White roses in full bloom

Yorkshire pip rivals to take the Northern Counties title

Durham got the better of Northumberland in their Northern Counties League derby clash at Chester-le-Street, as Yorkshire won the Roses battle to retain the title.

It wasn’t close at Lindrick with Yorkshire winning 11.5-6.5, but it was tighter at Chester with Northumberland staging a big fightback after losing the foursomes 4.5-1.5 to edge the singles – losing overall just 10-8.

Yorkshire took the title with eight points, just one point ahead of Lancashire in second place with Cheshire, who beat Cumbria 10.5-7.5, also on seven but third on games won and lost. Durham finished fourth in the table with two wins, Cumbria fifth with one victory and Northumberland bottom with five defeats – although they can take some comfort with players such as Arcot Hall’s Jack Maddison coming through the ranks.

Maddison, on debut, won his foursomes match along with Tynemouth’s Stuart Fell against Castle Eden’s Ryan Dixon and Cameron Wallace and then halved with left-hander Wallace in the afternoon singles.

Dixon and Fell were Northumberland’s only winners in the foursomes. However, after Richard Aisbitt won the top singles, Northumberland took the next four points through Phil Ridden, Alex Dixon, Sean Heads and Andrew Minnikin before Sam Donald, James Birkbeck, Stuart Brown and Ryan Dixon hit back to give Durham a 10-8 win.

At Lindrick, it was 3-3 after the foursomes, but Yorkshire took the singles 8.5-3.5 to claim the title.

Cheshire won the morning foursomes comfortably by 5-1 against Cumbria and while Cumbria edged the singles 6.5-5.5, Cheshire were eventual winners by 10.5-7.5.