Yorkshire golf: Outstanding overall performance won us the title, says captain Berry

Darryl Berry, who has now won the Northern Counties League title with Yorkshire as both player and captain (Picture: Chris Stratford).
Darryl Berry, who has now won the Northern Counties League title with Yorkshire as both player and captain (Picture: Chris Stratford).
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YORKSHIRE captain Darryl Berry has been reflecting on his side’s triumph in the EGU Northern Counties League and “the performance of the year” which got them across the line.

Berry was referring to the singles session of their 14.5-3.5 victory over Durham at Durham City which garnered 10.5 points out of a possible 12.

Yorkshire, 2015 Northern Counties League champions.

Yorkshire, 2015 Northern Counties League champions.

At the time Yorkshire thought they needed an overwhelming victory to have any chance of prising the title from the grasp of Lancashire, who were in action simultaneously away to Cheshire.

As it was, Lancashire lost 10-8 at Wilmslow and slipped to third place in the final table, their hosts for the day taking second.

None of which detracts from the forceful nature of Yorkshire’s singles line-up who were unaware that Lancashire were wilting in Wilmslow.

“The afternoon performance was unbelievable, it was the performance of the year,” said Berry. “To only lose one match in an afternoon session is remarkable.

“Mind you, it wasn’t looking as good as that at one stage.

“Martin Brown turned his match round from one down with four to play to a one-up win.

“And Jack Lampkin had to battle to close out his match. Jack was four up after eight, but the guy was considerably longer off the tee and Jack did well to hold on and see that out.

“But it was an overall outstanding performance – everybody performed well.”

Yorkshire had led 4-2 after the foursomes and Berry admits to having been a little concerned that they might pay for allowing a half point to slip in the match involving teenagers Alex Fitzpatrick (Hallamshire) and Kealan Lowe (Wheatley).

“Fitzpatrick and Lowe were three up with four to play and had to settle for a half after finishing with four bogeys,” said Yorkshire’s captain.

“But that is just a case of them needing to learn how to close matches out. It will be an experience which will help them in the future some time down the road.”

The teenagers both won their singles, Fitzpatrick 4&2 while Lowe showed himself to be a quick learner by winning at the last.

Other men to bring in a full point were Julian Taylor (York), 2014 English men’s amateur champion Nick Marsh (Huddersfield), Dan Wasteney (Bondhay), Jonathan Thomson (Lindrick), Ben Brewster (Bawtry), Martin Brown (Pike Hills), Jamie Harrison (Rotherham) and Lampkin (Ilkley), while Bedale’s Dan Brown halved his match.

Shipley’s Will Whiteoak was the only player defeated, but his contribution to the title triumph was in no way diminished; he was one of just five players to have played in all five matches, the others being Harrison, Martin Brown, Lampkin and Brewster.

This was the league’s 32nd year and Yorkshire have now won it on 14 occasions, Lancashire eight, Cheshire five, Northumberland three and Cumbria twice while Durham await their first championship.

“I don’t take any credit for the triumph really,” added Berry. “I am just chuffed I have won it as a captain (to add to his victories as a player) and it is the players who have done, it not me.

“I’m just there to be their friend sometimes – and I suppose their enemy on occasions too. I’m there to try to keep them on the straight and narrow and help them improve their game.”

Berry’s modest assessment of his involvement was not shared by Yorkshire union’s president Peter Finnegan, who said Berry and chairman of selectors Anthony Abraham should share the credit with the players.

“Darryl’s and Anthony’s efforts should be recognised,” said Finnegan, “for all the hard work and commitment that they have made in leading the county to victory.”