On 19th August, the East Riding Mens’ Team took on the Sheffield Union at Hickleton, a quirky, tight course with small, fast and sloping greens. In the absence of several senior players, Matchplay Finalist, Steve Lynch, together with Jamie Bancroft (Boothferry) and Dan Swales (Cottingham Parks) made their debuts.
The result was a resounding victory for Sheffield by a margin of 28:8 but this scoreline was not a true reflection of the East Riding’s performance. In fact, at one stage in the afternoon, the Sheffield officials were feeling decidedly worried.
The morning foursomes had finished with Sheffield winning three matches to one with two games halved to give them an 8:4 advantage at lunch. Each game was closely contested, with no game failing to reach the 16th green. Once again Lewis Hunt & Rich Webster brought home maximum points to make their foursomes record: played 5, won 5. The pairings of Alan Wright & Jack Maxey and Rees Brown & Lewis Nicholls each secured a half.
Early on in the afternoon singles, whilst the middle four matches were all comfortably going in Sheffield’s favour, the top four and the bottom four were favouring East Riding by six matches to two, albeit only by the odd hole. It was this that caused some worries amongst the Sheffield officials but the tide began to turn in their favour in the later stages.
The closeness of the match is demonstrated in the fact that nine of the twelve matches finished on the 17th or 18th greens. Regrettably, East Riding were on the losing side in seven of these matches and came away with only two halved games from Rich Webster and Tom Duck. The only player to record a singles victory was Dan Digby, winning by 4&3.
Assuming he plays in the final game, Lewis Hunt will secure the Player of the Year Award, one year after winning the equivalent award in the Under 18s category. His nearest challenger, his foursomes partner, Rich Webster, will be unable to make up the deficit on the singles result alone, whilst Luke Robinson and Andy Woodhead would need maximum points to potentially tie for the title, should Lewis stumble.