Hampshire captain Martin Young emerged from a record-breaking eighth English County Finals win virtual speechless and with tears in his eyes – but his team of veterans did his talking for him where it mattered… out on the golf course as they finally claimed a second English County Championship.

The 47-year-old from Brokenhurst Manor, who has played in more finals than anyone since it became a round-robin contest in 1982, who donned sunglasses for the last couple of shots to hide his emotions from his opponent as he tried to salvage a half from his match against Lewis Pearce.

After collecting the trophy at the spectacular Trevose Golf Club overlooking Cornwall’s North Atlantic coast, Young, who was the only-playing captain out of the four finalists, said: “This is so weird. I am so unbelievably happy.”

Given some time to collect himself, the former England Mid-Amateur Champion, who did not play in his first finals until he was 32 having broken into the England A squad which was full of teenagers the year before, reflected on the decision to select a squad with four players aged over 35 with Hampshire’s last two British Amateur champions Harry Ellis and Scott Gregory unavailable to play.

Martin said “I think having an experienced squad made a difference. We did not have any current internationals like we have in the past.

“We’d been there before and felt the pain of not winning – seven times in my case.

“This was our third final in a row and this time we brought people who work as builders, roofers, accountants, recruitment consultants – and a golf club secretary.

“We brought along a team of caddies to try something new, and they were brilliant supporting the players and keeping everything dry in all that rain.

“We played the course in brilliant sunshine on Thursday and got to know the place.

“Then when the weather came in on Saturday and Sunday and threw everything at us, we didn’t moan. We just got on and played.

“We won with a team of real amateur golfers and I am very proud of everyone of them.”

It was 21 years since Justin Rose helped Hampshire break their duck in the event founded back in 1926 – and 92 years on, Young sent out his team into battle for the three-day round robin marathon stretching over six rounds of matchplay with the words from the reigning Olympic golf champion’s good luck video message ringing in their ears.

It came down to the final Sunday singles shoot-out against Staffordshire when Hampshire could afford to lose the afternoon games 3-2 and still end up as champions courtesy of their victories over Somerset (5-4) and Northumberland (6-3) on the first two days.

But even with the Midlands champions sending out their two England internationals in the top matches, once Shanklin and Sandown’s Ryan Harmer – the baby in the team at 21 – took down Welsh Amateur Strokeplay champion Gian-Marco Petrozzi courtesy of a 20-foot birdie on the last and Rowlands Castle’s Tom Robson had cruised to a 5&4 victory over Jake Walley in the penultimate game, it was left to clubmate Billy McKenzie to hang on for a half in his ding-dong with England international Jack Gaunt, who was the loser in this year’s English Amateur Championship.

The left-hander who has improved immeasurably since his nervy debut in the 2013 South East Qualifier after four years at William Woods University – where the Owls ace was ranked in the top five NAIA college players – was delighted to get Hampshire over the line, having had his dad Gavin on the bag.

Billy, who will spend at least one more year on the amateur circuit full-time, said: “I knew everyone behind me was well up, so it made it easier coming down the stretch.

“But getting the winning half point was fantastic, especially against Jack who is a great player.

“I had a good week, but it’s just great that I can play my part for the team,” said McKenzie, who made his debut last year at Sandwell Park, on the edge of Birmingham when Yorkshire edged out Hampshire on the final afternoon with a 5-4 victory.