His 4&3 win over Wath’s Nick Poppleton backed up a fine half at the top of the singles order from his club-mate Tom Broxup against new Fulford course record holder Ben Brewster (Wheatley).
But it gave false hope of a fightback after a 7-5 reverse in the morning foursomes with only Damien Simpson (Waterton Park) and Howley Hall’s Craig Watt and Tom North able to deliver further wins, the latter when his opponent Nathan Fell (Lindrick) had to retire with a recurring back problem.
Captain Nigel McKee was nonetheless pleased with his side’s efforts in a 22-14 loss, but was left to rue a failure to build on the momentum provided by Broxup and Frontal.
“It was a little bit frustrating because for about 30 minutes it could again have gone either way in a lot of games,” he reflected.
“But Sheffield came through and I think their team was probably a little bit stronger than ours in terms of I think they had eight plus-handicap players in and we probably had five
“We just seemed to struggle in the middle order, which I didn’t think we would and I thought that was where it might have been won for us. But I know this is a bit of a transitional period for us this year and I am under no illusion that there are a lot of good unions out there.”
Former pro Frontal’s birdie blitz was mirrored by that of 15-year-old Alex Fitzpatrick – brother of British and Nordea Masters champion Matt – who saw off Wike Ridge’s Barry Hardcastle after 13 holes.
“The standard of golf on Sunday was absolutely unbelievable,” enthused McKee.
“The fifth is a par-4, 282 yards uphill and half the field pitched it on there.
“One of their lads went within a couple of inches of holing in one there in the foursomes and they had an easy eagle two.”
McKee, whose side’s lack of experience of links golf led to an opening defeat to Teesside at Cleveland, has already begun the process of piecing together his team for their next assignment, against York at Forest Park on Sunday, June 26.
He is hopeful of having new Yorkshire Boys’ champion Tom Gray, of Moortown, in his ranks as he has been given permission to take some time off from his duties in the pro shop at the club.
But the lure of the Open could rob him of the services of players such as Broxup, Matty Lees, Ben Hutchinson and Ben Firth, dependent on how they get on in regional qualifying for the year’s third major event.