A DOUBLE success from Furness’s Rob Spence helped Cumbria to an 11-7 win over Durham in their second match in the Northern Counties League.

Spence and partner Luke Walker, from Ulverston, got the county off to a winning start in the morning foursomes at Barnard Castle when, after looking down and out, they rallied to win on the final hole.

That win helped Cumbria to take a 3.5-2.5 lead into the afternoon singles – when Spence repeated his heroics of the morning with another final-hole victory.

The Cumbria team, buoyed by their success at taking a narrow lead into the afternoon, punished the home side by winning four of the first five singles matches to all but seal the win.

With captain Andrew Edwards having to field himself, Terry Rhodes stepped in to take the captaincy for the day to bring back memories of when he was county captain between 2001 and 2005.

Rhodes said: “There were some great performances and none more so than Rob Spence’s battle up 18 in both the morning and afternoon, as well as Darren Whitfield winning on his debut.

“Luke Walker continued his impressive form and it was a determined performance by all the team.”

The first pairing of Walker and Spence led the way but the home side hit back immediately with a 3&2 victory over Kieran Waters and Chris Kendall.

This was followed by a defeat for the all-Ulverston pairing of Edwards and Oliver Carr.

However, Cumbria’s Nicky Bell and John Longcake won their foursomes match 2&1, while the debutant pairing of Jonathan Crosby and Darren Whitfield took their match on the final green 2up.

The pairing of Martin Hand and James Atkinson picked up the final half point for Cumbria.

There were defeats for Waters (5&4), Carr (6&5), Hand (3&2) and Crosby (1down) in the afternoon singles.

However, strong performances from those playing second, third, fourth and fifth man had all but put the tie to bed.

Walker was victorious 3&2, with his morning foursomes partner Spence clinching victory (two-up) on the final hole.

The two following singles matches increased Cumbria’s lead further with Kendall winning 4&3 and Edwards taking his game two-up. Atkinson’s match also finished on the final hole as Cumbria took a grip on the overall score.

The morning pairing of Bell and Longcake remained unbeaten for the day and Darren Whitfield managed to pick up a final point on the last green.

Cumbria’s next game is at home against Lancashire at Appleby on Saturday, July 9.