Foursomes pave the way to second successive victory for Halifax-Huddersfield

Mark Birkett (Halifax) who won both of his matchesMark Birkett (Halifax) who won both of his matches
Mark Birkett (Halifax) who won both of his matches
HALIFAX, Huddersfield and District Union of Golf Clubs’ senior team made it two wins out of two in defence of their Yorkshire Inter-District Union League title by downing Teesside 26-10 at Crosland Heath.

An 11-1 outcome from the morning foursomes paved the way to victory, but team manager Frank Greaves was afforded special encouragement ahead of their next game against perennial title challengers Sheffield by the fact that he believes there is much more to come from his champions.

“Obviously the result flatters because our boys didn’t seem to play quite on the edge,” commented Greaves. “I saw a lot of shots played from the rough. It does sound conceited, but I believe our players can play a lot better than that.”

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What was clear throughout was Halifax-Huddersfield’s “grit and determination” as exemplified by a series of comebacks in the foursomes and especially by the individual display of Huddersfield’s James Skirrow, who won in the morning alongside Mark Birkett (Halifax) and tied his singles despite suffering severely from hay fever.

“I got a trolley for his clubs after eight holes in the morning and we got him a cold towel to put on his eyes,” said Greaves. “He said he felt heaps better after that.”

The most impressive of four reversals of fortune in the foursomes was supplied by Huddersfield duo Aron Schnacke and Adam Walker, who earned a tie having trailed by three holes with five to play.

Teeeside prevailed in the top two singles before five wins in the next six matches ensured overall victory for Halifax-Huddersfield, the latter of them completing a debut double for Adam Rowbotham (Saddleworth) who had replaced Harry Mowl (Huddersfield) when he became unavailable because of work.

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Rowbotham had teamed up in the foursomes with brother Lee, the union’s match play champion and the man whose victory in the match against York secured Halifax-Huddersfield the title back in September 2019, the global pandemic delaying their subsequent title defence for a year.

Five players – Adam Rowbotham, Josh McAspurn, playing on his home course, Sam Bridges (Halifax Bradley Hall), new Yorkshire Boys’ champion Dylan Shaw-Radford (Huddersfield) and Birkett savoured triumph in both the morning and afternoon.

Schnacke, Walker and Skirrow were all unbeaten on the day.

Lee Rowbotham made a spirited attempt to match his sibling’s perfect return, but from four down with six to play eventually succumbed on the last green.

“We’re looking forward to the next one against Sheffield,” said Greaves, a match that will be played on June 27 at Worksop. “This is what we play for. They want their championship back and we want to retain it.”

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