Lost Tango in Halifax - Men's fightback falls just short

Halifax & Huddersfield 20 -16 East Rding

Flaming June!

It was 25th June 2022 when the East Riding Men’s Team last tasted defeat. Nearly two years on and the highly anticipated clash with Halifax and Huddersfield brought the usual thriller,  but sadly nothing to show for an epic afternoon fightback.

Halifax Bradley Hall was the venue and the damage was done during the morning foursomes.

Team Manager Andy Lockwood brought himself, George Clark and Mark Lamb into the team following three late withdrawls and shuffled his pack a bit to produce some new pairings.

The top order still looked formidable, but in driving rain and strong winds the course was brutal. Lost balls and provisionals were commonplace and the home team seemed to have a better grasp of what to hit off certain tees and where the ‘miss' was.

Steve Uzzell and Jack Northgraves went down 2&1 in the top match, but Jonnie Fisher and Jack Maxey, back from Arkansas State University, levelled matters with a win by the same score.

In match 3, Aaron Brettell and Leigh Gawley were up against some stellar scoring from recent Danny Willett Trophy champion Habib Khan and his partner Tom Green. A 4&2 defeat was soon followed by a 2&1 reverse for Tom Brown and Paul Harper.

In the bottom match, Andy Lockwood was struggling in the cold and wet to even grip the club with his partner Mark Lamb. An 8&7 defeat at least gave them more time at lunch to get dry and prepare for the much needed afternoon fightback.

The last remaining hope to narrow the lunchtime deficit was Luke Thornton and George Clark (pictured putting at the par 3 9th) who were having a topsy turvy game against the Lightcliffe pairing of Damian Berry and Tom Williams. Having won the long uphill 17th with a two putt par, they found an impossible lie two inches off the back apron at the dangerous par 3 last and couldn’t get up and down to even salvage a point.

So 10-2 at lunchtime to the hosts and much to do to maintain the remarkable unbeaten run.

Matchplay champion Andy Lockwood led the team off as is tradition against Habib Khan and dominated throughout to run out a 3&2 winner. Uzzy followed his skipper’s example and was four under on the tough front nine which set up his 4&3 victory.

Steve's Hornsea teammate Jack Maxey calmly got up and down at 17 to stay one up and then holed a 30 footer for a two at the last to secure the vital win. Jack Nothgraves continued the fast start with his own last hole victory which had the match balanced at 10 – 10. All eyes turned to the middle order to see which Union could take control of the tie. A repeat of last year’s tie at Filey (or better) suddenly looked a possibility.

Fisher and Brettell were out at numbers 5 and 6 looking to get East Riding noses ahead, but Jonnie ran into an inspired opponent who saw him off 7&6. H&H then stretched their lead to 16-12 when Fixby’s Josh Morton did for Aaron 3&2.

Leigh Gawley showed all of his experience to finish with two pars under massive pressure to get match 7 in the bag for East Riding, but despite an incredible 50 footer for birdie at 17 to keep his match alive in front of an ever growing gallery, Tom Brown found a penalty area through the back of the last and lost 2 down.

Hessle’s Luke Thornton came from behind to win 2&1, but George Clark’s hopes ended on the 15th green along with East Riding’s outside chance of taking something away from West Yorkshire. Mark Lamb’s last hole win confirmed an afternoon victory in the singles, but Halifax and Huddersfield held on in the end to run out 20-16 winners.

Steve Uzzell is an early leader in the 2024 Player of the Year standings.

The next match is on 23 June at Woodhall Hills with an away trip to Bradford Union.

Full YIDU fixtures, results and table                                                     

Jonathan Clark

ERUGC Junior League Secretary


Back to News