HAMPSHIRE’S defending champions’s hopes of writing even more pages in the record books were undone by Blackmoor’s Sam Parsons, whose 3&1 victory prevented Ryan Henley from becoming the second most successful player in the county championship’s 130-year history.

Parsons – known affectionately as “Snips” across the county golf scene, put his first putt from 20 feet stone dead on the 17th after a clearly tired Henley found the front bunker on the 163-yard hole.

He splashed out to some 20 feet, but facing a snaking putt across the saucer-shaped green for par which was no longer enough to extend the final, the classy four-time Sloane-Stanley Challenge Cup winner graciously walked over and shook the local hero’s hand to give Blackmoor just their second champion since the club was formed in 1913.

Henley had gone two-up after three, but some scrappy golf saw par winning the short sixth for Parsons before a birdie at the seventh got the Pompey supporter level.

With a bit of football banter going on throughout the knockout stages, Southampton fan Henley was celebrating a birdie at the eighth, only for Parsons to convert his birdie-two from seven-feet on the uphill ninth.

Four of the next five were halved but Parsons was crucially in front thanks to a par on 11 after both players made mistakes. And he doubled his lead with another par after Henley missed the raised green on the long par-three 15th.

Both made birdies at the 16th – Henley’s a clutch effort from 15 feet to keep the match alive. But there was no escape once he found the sand off the tee on the penultimate hole.

Henley was the champion 11 years ago when Blackmoor hosted the Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands Amateur Championship for the ninth time since 1932.

Ryan – who had appeared in seven finals since 2000 after his 4&3 victory over Liphook’s former mini-pro tour player Darren Walkley a year ago at Hockley – was bidding to become the first player to ever win the county crown three times at the same venue.

A fifth Sloane-Stanley Challenge Cup would have moved him alongside Hayling legend Ian Patey, who claimed four in a row between 1934 and 1937 – which is still a record – before adding a fifth in 1948.

The Hayling Golf Club history book states that Patey played in 19 finals over three decades in total between the 1930s and 1950s, although the county’s current records are not complete.

Stoneham’s former R&A captain David Harrison won a record six Sloane-Stanley’s between 1965 and 1976 and he played in nine finals between 1956 and his last – Henley has now played in eight.

And for good measure, no defending champion has mounted a successful defence since Hockley and Stoneham member Brian Winteridge back in 1982, when he was the county captain.

Henley admitted he had doubted if he would be well enough to compete earlier in the week, having been ill in the build-up to the 119th county championship staged since 1894, making it the oldest in the country.

He said: “I felt terrible earlier in the week. I didn’t do a test, but I would not be surprised if I actually had COVID. I was that weak and just wanted to lie down all the time.

“Sam deserved his win, it’s not an excuse. He played very well,” added 46-year-old Ryan. “Hopefully, I still have a good few more county championships ahead of me to try and break those records..”

Parsons become just the second Blackmoor in his club’s history to take the trophy, since the East Hampshire club was founded in 1913. It was also the 10th time the Whitehill club had hosted the championship in its 111-year history.

•Past Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands Amateur Champions

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