FOUR teenagers fitted seamlessly into Yorkshire’s line-up as they began match preparations for their Northern Counties title defence with a resounding triumph over Derbyshire.
Darryl Berry’s side surrendered just two points – one in each of the foursomes and singles sessions – to win 16-2 at Scarborough North Cliff GC on a cold and blustery day.
But Berry and Yorkshire’s other officials will have felt a warm glow at the way Barclay Brown (Hallamshire), Bailey Gill and Nathan Fell (Lindrick) and James Cass (Fulford) performed both on and off the course.
Each of them won in both the morning and afternoon but, as Yorkshire’s captain pointed out, their ability was not the only thing that impressed him.
“To say we had four new players we actually felt like a unit already, which was brilliant,” said Berry. “They all hung around and watched everyone coming in and I like that to happen because that’s what builds the team.
“It’s not a case of them just getting their job done and then going home or sitting in the clubhouse to get warm – they were all out to the end, which was really good, and that’s what I instil in them.
“The four young kids who stepped in did not look out of place at all. They’ve all got the ability, and they’ve all got great attitudes and they’ve all got something to bring to the team. None of them just sat in the corner doing nothing.
"We had a really good weekend, a good bit of banter and a good bit of team-building.”
It was not only the youngsters who made their mark on a day when Spring still seemed a long way off rather than having already arrived.
"The lads had to be on their game," continued Berry. "Scarborough North Cliff's first, second, 16th, 17th and 18th holes are on one side of a road then when you go over it's more tree-lined and more enclosed.
"It meant it's a bit trickier to judge the wind, so people were hitting shots and at a certain point they'd expect it to move - and it was going straight .
"It was really tricky golf because you couldn't just find fairways, you really had to commit to shots - and the lads all did that well."
England A player Will Whiteoak (Shipley) ensured the morning's 5-1 lead was quickly built upon in the singles as he turned an early deficit into a 5&4 victory.
"Will was one down after four and then suddenly turned it around, he went like a steam train," said Berry. "In the afternoon we got off to a great start thanks to Will.
"Steve Robins (Hull) got up early and never looked back from that and Kealan Lowe (Wheatley) was down after one, but then won comfortably, playing quite nicely.
"Dan Brown (Bedale) has come back from a foot injury and he played nicely, real steady golf - and then there's the newcomers.
"Bailey was playing No 5 and he is a very, very solid left-hander. Whenever he stands to it he always looks like he's ready to hit a good golf shot.
"I'd had him and Barclay as a foursomes pairing, and after being two up after seven they never looked back. They both then won in the afternoon.
"James Cass and Nathan Fell both deserved their wins in the afternoon and (Pike Hills') Martin Brown was a 5&4 winner, having built a six-hole lead inside the first seven holes.
"That was one of those where sometimes you take your foot of the accelerator when you have such a lead, but Martin does not miss many fairways, he does not miss many greens, so he was never going to lose it from there.
""Luke Robinson (Hornsea) played well, he and Martin Brown were a great pairing in the morning, and they just look solid, those two.
"Ben Hutchinson (Howley Hall) again did a job, he just goes along quietly does Ben, so it was just poor Jack Lampkin (Ilkley) who lost in the singles."
By the club's own admission, Scarborough North Cliff's greens are not at their best and Berry feels Lampkin suffered more than most.
"I spoke to him after and Jack's one of these players who does not do much wrong," said Yorkshire's captain. "Putting is a big part of his game and he holes a lot of putts, but obviously the greens were not good enough to hole a lot of putts on.
"He said that he hadn't played that bad, he just didn't do his usual stuff on the greens."
Barclay Brown is believed to be the youngest player to represent Yorkshire, having just turned 15.
"He's a really good kid," said Berry, "although he thought I was really old, so we've had some text banter."