Beaten Yorkshire stay top in chase for third successive Northern Counties title

Hallowes' Sam Bairstow on his way to singles victory at Formby (Picture: Yorkshire Union of Golf Clubs).
Hallowes' Sam Bairstow on his way to singles victory at Formby (Picture: Yorkshire Union of Golf Clubs).
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YORKSHIRE remain on course for a third consecutive Northern Counties League title win in spite of an emphatic 13-5 defeat to Lancashire on Saturday.

Darryl Berry’s side trailed by just a point after the morning foursomes at Formby.

But the afternoon singles went overwhelmingly the way of the hosts with only two Yorkshire players – Moortown’s Ben Firth and Hallowes’ Sam Bairstow – emerging with wins.

Yorkshire did have some notable absentees, such as 2016 English men’s amateur champion Dan Brown (Masham) and Malton & Norton’s David Hague, who will both be in action – along with Shipley’s Will Whiteoak – at this week’s men’s Home Internationals at Moortown.

But they still had at their disposal the likes of Whiteoak, English men’s semi-finalist Nick Poppleton (Wath), Yorkshire champion Ben Hutchinson (Howley Hall), Bernard Darwin Salver holder Bailey Gill (Lindrick) and Northern Counties stalwarts Jamie Harrison (Rotherham) and Jack Lampkin (Bracken Ghyll).

The latter pair won in the anchor match in the foursomes, a point added to by victory for Whiteoak and Hutchinson in match two, while in the fourth match Nathan Fell (Lindrick) and Firth returned a half.

Firth went on to become the only visiting player undefeated on the day as he won his singles contest, as did Bairstow, while Gill complemented their efforts with a half point.

But all six of the closing afternoon matches were won by Lancashire players.

Yorkshire will retain their grip on the Northern Counties crown if they defeat Cumbria at Hessle on September 2.

Northumberland could have overhauled them at the weekend, but fell 9.5-8.5 to Durham at Westerhope.

Cheshire are second after defeating Cumbria 13.5-4.5 at Workington.