Yorkshire target is to overhaul Lancashire

Will Whiteoak (Shipley) will partner Wheatley's Kealan Lowe in Yorkshire's top foursomes pairing (Picture: Chris Stratford).
Will Whiteoak (Shipley) will partner Wheatley's Kealan Lowe in Yorkshire's top foursomes pairing (Picture: Chris Stratford).
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YORKSHIRE will carry a two-stage plan into today’s EGU Northern Counties match against Northumberland at Cleveland.

The first stage will involve getting to nine and a half points – the tipping point for victory – as early in the match as possible.

The second will require them to push as hard as possible to gain as wide a margin of triumph as they can in an effort to overhaul leaders Lancashire’s advantage at the top of the table.

Both have two wins as well as the tied match between them at Hillside back in May, but the Red Rose county have 31.5 game points to the White Rose’s 29.5.

Not that Yorkshire captain Darryl Berry is taking anything for granted today, either at Cleveland or at Ormskirk, where Lancashire face Cumbria.

“We have got a tough match on our hands in Northumberland, but they’ve got a tough match also against Cumbria,” he said. “We just have to go out and play and, if we manage this golf course properly, hopefully we will come out victorious and get plenty of points under our belt too.”

Yorkshire’s line-up sees five changes from the one which defeated Cheshire 11-7 at Ilkley four weeks ago.

Berry has lost Meltham’s Jamie Bower, Bedale’s Dan Brown and Lindrick’s Jonathan Thomson to the European Championship in Slovakia, and new English champion Joe Dean, also Lindrick, is nursing a wrist injury ahead of next week’s Home Internationals.

Bondhay’s Dan Wasteney is the fifth man missing from the Ilkley team, due to work commitments.

Wheatley’s Kealan Lowe missed the win over Cheshire through injury, but returns two days after his 18th birthday.

Another teenager in Alex Fitzpatrick, 16, is also included in the line-up.

Berry commented: “We need to get in these youngsters, we can’t keep relying on the old guys.

“We need to get the younger ones coming in and we have some good ones, so the future is looking bright for Yorkshire.

“Kealan only missed the last game through injury and he has been a very solid player for us.

“He won both his singles outings in previous matches this year, and both by 5&4.”

Lowe will be in the leading foursomes with Will Whiteoak (Shipley) looking to trigger a fast start by the hosts at Cleveland.