Men’s Northern Counties league matches underway

Durham came close to an away win in their opening Northern Counties League match of 2023 – narrowly losing out to Cheshire at Warrington – as Northumberland were beaten by Yorkshire at Pannal.

Cheshire clinched the 10-8 win by edging the last three singles matches on the course to overhaul Durham‘s 8-7 lead. It was 3-3 after the morning foursomes – and Jamie Birkbeck and James Glenn got Durham off a great start in the afternoon singles with wins in the top two matches. It was nip and tuck in the middle order and nothing epitomised the match more than the clash between Ryan Riley and Sam Burton. Eaglescliffe-based Ryan hit the shot of the day with a slam-dunk hole-in-one at the 170-yard ninth to go 2up. A frantic finish then saw Sam win 14, 15 and 17 to go 1up – only for Ryan to gain a well-deserved half point with a four at the final hole. Cheshire then had just enough in the tank to edge the final three singles for a 10-8 win.

Northumberland gave the defending champions a run for their money at Pannal, but fell just short as Yorkshire won the tie 10.5-7.5.

It was close in the foursomes, with Yorkshire claiming three points with 1up margins to lead 3.5-2.5 at lunch. They then took hold of the clash with narrow victories in the top four singles. There were wins for Northumberland’s Harrison Sewell and James Conn, but the final four matches saw both teams earn two points and secured the win for the home team.

Meanwhile, Cumbria came close to a major upset, losing by just a single point (9.5-8.5) to Lancashire at Preston.