Golf: Tommy is hoping Lightcliffe pair shine

TOMMY Ward, the Halifax, Huddersfield Union's junior team boss, admits he has particularly high hopes for Lightcliffe players Nick Marsh and Tom Williams this year.

Ward's side had an excellent 2010 campaign, finishing runners-up to Sheffield in the league.

However, seven members of that successful squad - Ryan Joice, Adam Cryer, Tom Calvert, Luke Edmonds, Luke Pilkington, George Bamford and Andy Hare - will be too old for the team this summer.

That will leave Marsden's Jamie Bower, who fired the lowest 36 hole total in the field at the closing junior team championships at Doncaster Golf Club in September, as the highest profile player left in the side.

But Ward is also expecting plenty from the Lightcliffe pair and is encouraged that the talented Marsh appears set to play a major part.

Marsh now spends a good part of the year in Holland, where his father has major golf interests, having previously lived in Mauritius.

Ward said: "His dad has rung and Nick is raring to go for next season."

Williams came to the fore when he won the Union's junior matchplay title at Huddersfield Golf Club late last season, beating Ethan Shaw from Marsden by 6 & 4.

Ward said: "I am expecting big things from him this year."

Tom Goodaire, Jamie Smith and Lewis Collier are among the other players still available to Ward, who is looking to blood Marsden youngsters Josh McAspurn and Corey Avison.

Ward, who expects 2011 to be a year of consolidation rather than success for his side, is planning the usual pre-season match against Chris Mear's seniors and that is likely to be at Crosland Heath.

There will also be another coaching day for the youngsters which is being organised by current Union president Geoff Ralph from Queensbury Golf Club.

Last year it involved instruction under three professionals at Fixby.

The junior side's first match is against Leeds at Headingley on Sunday, May 8 and they will then be looking to avenge last year's sole defeat when they take on Harrogate at Outlane on Sunday, May 22.

East Riding are next up at Bradley Hall on Sunday, June 19 and Halifax-Huddersfield's remaining fixtures are against champions Sheffield at Sandhill, Barnsley on Friday, June 29, Bradford at Willow Valley on Friday, August 5 and Teesside at Oak Leaf, Bishop Auckland on Friday, August 19.