Potential in Union’s youngsters excites Greaves following gallant league loss

HALIFAX, Huddersfield and District Union of Golf Clubs’ junior side were unable to bank the league points in their Yorkshire Inter-District Union match with East Riding, but they put plenty in the credit column according to team manager Frank Greaves.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 10:06 am
Callum Spencer, left, and Sam Macdonald.

East Riding won 24-12 at Willow Valley on Sunday, a scoreline that reflected their advantage in terms of greater experience and lower handicaps.

What it did not show was the effort and enthusiasm displayed by the youngsters in Greaves’s line-up, some of whom, if they fulfil their early potential, could be playing at this Under-18 level for another four seasons.

“Junior golf is cyclical,” said Greaves. “There was seven of their team who are involved in Yorkshire coaching at various age levels, we have got two.

“Our last man is off 12.7 handicap index and I think their last man was 6.7. Therefore they are better drilled, they are more experienced and better by handicap.

“But our players have got to learn somewhere and they did well. You look for stuff that indicates potential.

“Do they think straight, do they execute shots, did they behave right? They did all of those things and all in all it’s promising.”

Halifax-Huddersfield trailed 9-3 after the morning foursomes, Zak Holroyd (Crosland Heath) and home player Jack Hampshaw winning while their respective clubmates Sam Macdonald and Callum Spencer tied their match.

Greaves’s top six in the singles was weighted towards experience – 70 union caps between them as compared to the latter sextet’s 12 – and the results were not unexpected. Three wins by Ben Walker (Huddersfield), George Hanson (Crosland Heath) and Habib Khan (Willow Valley) plus a tie from Holroyd gave East Riding pause for thought.

But only Spencer, who is not 14 until next month, was able to produce any positivity in terms of points on the board in the bottom order although there was plenty of encouragement in the fact that three of the losses only came at the penultimate hole and one at the 16th.

“For the first five matches we probably went head-to-head with them in terms of handicap and experience,” reflected Greaves.

“Then you look and we have Callum Spencer who turns 14 next month, Oliver Hughes is 14 this year and Dan Henbest, he’s only just 13.

“The fact that these guys are playing now, where might we be in two or three years’ time - or next year even?

“So from that point of view this is all valuable experience. I couldn’t have asked a lot more from them.”