Decisive victory clinches second

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Chris Mear is hoping his Halifax-Huddersfield Union side can find a little more improvement next season after finishing runners-up to Sheffield for the second successive year.

Mear’s side, strengthened by recent Midlands Open winner Jamie Bower, nailed down second spot in the Yorkshire Inter-District League with a comprehensive 23-13 win over Harrogate at Knaresborough last Sunday.

Halifax-Huddersfield were left to reflect on successive defeats away to Leeds and Bradford in mid-season, having notched an early hat-trick with Sheffield among their victims.

Mear said: “All in all it has been a very good season again but finishing two points behind the Sheffield Union was hard to take, especially after beating them at Meltham.

“A bad loss at Sand Moor (Leeds) scuppered our title hopes, but may be we can go one better next season.”

Sunday’s visitors got off to a great start against the team which has finished bottom.

They won five of the six morning foursomes matches with a 3 and 2 defeat for Tod’s Dave Stafford and Michael Murray the only setback.

James Ward (Dewsbury) and Clive Crawshaw (Halifax) were involved in a see-saw contest. They were three up after four holes, found themselves one down by the 12th but won the 13th and kicked on to win 2 & 1.

Fear that complacency might creep in was Mear’s only concern at lunch and Harrogate did put on a better show in the singles. However, Bower (Meltham) birdied 15, 16 and 17 to win his match and although Matthew Colcombe (Woodsome Hall) never really got into gear, Mytholmroyd’s Aaron Schnacke (Huddersfield) was in devastating form and was five under par when he closed out his luckless opponent 5&4.

Jamie Smith birdied 17th hole to halve his match but Ogden clubmate Crawshaw came up against a very good young player and lost 4&3.

Murray shared the honours after his opponent sunk a 12 foot putt on the last and Halifax-Huddersfield, still needing one win to get over the line, didn’t get it from Stafford, who made too many errors, or Steve Martin (West End), who lost the 17th to a birdie and went down by one hole.

However, Mear had loaded up the back of the team with in-form players and Graham McLean (Meltham) clinched the match and the Parnell Reilly-sponsored order of merit by finishing off his home club opponent after 14 holes.

Andy Wilford (Crosland Heath) coasted home 3&2 and Mark Birkett (Halifax) rounded things off by sinking a short putt for a one-hole win.

Scores (Harrogate names first) - foursomes: J.Lampkin & H.Taylor lost to J.Bower & A.Schnacke 3 & 2, K.Parker & P.Kitching lost to M.Colcombe & J.Smith 4 & 3, J.Kelly & G.Muscroft lost to S.Martin & G.McLean 3 & 2, S.Sleight & L.Pedel bt D.Stafford & M.Murray 3 & 2, W.Rushworth & W.Caldecott lost to J.Ward & C.Crawshaw 2 & 1, O.White & D.White lost to M.Birkett & A.Wilford 3 & 2.

Singles: J.Lampkin (Ilkley) lost to J.Bower (Meltham) 2 & 1, H.Taylor (K’borough) bt M.Colcombe (Woodsome) 5 & 3, K.Parker (Rudding Park) lost to A.Schnacke (Huddersfield) 5 & 4, P.Kitching (Rudding Park) finished all square with J.Smith (Halifax), W.Rushworth (Pannal) finished all square with J.Ward (Dewsbury), G.Muscroft (Otley) bt C.Crawshaw (Halifax) 4 & 3, J.Kelly (Otley) finished all square with M.Murray (Todmorden), D.Sleight (K’borough) bt D.Stafford (Todmorden) 3 & 2, O.White (Pannal) bt S.Martin (West End) 1 up, L.Pedal (K’borough) lost to G.McLean (Meltham) 5 & 4, D.White (Pannal) lost to M.Birkett (Halifax) 1 down, W.Caldecott (Pannal) lost to A.Wilford (Crosland H) 3 & 2.

Final table

P W L Hlv For Ags Pts

Sheffield 7 6 1 0 150 102 12

Hx-Hudds 7 5 2 0 129 123 10

Bradford 7 4 2 1 134 118 9

York 7 4 3 0 130 122 8

East Riding 7 2 4 1 122 130 5

Teesside 7 2 4 1 112 140 5

Leeds 7 2 5 0 117 135 4

Harrogate 7 1 5 1 114 138 3

Order of merit: G.McLean (Meltham) played 7, 38 pts, A.Schnacke (Huddersfield) 7-36, A.Wilford (Crosland Heath) 7-36, J.Smith (Halifax) 7-33, D.Stafford (Todmorden) 7-27, S.Martin (West End) 6-27, M.Colcombe (Woodsome Hall) 7-27, M.Birkett (Halifax) 5-26, B.Adamson (Crow Nest) 5-21, C.Crawshaw (Halifax) 6-20, M.Murray (Todmorden)4-16, J.Bower (Meltham) 2-16, J.Ward (Dewsbury District) 3-14, E.Battye (Bradley Park) 4-12, C.Lander (Bradley Hall) 2-9, A.Shaw (Bradley Hall) 1-8, F.Greaves (West End) 3-8, R.Broadley (Huddersfield) 1-6.