Leeds certain of runner-up spot as they progress under captain McKee

Leeds Union captain Nigel McKee (Picture: Chris Stratford).
Leeds Union captain Nigel McKee (Picture: Chris Stratford).
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LEEDS have assured themselves of finishing second in this year’s Yorkshire Inter-District Union League with a round of matches still to be played.

Captain Nigel McKee’s side beat East Riding 24-12 at Cookridge Hall after laying the foundations for victory with a near-perfect performance in the morning foursomes, in which they won five and halved one of the six games.

They cannot catch Sheffield, who have secured the title for a third year in succession, but McKee declared himself “absolutely ecstatic” with Leeds’s progress, which has fuelled optimism that they can succeed in the six-man team championship at Cleveland next month, which will bring down the curtain on the YIDU campaign.

McKee only took over leading the side last summer when, after a faltering start, they claimed fourth place. This year under his charge they have lost only to the county’s powerhouse Sheffield, who have a perfect six from six record.

“I was pleased to finish fourth last season after losing our first three games and then this season we have only lost one game, so that is real progress,” said McKee.

“Obviously we will have momentum going into the Harrogate game (their final fixture) and if we can finish the league season on a high we can then try to win the six-man team event. That would be absolutely amazing.”

The illness that forced Wike Ridge’s Dean Wright to pull out of the match with East Riding led to a debut for Oulton Hall youngster Cameron Owen.

McKee said: “I had three juniors in – Cameron, Jeehvan (Singh) and Nathan (Ali, both (Cookridge Hall) and, to be fair, they all did great in the foursomes.

“James Whitaker (Moor Allerton professional) has been working with our juniors and we are lucky to have a really good crop of youngsters coming through.”