Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Golf: Bradford hot-shots united by a common aim
Young guns Matthew Atter and Ben Mountain will set side their friendly rivalry on the county circuit by teaming up for the Bradford Union this season.
The Hawksworth club duo both won Yorkshire Order of Merit titles last year and are hungry for more this time round.
But while a healthy competition exists between them at individual level, they will be joining forces on Sunday when the Bradford Union open their 2012 campaign.
Tim Wade’s side visit Outlane to take on Halifax-Huddersfield for their first fixture in the Yorkshire Inter-District League.
Bradford captain Wade hailed both players’ prog-ress and expects them to play an integral part for his team this season.
Of Mountain, he said: “He came down to a scratch handicap from being around four in about eight or nine weeks.
“To do something like that in such a short space of time is exceptional.”
He admitted that the teenager was not a big part of his plans at the start of last season – but that soon changed.
Wade said: “Last June, he was not really on our radar but by the end of the season he was our seventh man at Forest Park in the Yorkshire Six-man Team Championship.”
After the youngster experienced rapid advancement last year, Wade stressed the need for him to stay patient this campaign as he looks to progress further.
The skipper said: “He shouldn’t try to compare himself with last year too much.
“Sometimes lads’ heads go down if they are not always improving. It can seem so easy for them when they are doing well but it is the nature of golf that sometimes you go back a peg and then go forward again.”
While Mountain was a new kid on the block, Atter was less of a surprise package, having become one of Hawksworth’s youngest ever club champions after winning the Spencer Challenge Cup as a 16-year-old back in 2008.
He has since become a regular for the Bradford Union team, rating his six singles victories out of six during the Yorkshire Inter-District League title triumph in 2010 as one of the highlights of his fledgling career.
“I really like playing for the union,” said the 19-year-old, who was also crowned Bradford Junior Matchplay champion last year.
“They are a good set of lads. I’ve enjoyed playing foursomes with Andy Fitzpatrick too in a format I’ve not always had the hang of.”
Wade hopes that Atter, despite only just relinquishing his status as a junior, can be among Bradford’s spearheads this season as they seek to reclaim the Yorkshire crown they won in 2010.
He said: “Matt is only 19 but it seems like he has been around a long, long time.
“I’m looking for him to step up a gear and be challenging for one of the top two or three places in the team.”
The Hawksworth duo are part of the younger end of a squad containing a nice balance of youngsters, such as Calum Hey and Will Whiteoak, and more experienced players like Mark Evans and Terry Brushwood.
Bradford team to face Halifax/Huddersfield: Matthew Atter (Bradford), Chris Benn (South Bradford), Terry Brushwood (Bingley St Ives), Nigel Colbeck (Cleckheaton), Mark Evans (Bingley St Ives), Andy Fitzpatrick (Keighley), Calum Hey (Keighley), Ben Mountain (Bradford), Jamie Mountain (Hollins Hall), Will Whiteoak (Bingley St Ives), Oliver Young (Bingley St Ives), Patrick Young (Hollins Hall). Reserve: Tom Hall (South Bradford).