Yorkshire: Men’s Inter District Team Championship

BACK ON TOP: The Sheffield men’s team , from left to right – back row: Tim Brind, Tom Stanley, Ollie Smith, Neil Leatherland (President), Matt Swindell (reserve), George Mason, Martin Brewis (Manager). Front row: Jim Tasker, Neil Allen (Captain), Jack Whaley.

Sheffield men emulate boys team to complete rare double

YORKSHIRE: Wednesday Sept 15th

FORMAT: 6-man, 36-hole strokeplay team event

Perennial Yorkshire inter-district powerhouses Sheffield completed the boys and men’s team championship double for the first time in 26 years at Hornsea.

The county has produced a string of elite players during the last two decades – three of this year’s Walker Cup squad were from South Yorkshire – and the production line looks as healthy as ever after the men’s side egded out hosts and 2021 league champions East Riding by three shots.

Three weeks ago their boys ‘six’ won the junior version by 16 shots at Crosland Heath but on the East Coast on Sunday it was a lot tighter with competition rookies George Mason (Wath) and Jack Whaley (Rotherham) holding their nerve despite a few heart-stopping moments on the final hole.

Team manager Martin Brewis has seen some stellar players come through the ranks and was delighted to claim top spot for the first time in four years with Sheffield having previously won it times six in a row between 2012 and 2017.

“The guys showed nerves of Sheffield steel to win it,” said Martin.

“We put our three competition rookies out last and they did not let us down. We produce so many good players, that some literally bypass us to play at a higher level, but it just proves again the strength in depth we have.”

Sheffield scores (par 72)
• Oliver Smith (Sickleholme) 69 + 73 = 142
• Jim Tasker (Hallamshire)  74 + 76 = 150
• Tim Brind (Abbeydale) 74 + 71 = 145
• Tom Stanley (Wath) 73 + 76 = 149
• George Mason (Wath) 74 + 72 = 146
• Jack Whaley (Rotherham) 72 + 74 = 146

With just Mason and Whaley left to finish their final two holes, Sheffield were four shots ahead of the East Riding. Both managed a par on the 17th but then both hooked their drives at 18 on to the practice ground. Thankfully for the youngsters local rules dictated they were not out of bounds and firstly Mason just missed the green with his second and got up and down for his four. With East Riding stalwart Mark Lamb (Ganstead) birdieing the final hole the gap was down to three.

It meant Whaley only had to avoid a disaster at the last to secure the title and again he got up and down from an unlikely spot having sent his approach just wide of the target.

Earlier on Sheffield Union strokeplay champion Oliver Smith (Sickleholme) got his team off to a flying start, birdieing four of the first five holes on his way to an opening 69 (-3). That was a score only Scarborough South Cliff junior Tommy Risker could surpass in the morning (67).

The 16-year-old talent helped his side lead by two at halfway but the the hosts could not hang on while Halifax and Huddersfield’s Sam Bridges (Halifax Bradley Hall) was the only competitor to break 70 in the afternoon.

Scores (par 72)
1) Sheffield 436 + 442 = 878
2) East Riding 434 + 447 = 881
3) Halifax and Huddersfield 450 + 447 = 897
4) York 444 + 458 = 902
5) Leeds 453 + 452 = 905
6) Harrogate 461 + 460 = 921
7) Bradford 464 + 467 = 931
8) Teesside WD