Golf: Durham pipped by Yorkshire in Northern Counties League showdown

Durham succumbed to a narrow defeat to Yorkshire in their second Northern Counties League match on Saturday.

Monday, 18th June 2018, 9:30 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 5:08 pm

The visitors finished all square in the morning foursomes, but succumbed by a single point in the afternoon singles to go down 9½-8½ at Hornsea.

Durham, boosted by their season-opening 13½-4½ win over Cheshire at Tyneside, endured a difficult opening against Yorkshire.

The home side won each of the first three matches by narrow margins, 2&1 twice and by one hole in the other.

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But Durham rallied impressively to share the spoils after the foursomes. Kris Rae (Tyneside) and Martin McCririck of South Shields teamed up for a 2&1 success, while Castle Eden’s Ryan Dixon and Stefan Labuschagne (Bishop Auckland) edged home 3&2.

Stuart Brown of Castle Eden and Michael Henson (Bishop Auckland) closed out the morning with a 2&1 victory to make it 3-3 going into the 12 singles matches.

In the singles, Bishop Auckland’s Jamie Birkbeck won 3&2, Chris Handy of South Moor romped to a 5&3 triumph and James Wilson of Tyneside secured a 3&2 win, to take an early 3-1 lead.

But, despite halves for Boldon’s Gavin Nesbit, McCririck, and Henson, plus an impressive 4&3 victory for Dixon, Durham were pipped by a point in the singles as Yorkshire made it two wins out of two to top the fledgling table.

Elsewhere, in possibly the most evenly matched day in the competition’s history, Northumberland drew 9-9 at Cumbria and Lancashire shared the spoils with Cheshire.

Durham next meet Northumberland at Darlington on July 7.