Winning start for Pullen’s men

President Bryan Webb is in the middle and Team Manager Dave Pullen is far left. I will send  you the report of the match later
President Bryan Webb is in the middle and Team Manager Dave Pullen is far left. I will send you the report of the match later

The Halifax-Huddersfield Union side started life under new team boss Dave Pullen with a highly-satisfactory 20-16 win over East Riding at Meltham.

Honours were even after the morning foursomes in Sunday’s Yorkshire Inter-District Union contest, played in breezy conditions.

Halifax-Huddersfield then threatened to run away with it in the singles but the visitors fought back and Pullen’s men were happy to get a win under their belts.

Pullen, last year’s local Union President, has taken over as team boss from Andy Shaw.

He is being assisted by Union match play champion Brad Tupman, Graham McLean and Frank Greaves.

It was 6-6 after the foursomes.

Matthew Colcombe and Halifax’s Jamie Smith recording the first victory, winning six of the seven holes from the ninth to turn around their match and win 3 and 2.

Tupman and Aaron Schnacke won three of the last four holes to win 1 up and the power of Ben Adamson and Dan Hartley blew away their opponents in match six.

The pairing of Richard Broadley and Andy Shaw, with more than 130 caps between them, couldn’t keep their early lead and lost by 1 hole, falling foul of an extremely difficult pin position at the last.

The pairings of Chris Lander and Mark Birkett and Graham McLean and James Skirrow never quite gelled and they lost their matches.

The temperature increased in the afternoon and there were fewer woolly hats. However, the wind persisted, drying out the greens and making two or three pin positions difficult to approach.

Colcombe knocked it through the first green. He continued to hit the ball imperiously but could never quite shake off his opponent.

Schnacke brought home the first points of the afternoon, stepping up a gear when required to win 2 and 1.

Colcombe followed with a half and Smith dominated his game, nearly holing his tee shot at the short 12th.

New grandfather Graham McLean holed a 25 footer to halve the second and notched four more birdies, including a 35 foot putt at 12, on the way to victory in his 87th appearance for Halifax-Huddersfield.

Tupman started with two birdies but his rival hit back on the back nine to share the spoils.

At this point the home team were up in seven of the first eight matches with the other all square.

However, East Riding aren’t past champions for nothing and their experience was illustrated by Andy Lockwood. He was behind for most of his match but turned it round to beat Ben Adamson.

When James Woodhead beat Lander, East Riding were beginning to eke into what had appeared an unassailable lead.

However, Birkett overwhelmed his opponent in game 10 to get Halifax-Huddersfield close to the winning line and an audacious birdie at the last from Richard Broadley against visiting team manager Andy Woodhead ensured victory.

Further halves from Dan Hartley and Skirrow added extra points.

Halifax-Huddersfield’s next match is against Harrogate at Ripon City on June 14.

The Halifax-Huddersfield Union’s Handicap team Championship takes place at Dewsbury on Sunday.