LAURA Banks' friends predicted that she would win the Ladies Observer Shield - but the Accrington golfer was adamant that she wouldn't do it.
The 59-year-old was up against her friend and team-mate Ann Robathan in the final at their home club Accrington on Sunday.
It was always going to be a close game with Ann playing off a handicap of eight and Laura not far behind her with nine.
Housekeeper Laura admits she never takes anything seriously - and was convinced she would be a gallant loser in Sunday's showdown.
But she went ahead on the 14th hole and then held her nerve to halve the last four holes and pick up the prestigious trophy.
"I went to the pub with some friends on the Saturday night and they were confident I would win it," said Laura.
"They said it would be my year as it has been a year of firsts for me.
"I got my first hole in one, it was the first time Accrington GC Ladies team made the Bell Cup final and they said it would be a first Observer Shield win for me - but I didn't believe them."
It was a competitive game which could have gone either way with the weather staying fine for the ladies as the two friends faced each other.
Ann, 46, parred the first hole with three shots to take an early lead but Laura bounced back with a birdie on the second hole - the only birdie of the match - to make it all-square.
It stayed like that until the fifth hole when Laura then went ahead for the first time but, after her opponent had gone onto the rough, Ann held her nerve to make it even on the sixth.
However, as the game swung to and fro, the seventh belonged to Laura as she putted well but then she missed a chance on the eighth and Ann, who owns LJ's Deli in Baxenden, once more levelled the scores.
Ann then went ahead for the first time since the first hole on the par four 10th as she held her nerve in front of an ever-growing crowd.
It remained that way despite a nervy 11th hole when Ann had the chance to go two-up but missed from about a metre.
And the younger lady was then cursing a wayward shot on the 12th as, although she missed the water, it took her three shots to get on the green to Laura's one and she conceded the hole to once more make it level.
The game continued to be played in a good spirit as both ladies stayed focused but then Ann suffered a disaster on the 14th as she tried to chip onto the green but the ball bounced back and she eventually conceded the hole.
The 15th was halved while the 16th could have gone either way but both played well and Laura held onto her lead.
The ladies were inseparable on the 17th and then both played good tee shots off the 18th and they matched each other shot for shot with Laura delighted to claim the win.
"I am definitely not entering next year," she joked as she enjoyed her victory with caddy, Accrington's former Lady President Margaret Ashworth who followed her around the course on a buggy.
"I did enjoy it but I had already written my speech for after the match and the opening line was congratulating Ann for her win.
"I really didn't think I would do it as I know Ann is a good golfer and I went to the driving range on Sunday morning and could not hit the ball!
"I am just glad I did not show myself up, though, and we had a good game.
"I never take anything seriously and I really enjoyed it out there. I never expected to be one-up going into the last four and I just had to make sure I halved the last four which luckily I did.
"I have always bottled it in the semi-final in the past and I have never really wanted to get to the final - it always looked so stressful!
"But I have done it now and it goes to show you are never to old!
"And everyone has been great - I have never had so many texts and cards. It has been special."
Winner: Laura Banks
Runner-up : Ann Robathan
Semi-finalists : Rita Summers & Anne McDermott
Subsidiary comp : Winners: Sandra McGauley & Yvette Cairns 44pts; 2nd: Donna Westall & Mavis Fielding 43pts.
Next year's final : Sunday 28 September at Rishton GC.