Yorkshire power their way to stunning English Boys' county title victory

Yorkshire pose with the English Boys County Championship trophy (Picture: Adrian Judd/Leaderboard Photography).Yorkshire pose with the English Boys County Championship trophy (Picture: Adrian Judd/Leaderboard Photography).
Yorkshire pose with the English Boys County Championship trophy (Picture: Adrian Judd/Leaderboard Photography).
YORKSHIRE cast aside memories of last year's agonising disappointment to power their way to the English Boys' County Championship, at Northamptonshire County GC.

Last year they missed out on the title by half a game point, but made no mistake this week with three emphatic wins, including a 7-2 victory over Berks, Bucks & Oxon in what proved a title decider.

In the three-day round robin event, also involving Staffordshire and Somerset, team manager Philip Woodcock’s side were hugely impressive, conceding just 4.5 points in their 27 games.

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Their foursomes pairings stayed the same each day – and all three produced 100 per cent records; Lindrick’s Callum Macfie and George Heath (Woodsome Hall), James Swash, of Middlesbrough and Rotherham’s Ben Schmidt; and Rotherham’s Charlie Daughtrey and Michael Hay (Hunley Hall).

Heath played in all six sessions and had a perfect record. Macfie and Daughtrey only conceded half a point each, both of them in their final singles match.

Hay was denied a maximum with a narrow singles loss against BB&O, while Swash returned four wins and a half in six matches, and Schmidt a perfect four from four.

Abbeydale’s Jack Leversidge was called into singles action twice and won in their opening 8-1 defeat of Somerset. Staffordshire fell 7.5-1.5 to Yorkshire on day two.

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Yorkshire’s overwhelming performance gave them their first title since 2012 and their eighth overall.

Woodcock said: “The boys have done really well and I am absolutely chuffed, thrilled to pieces. It makes up for last year.”

He also had special praise for team coach Steve Robinson, of Sandburn Hall – England Golf’s coach of the year in 2016 – remarking: “He has done an absolutely fantastic job.”

Yorkshire’s perfect score of nine wins out of nine in the foursomes is a new record for the county boys’ event.

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It left BB&O needing to win five of the six singles and they made sure the games were all hard fought. But Yorkshire edged closer to victory when 17-year-old Heath completed his sixth win from six games by defeating England boy international Conor Gough 3&2.

It was 15-year-old Schmidt who took the team over the winning line when he beat Taylor Paul 3&2.

Schmidt came into the team when Hallamshire’s Alex Fitzpatrick – Yorkshire Boys’ and men’s champion – was called up by Great Britain & Ireland and after three foursomes wins with Swash made a successful singles debut against BB&O.

He took a firm grip on his match with a stunning sequence from the seventh of birdie, eagle, par, par, birdie to go five up.

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But Paul pulled one back with a birdie on 14 and won 15 with a par before Schmidt clinched the victory on 16, for himself and his team.

“It’s great, I’m lost for words,” he said. “I had some really good holes to give myself a cushion for the match.”

The scoreline was completed when Swash won two up, Daughtrey halved with Melan Dhaubhadel and Macfie halved with Fraser Bown.

BB&O’s full singles point was won by Harrison Arnold, who beat Hay two up by signing off with a birdie four on the last.

In the day’s other match Staffordshire and Somerset halved with 4.5 points apiece.

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