YORKSHIRE will be without English men’s amateur champion Joe Dean as they attempt to lift the EGU Northern Counties title with a convincing win over Durham on Saturday.
But they will have his predecessor, Huddersfield’s Nick Marsh, in their ranks at Durham City where captain Darryl Berry says they will go out “with all guns blazing”.
Berry’s side head into the last round of league matches at the top of the table alongside Lancashire, albeit the pair are separated by just one game point – the slight advantage lying in Red Rose hands.
However, should Yorkshire win and better Lancashire’s result against Cheshire at Wilmslow by two points, they will be crowned champions.
Lindrick’s Dean, who took over from Marsh as English champion with victory at Alwoodley at the start of the month, will be occupied on a driving experience of another kind – at Silverstone, a birthday gift from a relative who unfortunately did not consult the golfing calendar.
Hornsea’s Luke Robinson will be busy working on his father’s farm after a summer of capricious weather while Hull’s Steve Robins will be in Las Vegas on a stag-do.
But when the chips are down – as they will be tomorrow – Berry believes Yorkshire have a line-up capable of delivering.
“We’ve got the team to do it ,we’ve just go to go with all guns blazing,” he said.
“If we can put the pressure on by dinner-time after the foursomes that would be good.
“At worst I’d want a 4-2 lead – but ideally I’d like 6-0.”
Yorkshire officials will be monitoring Lancashire’s on line live scores and the reverse will probably occur too.
However, the Lancashire union’s website has been an unreliable barometer of a match’s status this year, but Berry is not overly concerned.
“There’s nothing we can do about them anyway,” he said. “We have to take care of business our end and if we can get 18 points on the board then that would be us guaranteed the title, I reckon.
“In any case, hopefully they’ll drop two points compared to our result.”
A clean sweep of all 18 available points might seem fanciful were it not for Yorkshire having a strength in depth that includes a mixture of young but experienced performers and two vastly talented teenagers in Hallamshire’s Alex Fitzpatrick and Wheatley’s Kealan Lowe.
They also have in-form Jamie Bower (Meltham) leading them off in both the foursomes – with Shipley’s Will Whiteoak – and the singles.
Bower won the Yorkshire title at Fulford last week, which followed on from him making the English men’s amateur semi-finals, placing sixth in the European Championship in Slovakia and making his senior England bow in the Home Internationals.
“Jamie’s world ranking and his ranking for England have improved so much,” enthused Berry. “It’s unbelievable what he has done.
“His hard work has paid off because he does work hard – he spends six, seven, eight hours on the practice ground every day.
“I told him after the English semi-finals just to sit down and have a day off and he said ‘Sod that, I’ll be practising’.
“That’s him. I don’t know anyone who works harder.”
Marsh will play alongside fellow Walker Cup provisional squad member Dan Brown in the second foursomes pairing, and go off third in the afternoon singles behind Bower and Whiteoak.
“Normally Nick would be out at No 1 every time, but it’s one of those situations where the guys in form go out first, and he’s struggled a bit this year,” explained Berry.
“But he’s an English champion and I’m sure he’ll feel he has something to prove so it can only be good for us.
“It’s just a case of going up there on Friday and getting the lads prepared to do their jobs.”
See how Joe Dean won the English men’s amateur championship by almost holing in one HERE