Yorkshire and Gloucestershire set the early pace on the first day of the English Senior Men’s County Championship when both took the lead after the foursomes at Goswick Golf Club, Northumberland.
Yorkshire got the better of Sussex, while Gloucestershire beat Warwickshire, both by the margin of 2.5-0.5. Despite the scoreline, both matches were tight with the advantage going to the stronger finishers.
Yorkshire’s first point came from Peter Ward and Ian Clarke, who made a crucial move with winning birdies on 11 and 12 to go 2up. Despite losing the short 15th they steadily halved the remaining three holes in par, birdie, par to claim their point on the last.
Team-mates Johnny Lawrence and Garry Cuthbert (pictured) trailed Sussex by one hole at the turn but they turned matters around by winning 12 and 13 to go one up. The Yorkshire pair extended their lead with a winning par on 16 and halved 17 to secure their 2/1 win.
Sussex prevented a clean sweep, thanks to former England senior international Martin Galway and Malcolm Cawte. They had trailed Yorkshire by one hole after 16 but, crucially, they won the 17th with a par four to get back on level terms before halving the last.
Gloucestershire had one comfortable win, with the pairing of Hugh Purvis and Mike Parkin forging ahead after a tight front nine to win 3/2.
Bob Broad and Rob Stephens added their point to the Gloucestershire tally after a great battle. They trailed their Warwickshire opponents by two holes on the front nine and got ahead for the first time in the match only on the 13th. They were promptly pulled back to all square by a Warwickshire birdie on the 14th, but won the 17th with a par and halved 18 to finish 1up.
The teams shared the other point, after a fightback from Warwickshire’s Tony Allen and Martin Fell who had been two down after five holes. They managed to get back to all square on the 10th and although they briefly dropped behind again on 13, they bounced straight back on 14, before halving the remaining four holes.