Yorkshire Inter District Union: Sheffield 26 Harrogate 10

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SHEFFIELD flexed their muscles again ahead of what could be a pivotal match against leaders Halifax-Huddersfield by brushing aside Harrogate 26-10 at Worksop.

After a surprise defeat at Teesside, the hosts bounced back with a 23-13 away win at East Riding.

At Worksop, having led 10-2 at lunch after winning five of the six foursomes, Sheffield added 16 points in the afternoon. Their for and against figures read 86 and 58 respectively, as against Halifax-Huddersfield’s 88 and 56.

The visitors’ Josh Bassitt (Ripon City) and Steve Whitwham (Rudding Park) had three wins out of three going into their match-up with Rotherham’s Matt Evans and Jordan Perry, of Phoenix, but were comprehensively beaten, 5&3.

Wheatley pair Ben Brewster and Neil Stones defeated Chris Henderson (Oakdale) and Ripon City’s Curtis Wilding 4&3 while Tim Brind (Abbeydale) and Gary Fullwood (Wath) left Bedale’s James Gaskell and Sean Naylor (Romanby) with an 8&7 bruising.

Lindrick duo Nathan Fell and Bailey Gill got their first win at the second attempt, and Tankersley Park’s Lewis Hollingworth got his first in four, in tandem this time with Mike McGuiness (Phoenix).

Ian Backhouse (Knaresborough) and Ilkley’s Robert Nesbitt ensured a foursomes whitewash was avoided with a 2&1 defeat of Ian Clarke (Wath) and Rotherham’s Aaron Nairn.

Evans has four wins in as many singles contests after beating Whitwham 4&3, and Perry is just one behind, three from four, having inflicted a third loss in three on Wilding.

Henderson is still unbeaten in four having halved with the hosts’ Stones.

Brind saw off Gaskell 4&3 and Fell, with his second win in as many matches, thumped Naylor 7&6.

Fullwood, with his third win in three, overwhelmed Craig Barrett (Masham) by the same score, McGuinness halved with Mike Crack (Pannal) and Nairn defeated Nesbitt 2&1.

Afternoon winners for Harrogate were Bassitt – his third in four – beating Brewster, who had a previously impeccable record in three matches, 5&3; Simon Bradley (Otley), 3&1 over Hollingsworth; and Backhouse, who dished out some unpleasant medicine of his own to Clarke with a 7&6 win.