and Kevin Holland won on Sunday with 85 points followed by Dan Taylor and Lloyd Ponsford on 81.

The leaders, however, came third with 78 for a total of 313 points overall, while Ramos and Smith finished down the field in 18th place, but their score of 64 was sufficient to secure runners-up spot with 292.

Taylor and Ponsford were rewarded for a good score on Sunday by climbing from 14th to take third place, which they shared with Kendal andPostlethwaite on 291.

The seniors gained a half away at Donnington Grove in the M4 Seniors Winter League and as their closest competitor, Sand Martins, lost at Calcot Park, it means a win against Sanford Springs at home on Monday will clinch top spot in the Nonsuch division and qualify for the knockout stages for the sixth year in succession.

West Berks have twice won this growing competition which was formed in 2013/2014 with 10 member clubs forming two divisions. It now boasts a membership of 48 clubs in eight divisions.