Halifax, Huddersfield and District Union’s senior side prepares to defend league title

THE COUNTDOWN is almost over as Halifax, Huddersfield and District Union of Golf Clubs’ senior side prepare to defend the Yorkshire Inter-District Union League title they won so brilliantly in 2019.

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 11:09 am
Updated Thursday, 13th May 2021, 11:10 am
Frank Greaves, left, congratulating Lee Rowbotham after the latter holed the putt that secured victory over York and the YIDU title in September 2019.

Because of the pandemic there will have been a 623-day gap between Frank Greaves’s side winning the title against York at Halifax West End and them facing the same opposition at Forest Park this Sunday.

But the long wait has only served to strengthen Halifax-Huddersfield’s determination to retain the crown that they had won for only the second time in their history, and after a 25-year gap.

This year, as in 2019, Greaves will be working with a squad of around 22 and the talent runs so deep that the players gave their chief a major selection headache.

“Twenty-two into 12 won’t go,” he said after naming his team for the trip to Forest Park, where former Yorkshire Under-14 champion Dylan Shaw-Radford (Huddersfield) will make his senior debut and Toby Garrett (Crosland Heath) will return after a 10-year absence.

“My squad is virtually the same 22 although I’ve obviously got Toby Garrett recalled after 10 years, that is about the only difference.

“Toby turned professional and then it took him some while to get his amateur status back. I think he has got the best handicap in the district so he is a good addition.

“Lee Rowbotham (Saddleworth) holed the putt at West End that made sure of the title, and then he went on to become our district champion, so as we didn’t play last year he comes into it still as our champion.”

Huddersfield’s James Edwards is an absentee after a mix-up in communication over his return date from collegiate golf in the USA.

“He is probably the guy who has been playing the most golf at the best level out of anybody,” lamented Greaves. “But I pick the team, I made the mistake. I will just need to see James and put my arm around him. He will be in when he is available.”

The non-participation of Edwards and his clubmate Tom Hunt, who has dislocated his knee, plus the inclusion of Shaw-Radford and Garrett means there will be at least three new pairings in the morning’s foursomes matches against York.

The junior team got their pursuit of a second YIDU title in three campaigns off to an emphatic beginning as they romped to a 27-9 win over York at Halifax West End. The line-up saw many changes because of players no longer being available to Greaves because they are now too old.

Shaw-Radford, his clubmate Ben Walker, Crosland Heath’s George Hanson and Harry Micklethwaite (Willow Valley) were victorious in both the foursomes and singles, while Sam MacDonald (Crosland Heath) was unbeaten with a win and a tie.

Halifax-Huddersfield side to face York at Forest Park on Sunday: Scott Minto (Hanging Heaton), Lee Rowbotham (Saddleworth), Mark Birkett (Halifax), Josh McAspurn and Toby Garrett (both Crosland Heath), James Skirrow, Josh Morton, Dylan Shaw-Radford, Aron Schnacke and Adam Walker (all Huddersfield), Sam Bridges and Chris Lander (both Halifax Bradley Hall).