Yorkshire golf: Nigel McKee will blood pair of newcomers as Leeds head for Cleveland

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PONTEFRACT gc’S Ryan 
Armitage and Marcus Shepherd (Moortown GC) will make their senior debuts as Leeds take on Teesside on Sunday in their opening match of the 2016 Yorkshire Inter-District Union League at Cleveland GC.

New captain Nigel McKee, who has taken over the reins from Tony Greenhalgh, has put together a side that he feels is more than capable of getting the campaign off to a win in spite of being hamstrung by the non-availability of some players.

“There is the Brabazon Trophy qualifying next week at Fulford, which means two of the best players who I would have selected – Tom Broxup (Cookridge Hall GC) and Matty Lees (Woolley Park GC), are both playing that,” said McKee.

“I’ve not go them to call upon, but the strength of the team I’ve got out, I’m delighted with.

“Ideally I’d want at least the top six (of 12) to be plus handicappers, but you’re struggling because guys have other commitments.

“They’ve got Yorkshire, they’ve got coaching, some of the juniors have got England commitments to think about.

“Dan Bradbury (Wakefield GC) can’t play because he has exams, but he’ll play in the following match against Sheffield.

“Getting people to commit to 36 holes is difficult; many of the players have wives and young children.

“But I’ve got Andy Wiltshire out of retirement, he’s a class player, from Pontefract GC, so the team I’ve selected is really strong.”

McKee monitored handicaps, plus club and scratch event form before making his picks, admitting: “We are early season still, so it’s a bit of a guessing game.

“As far as the foursomes go, the first match will be a bit of an experiment to see who gels.”

Leeds team v Teesside at Cleveland GC: Damien Simpson (Waterton Park), Andrew Wiltshire and Ryan Armitage (Pontefract), Marcus Shepherd (Moortown), Tom North, Craig Watt and Ben Hutchinson (Howley Hall), Robbie Wardle (Selby), Andy Stringer and Neil Kinghorn (Wakefield), Mark Griffiths (Normanton), Barry Hardcastle (Wike Ridge).

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