Despite an overwhelming 13-5 defeat to Lancashire in their last match, Yorkshire’s fate remained in their own hands and a win over Cumbria at Hessle today will see them retain their grip on the crown.
All three players who recently played for England at Moortown in the Home Internationals – Masham’s Dan Brown, Shipley’s Will Whiteoak and Malton & Norton’s David Hague – tee it up for the White Rose today.
Also in the side are last year’s Yorkshire champion Ben Hutchinson (Howley Hall), Wath’s Nick Poppleton, a recent semi-finalist in the English men’s amateur championship, stalwarts Jamie Harrison (Rotherham) and Jack Lampkin (Bracken Ghyll), and Bernard Darwin Salver holder Bailey Gill, of Lindrick.
They are all ably backed up by Wike Ridge’s Ben Firth, Hallowes’ Sam Bairstow, James Cass (Fulford) and Rotherham’s Luke Hollingworth.
Cheshire are Yorkshire’s nearest rivals, sitting just a point behind in the league table.
They will hope Cumbria can do them a favour at Hessle by beating Berry’s side, in which case they would take the title should they themselves defeat Northumberland at Chester.
Among those not available to Berry is the new Yorkshire amateur champion Alex Fitzpatrick, of Hallamshire.
He is currently playing for Great Britain & Ireland Boys against the Continent of Europe in the Jacques Léglise Trophy match at Ballybunion.
It is Fitzpatrick’s second successive appearance in the event and he will be hoping to help Great Britain & Ireland reverse last year’s result, when they lost 13.5-11.5 at Prince’s.
They will have to overhaul a 6.5-5.5 deficit ceded on day one in which Fitzpatrick lost in the foursomes, but won his singles match.