Prior to the day of the penultimate match at Scarborough North Cliff, East Riding Men's Team topped the table alongside opponents on the day, Halifax & Huddersfield. Both teams knew that defeat would probably end their quest for the League title which, in East Riding's case, had eluded them since 2009. Sheffield were also in the mix on the same points as East Riding.
The day, like the weather, began poorly for East Riding with five of the six foursomes losing the opening hole. However, as the sun broke through, so the spirits were lifted as East Riding took a slender lead after 7 holes but, like the changeable weather, it was hard to predict the final outcome. Estimates ranged from 8:4 in favour of East Riding to 8:4 to Halifax and after 12 holes, East Riding were still ahead by a nose.
At the head of the field Steve Uzzell & Jack Maxey ran out winners by 3&2 whilst the bottom match featuring North Cliff youngsters, Tom Benson & Jack Northgraves, romped home 6&4. Jamie Gregory & Tommy Risker, having been 3 up through 7 holes, scrambled a half, whilst Steve Lynch & Leigh Gawley fought back to level their game on the final green.
So the lunchtime score was 6 points apiece, to which Captain Andy Lockwood remarked “at least we're not losing!”, a reference to the fact that in earlier matches, East Riding have had to come from behind.
Foursomes Score: East Riding 6, Halifax & Huddersfield 6
The singles began well with East Riding winning three of the top four games, Uzzell by 6&4, Aaron Brettell by 3&2 and Gregory by 3&2. Maxey was probably feeling the effects of playing two tough games for Yorkshire the previous day, losing 2&1 having been 5 down after 12 holes.
Momentum swung back to Halifax in the middle four games, with East Riding only able to record a couple of halves from Risker and Lynch, whilst Lewis Nicholls and Mark Lamb lost by 2&1 and 4&3 respectively. The overall scores were now tied at 14 all but Tom Broadley was unable to repeat his heroics from Rudding Park, losing 4&2 and Gawley, having fought back from 3 down, was devastated to lose on the final green.
East Riding were staring defeat in the face and the mood in the squad matched the weather over North Bay as the rain came down. Step forward Northgraves and Benson to rescue the situation with a maturity beyond their years. Benson, in the anchor role which he had also filled at Rudding, produced the same result with a win on the 17th green, whilst Northgraves, having taken a lead into the final hole, emulated his Under 18s Captain, George Clark at Rudding by striking his second shot to within a few feet of the hole to close out his game by 2 holes.
So the scores were tied which, as visiting Captain Frank Greaves remarked “does neither team any favours”. But then news came through that Sheffield had lost 17:19 against Leeds, which meant that East Riding and Halifax still topped the table, the former with a significantly better games won and lost differential. Even a narrow win against Bradford in our final match would almost certainly lift the League title.
Singles Score: East Riding 12, Halifax & Huddersfield 12
Overall Score: East Riding 18, Halifax & Huddersfield 18
It was good to see such a strong following for both teams, including the President, starter Derrick Arden, Chris Clarkson, Stephen Larard, John Freeman, Steve Thornton and Dave Raybould.
Steve Uzzell is Player of the Year as the only other player who can catch him is Jack Maxey, who is unavailable for the final match.
ERU Men's Team Support