BINGLEY St Ives player Terry Brushwood reckons this year’s Bradford Union Scratch League champions have the potential to achieve the kind of dominance enjoyed by his old club Northcliffe.
Brushwood was one of three winners as Bingley triumphed 6-2 in the final-day showdown at Shipley to retain the title they lifted in 2013.
And with a wealth of experienced former professionals being backed up by some promising junior talent, he believes they can go on to enjoy a sustained period of success.
He said: “It’s always harder to win the league the second time. That was a big thing for me.
“We did it at Northcliffe three times on the trot and I feel we can carry on doing well here.”
Northcliffe claimed a hat-trick of titles from 1994-96 and also won consecutive crowns in 2000-01 and 2004-05. That success came under the guidance of professional Mick Hillas, who is now providing coaching for youngsters at St Ives.
Brushwood said: “We have some good juniors who are keen and golf-mad. As passionate as I am about the game, my body is starting to creak a bit. It’s a young man’s game and it’s nice to see them coming through.”
While youth has played its part - Jack Laybourne making eight appearances - Bingley’s title triumph has been founded largely on experience with Brushwood and Andy Town spearheading the challenge and fellow ex-pros Warren Kemp and Richard Wheatley also among those contributing.
Former West Bradford member Brushwood paid tribute to captain Jim Smith for his part, saying: “We had a good captain last year and another one this year in Jim.
“He brought out the team spirit in everybody. I’ve been here three years and enjoyed every minute of it.”
Shipley went into last week’s finale with Bingley still very much in contention and, had the closely-contested middle two matches gone the other way, they would have been crowned champions themselves.
Instead Town beat Andy Ingham by one hole and Wheatley edged his match 2&1 against Rob Hillas. Brushwood had earlier got the better of Danny Rowley 4&3, while Jamie Mountain claimed Shipley’s points with a 3&2 win over Kemp.
Bingley are now aiming for the double when they compete in the Yorkshire Championship Division One at Hallamshire next Wednesday.
The Bradford Union Team Championship at Keighley last Sunday had to be abandoned due to heavy rain.