Yorkshire on top

Yorkshire claimed the Northern Counties League Championship for the third year in succession – but they were pushed all the way by Northumberland.

Yorkshire’s only loss was in the Roses clash at Formby but there was nearly a real upset at home to Northumberland in June where a singles win late in the day gave Yorkshire a narrow 9.5-8.5 victory.

Northumberland claimed the runners-up spot – their best showing since 2006 when they claimed the championship – and county secretary Ian Harrison said: “We had our moments and it was a little topsy-turvy at times but we are delighted with second place.”

Northumberland started full throttle to beat Lancashire 12.5-5.5. The loss to Yorkshire by a point followed and then they beat Cumbria comprehensively before suffering an agonising one-point derby defeat by Durham. In the final match of the season they managed an excellent 11–7 away win at Cheshire while Yorkshire overcame Cumbria in their final match to claim the title again.

Yorkshire stormed through the foursomes 6-0 and went on to win the singles 8-4 for a comprehensive 14-4 victory.

Cheshire squeezed a 3.5-2.5 foursomes lead against Northumberland but Phil Ridden took the top singles 2&1 against Tom Dolan and Mark Wharton and Daniel Shevill weighed in with wins followed by three in a row from Sean Heads, Craig Penny and Stewart Fell and the match was cleaned up with Matthew McClean and Luke Denny giving an overall 11-7 result.

At Dinsdale, Lancashire gained a 5.5-0.5 foursomes win against Durham and although James Glenn won 2&1 in the top singles the next four went to the Red Rose on their way to a 12.5-5.5 win.