Dave Pullen’s team will tee it up against champions York at Halifax Bradley Hall looking for victory and a slice of revenge.
“Last year we lost 19-17 to York on the last green on the last putt of the last game,” recalled Pullen.
“They are the champions and last year our last match with them was all square going up the last, everyone else had finished, the match score was 17-all and they nicked it, so we are up for a bit of revenge.”
Halifax-Huddersfield had four matches finish 19-17 last season and, looking to maximise every possible advantage of ‘local knowledge’ will have three Bradley Hall players in their line-up.
“Andy Shaw, last year’s captain who couldn’t play the previous match, Chris Lander and Andy Hare, who gets his first outing for the union, are all Bradley Hall members, and Hare and Lander are our top guys off one,” said Pullen.
“Our lads have all played Bradley Hall regularly, as it is one of the foremost clubs in the union, but little tips people might pick up from being a member will be passed on to the others.
“We have one or two who aren’t available and changes are slightly forced upon us, but we always look at it in a positive way. We work on the theory that we are a squad and all the lads know it’s not necessarily the case that they’ll play every game.
“If needs be we move people around and that way you keep everything fresh.”
Halifax-Huddersfield are the only union with maximum points after the first two rounds of fixtures.
“So far, so good,” continued Pullen. “Our last game against Harrogate we won 19-17, which shows there is not a great deal of difference in the teams. We had all 11 players who had finished out on the course watching the last game and that’s an indication of a really good team spirit.”
York captain Russ Chilton has only just returned from a business trip to Poland and has yet to formulate his line-up.
The champions followed a 25-11 opening win over Teesside at Pike Hills with an 18-18 tie with Leeds at Sand Moor.
York’s title win last year was only the second in their history – and they did it in great style, winning all seven matches.
Chilton has a lot smaller pool of clubs from which to choose than other unions and his selection concerns are added to by squad members’ work commitments.
York’s Julian Taylor is, however, available for the first time this season after completing his golf scholarship in Missouri in the USA.
Chilton, a three-handicapper at Pike Hills, has pencilled himself in to play but would prefer to stand down and lead from the sidelines if possible.