Cumbria, Yorkshire and Lancashire win opening matches

The Northern Counties men’s league season is underway – with Cumbria, Yorkshire and Lancashire triumphing in the opening round of matches.

Yorkshire beat Durham 12.5-5.5 at Wheatley on the opening weekend as Northumberland lost 10-8 to Cumbria at Seascale, and Lancashire got the better of Cheshire by the same score at Hillside.

Durham pairings Adam Rochester and Ryan Riley, and Mike Henson and Gavin Nesbit picked up wins in the morning foursomes as Martin McCririck and Ben Willis halved their morning match. However, the fixture turned in Yorkshire’s favour in the afternoon singles – though Jamie Birkbeck, who earned his 50th cap, gained half a point in the top match for Durham while Martin and Kevin Suggett won, and Seaton Carew’s Alex Shaw earned another half point.

Meanwhile, Northumberland and Cumbria were tied 3-3 after their foursomes matches, and the singles proved a close affair with Andrew Minnikin, Mark Wharton, Phill Ridden and Michael Burrow all edging victories while Harrison Sewell and Andrew Griffiths both gained half points.