the absence of five first-choice players meant that Leeds, hard as they fought against leaders York at Forest Park, were still left waiting for their first Yorkshire Inter-District Union League win of the season.
The hosts made it three wins in as many matches by defeating Nigel McKee’s side 24-12, having led 9-3 after the morning’s foursomes.
“The lads battled their hearts out, to be fair to them, but York are a very, very strong side,” said McKee.
“They are top of the league and it was just a bridge too far.
“We only got three points from the foursomes and in that situation it is like you are bashing your head against a brick wall.
“It means you need 16 points from the singles to win, which is so hard to get.”
As for previous matches against Teesside and Sheffield, McKee found top players either lured by the alternative of competing in prestigious individual events or unable to get time off work.
One player fell into the latter category on the eve of the match and had to pull out while new Yorkshire Boys’ champion Tom Gray had advised McKee that his job, helping out in Moortown’s pro shop, would rule him out.
“I had five players who I would have definitely wanted who couldn’t play,” continued the Leeds captain.
“Ben Firth qualified for the Open – he would definitely have made a difference – while Ben Hutchinson would have played if he had missed the cut in the Brabazon Trophy. So that is two plus-two players we were missing right there.”
There were, nonetheless, some fine performances with Pontefract’s Andy Wiltshire and Garforth’s Andy King securing Leeds’s only foursomes point before both winning their singles encounters.
“Andy King came into the team and what a fantastic victory for him, absolutely awesome golf,” said McKee. “He beat Jamie Miller, an ex-Challenge Tour player who’s just won the York championship, so what a fantastic victory for Andy.
“Andy Wiltshire also did brilliantly, winning with Andy King and then beating David Hague [recent winner of the Pannal Rose Bowl].”
McKee had to rule out Sand Moor and Scarcroft players because those two clubs were staging their championships last weekend, and he will lose Wiltshire and Ryan Armitage to Pontefract’s club championship on July 10, when Leeds will host Bradford at Headingley. However, he is hoping to include Headingley’s Adrian Arnold in his ranks, a scratch player who will be able to provide extra knowledge about the track.
He will also have Cookridge Hall’s Adam Frontal – who missed the match against York having played brilliantly against Sheffield – back in his line-up the Sunday after next.