HUDDERSFIELD Golf Club went agonisingly close to winning the Junior Team Golf Home Nations Inter Club Championship, which was played at Morgado Golf and Country Club, in Portugal’s Algarve.
The Fixby youngsters went down by a single point to Burhill in an all-England final, losing by 3.5 points to 2.5.
Reigning English champions Huddersfield were cheered on by a travelling band of supporters that included club President Charles Webb, captain Brad Tupman, lady captain elect June Sowden and head professional Alex Keighley.
They topped Pool A after winning two and losing one match in a group that also included West Herts, Carmarthen Golf Club from Wales and Barassie from Scotland.
Burhill had made it through to the final with an unbeaten run against Cruden Bay from Aberdeen, Welsh representatives Bulith Wells and Rossendale from Lancashire.
Huddersfield had beaten Burhill into second place in the English finals last November and got off to a great start in front of the Sky cameras when James Edwards smashed his drive pin high on the 340- yard opening hole to set up a birdie, and he was one under par gross in defeating Burhill’s David Gurr 4&3.
Fixby’s Ben Walker went down in the next game by 3&1 before the Yorkshire side gained the advantage once again after Dylan Shaw Radford showed great determination in hanging on to a slender lead to win 2&1.
Louie Walsh has seen plenty of tournament action at the tender age of 13 and the five-handicapper had a tough match against Burhill’s Harley Yates before finishing all square.
Huddersfield’s Jessica Hoskins also showed plenty of Yorkshire grit in recovering from a six-hole deficit before finally succumbing 3&2.
The deciding game was between Huddersfield’s youngest first-team player Brighdy Connors and Burhill’s Elliott MacGregor. Brighdy always belies her years and gave her opponent a real run for his money before losing by two hole.
Huddersfield’s junior organiser Stuart Henbest said: “There’s a right way to win and a right way to lose. Our team acted with grace in defeat and I’m very proud of how they all handled it. I’ve no doubt this team will be back in the coming years, they’re too good not to be.”
Henbest also paid tribute to Dominic Hughes, who missed out on a place in the final.
“Dominic was exceptional throughout,” said Henbest. “His eagle from the bunker on day four prompted the best celebration I saw all week and deservedly so. Watch out for him this year; with his length off the tee and his attitude to the game I expect big things from him this year.
“Also a special mention for Oliver Hughes and Daniel Henbest. At 11 years old they played four rounds in four days off white tees on championship golf courses, both playing and scoring really well and they will benefit greatly from the experience.
“I look forward to seeing the all the players progress this year. It’s frightening to think of how good they’ll be in the future and all bodes well for junior golf at HGC.
“Finally thank you to the President, captains and members of all sections of HGC for the extremely generous donations and support we received to get us to Portugal. We couldn’t have done it without your help. And thank you for all your support while we played in the competition, especially from those who were able to come out and watch the team.
“We had the most supporters of all the teams and it gave us a huge boost having you with us.
“We remain English National Champions and will be doing our best to represent our club at the highest levels again in the future.”
Huddersfield continued a strong record for Yorkshire clubs in the event ,which dates back to 1998 when Northcliffe won the inaugural event at Atalaya Park in Spain.
They followed up in 2001 at La Manga Club and Hallamshire finished fourth in 2007 before bettering that by one place in 2015. Last year Thirsk & Northallerton finished fifth, also at Morgado.