SHEFFIELD’S resounding 17-7 return in the singles in their Yorkshire Inter District Union win over East Riding points to individual prowess being behind their overall victory at Ganstead Park.
But captain Richard Hodgkinson believes the shared morning foursomes - and the win from Wheatley pairing Neil Stones and Joel Cartlidge in particular - paved the way for what followed in the afternoon as they won 23-13.
Having trailed after the foursomes against both Leeds and Teesside, parity was a vast improvement, but would not have been achieved if it were not for Stones and
Cartlidge winning five holes in a row to turn a two-hole deficit into a 3&1 victory over Lewis Nicholls and James Ratcliffe to bring the visitors in level at 6-6.
In the afternoon’s top singles, Wheatley’s Ben Brewster edged a fluctuating game against Driffield’s Ryan Gray on the last green to make it three wins out of three for him so far.
There were halves for Wath’s Nick Poppleton in game two, and for Stones with Alan Wright (Hessle) in a veterans’ clash, but with Sheffield winning the other six of the first eight singles games, the match was over long before Rotherham’s Jamie Harrison brought the day to a spectacular close with a birdie-eagle finish to retrieve a dormie two margin in the final game.
“Much better,” was Hodgkinson’s succinct summary. “It might sound strange in the light of such a powerful singles performance, but it was the foursomes that was the key.
“We had lost the foursomes series in both our opening matches, and simply not being behind at lunch gave everyone great confidence. And when these lads are confident, they are a formidable unit.”
Hodgkinson will hope his side can retain that confidence in a fortnight, when Sheffield host Harrogate at Worksop.