BRADLEY Hall scored arunaway win by an impressive 13-stroke margin in the Halifax, Huddersfield Union Scratch Team championship at Willow Valley a year ago and are determined to turn in another winning display over at Dewsbury tomorrow.
They are certainly the team to beat, for if anything, their line-up is even stronger than a year ago, with Andy Whitworth back after standing down at Willow Valley as he was serving as Bradley Hall’s club captain in their centenary year.
The record holder of Union championship titles joins fellow plus one player Andy Shaw, scratch man Jim Fairhurst and Martin Cockroft (2) in the Holywell Green club’s quartet.
Huddersfield, who trailed in second place by that baker’s dozen a year ago, can’t match Bradley Hall in terms of handicaps, though they have no bearing on stick end golf.
But Fixby feel they have a mix good enough to add to their record number of successes in the championship, their last in 2000 being their 29th which includes a remarkable nine in a row in the halcyon days of the 1950s and 60s.
Former Yorkshire county player Richard Oddy, a past Union champion now based in Coventry, has worked hard on his game and shone sufficiently enough on weekends at home to merit a place alongside current Union champion Richard Broadley, Neil Williams and Charles Webb as Huddersfield seek to add to their collection of titles.
Woodsome Hall have Chris Dyson, Richard Holt, Graham Cox and Adam Durie on duty as they have eyes on adding to their success of 2005 when they landed their first title in 13 years.
Another recent championship winning club, Meltham, winners two years ago, could figure, especially over 36 holes of a course which can be a great leveller at the best of times. Their line-up of youth and experience is Toby Garrett, Graham McLean, Mark Garrett and Alex Battye.
While the Founders Trophy goes to the winner in an event sponsored by Union coach John Eyre, the Woodsome Hall professional, there will be another battle going on within the championship. That is to finish clear of the last four spots to avoid relegation and a start next season in the promotion chase in Division Two.
Elland, Hanging Heaton and Queensbury players start the action tomorrow at 8.00am; West End, Bradley Hall and Fixby go last in the second round at 3.40pm.
Chris Hanson maintained his good form from Faithlegg, the Europro Tour event in Ireland, when winning a charity pro-am staged by his old college, the University of Central Lancashire, in aid of the NSPCC at Ogden.
He shot a four over par 74 that was outstanding in conditions of heavy rain and wind to win by one from David Astin (Woodsome Hall).
“The weather was terrible, some of the worst I’ve played in, but after being three over after four holes I managed to steady things,” said Hanson who before the resumption of the Europro Tour at Bovey Castle, Devon, will contest a Yorkshire PGA event at Bridlington (Belvedere) then the qualifier for The Rock, a PGA North Region major, at Matfen Hall.