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Men head to Nationals

‘When your first two men out are 5-over after their first hole, you kind of think it isn’t going to be your day.” So said Yorkshire Men’s Captain David Appleyard as Tom Osborne and Charlie Daughtrey both had nightmare starts to the Northern Region Counties Championship in the Isle of Man. With all six team members to score, after six holes of their morning round at Mount Murray were completed, Yorkshire stood some 14-shots behind leaders Lancashire and 13 back of Cheshire. By the 9th they were 16 behind. The skipper might have been somewhat philosophical about things at that stage, but he still had faith. “We’d picked one of the strongest squads we could apart from Ben Brown, so I knew the qualities they had. The lads dug in and steadied things and got into a position to have a go in the afternoon.” In the event they fought back from a six shot first round deficit to claim the title by just two strokes and progress to the national finals for the first time since 2018. Cheshire led after the morning round with a 423-stroke aggregate, 3-under par. Lancashire were three strokes back, in turn three ahead of the White Rose men. “With the calibre of players that we have, we always knew we had a chance. Any one of them has the ability to go low,” added Appleyard. Rotherham’s Daughtrey led Yorkshire’s morning effort, despite double bogeying the par-5 1st and finding himself 3-over after eight. He pulled a shot back at the 9th then went eagle-birdie-birdie from 13 to 15 to finish on -2.George Ash (Hallowes) and Lucas Martin (Rotherham) both went round in 1-under. It was all change in the afternoon however as Jack Whaley led the charge. The Rotherham man bagged five birdies in his front nine as he recorded an equal best of the day -5 round of 66. Martin (68), Daughtrey (69) and Osborne (70) were also under par, with only Max Berrisford (+1) and Ash (+2) dropping shots to the course. It was far from plain sailing though and the Yorkshire team were a bag of nerves as the lead ebbed and flowed through the afternoon. With some counties refusing to enter hole-by-hole scores on the Golf Genius app, news only came though in 6-hole increments. Chair of selectors Kevin Tucker takes up the tale: “With Jack Whaley four under par and Lucas Martin five under through the first six in the afternoon it was game on. Then news (a text) filtered through that our last man Max Berrisford had lost balls at both the first and third holes in the afternoon, it was back to chasing! “With the first five players playing the front nine in a combined 13 under par and Max recovering to be out in 2-over we entered the final 9- holes one behind Cheshire, game on again! “Another text quickly arrived, Lucas had taken 8 at the par four 12th, back to chasing!! We were three behind Cheshire with 6- holes to play and we wouldn’t know any scores now until all teams had completed 36 holes. “The boys played the last six in a combined 5-under including a great birdie on the 18th from our last man Max Berrisford.” With Cheshire’s last man Hominder Matharu in the final match out and the Yorkshire team gathered behind the par-5 18th watching on nervously, it was with some surprise that they watched as he laid up and settled for par. With an aggregate of 418 it left Yorkshire on -5, victors by just 2-shots over Cheshire with Lancashire a further seven back. Yorkshire now head to the county finals at Southport & Ainsdale at the end of September.


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