LEEDS put out a strong line-up in their Yorkshire Inter-District Union League clash with Sheffield at Cookridge Hall, but succumbed to the champions.
Captain Nigel McKee’s side have struggled in the last couple of years to build a platform for success by showing superiority in the morning foursomes and so it proved again.
They sat down to lunch trailing 8-4, having lost four and won two of the first session’s matches, and the hoped for early impetus in the afternoon singles did not materialise.
The pairings who chalked up two points for a win in the foursomes were Howley Hall’s Tom North and Craig Watt plus Selby’s Rob Wardle and Jack Owen, of Waterton Park.
Leeds did win two of the top singles, thanks to North and his fellow American collegiate player Dan Bradbury (Wakefield), but the following three matches all went Sheffield’s way, effectively ending home hopes.
David Appleyard (South Leeds) stopped the bleeding with a half against Hallamshire’s Jim Tasker, but only Owen and Watt got maximums from the last five matches, joining North as Leeds’ best performers with two wins out of two on the day.
Sheffield are the largest of the county’s eight unions and their strength in depth showed itself when two players – Hallamshire’s Nick King and Abbeydale’s Tim Brind – managed to claim victories from seemingly losing positions.
Leeds, who have slipped a place to fourth, will go again next month when they travel to face York at Pike Hills.
Leaders Sheffield have opened a two-point gap after Halifax-Huddersfield ended East Riding’s unbeaten start.