The Junior team travelled over the Pennines for their last Northern Counties League match of the season against Durham at Consett on Friday 11 August. Consett Golf course is a beautiful tree lined parkland course with many plateaued greens making the par of 70 difficult to attain.
Two of the boys, Nathan Watson (Kirkcudbright) and Iain Rae (Dalbeattie), after many years of service, were playing their last game as juniors and Neil Macdonald (D&C) was making his debut. Although the South had a full team of 8 players Durham could only muster 6 for the morning foursomes and two of the South team, Corey Brown (D&C) and Jamie Alison (D&G), were awarded their game without playing a shot.
The course was in perfect condition as David Sharp (D&C) and Neil Macdonald (D&C) led out the South team in the rain. A booming drive by David which split the fairway got them off to a good start but after three putts they found themselves one down. They lost the second but won the third and fifth to get back to all square. They then lost three in a row, 6, 7, and 8 and then 10 to be four down before fighting back by winning 11 and 12, three putted 13 to lose the hole and won 14 to be back to two down and eventually lost the game by 3 & 2
The two Kirkcudbright boys, Nathan Watson and Callum McMillan, got off to the perfect start by winning the first four holes and were three up at the turn after losing the ninth. They won the par 3 fourteenth and finished the game on the fifteenth green by 4 & 3. Iain Rae (Dalbeattie) and Taylor Kerr (Sanquhar) were one up after 4 and then won two holes in a row before losing 7 to a birdie and won 8 to be three up after 9. The back nine didn’t start too well, losing 10, 11 and 12 but they recovered well to win 14 and 15 and the game with a tap-in birdie on 16 by 3 & 2.
This gave South a lead of 3 games to 1 at lunch. Durham produced another two players for the singles so both teams were at full strength for the afternoon games.
The rain stopped over lunch but the breeze strengthened as the boys set off for the singles matches. Taylor Kerr, playing very steadily and totally focused, won the first four holes but lost the short fifth, seventh and eighth and got the three holes back by the eleventh and two more at 12 and 13. He lost 14 but halved 15 to win 4 & 3. Callum McMillan was equally impressive being three up after 6, with a birdie at the short fifth, lost 8 and 9 but recovered to be three up after 14 and went on to win by 2 & 1.
Playing his last game for the junior league team Nathan Watson, who was first selected as an enthusiastic young teenager and had played consistently well for 5 years, was determined to finish with a win for the team. He lost the second but a superb birdie at the short fifth got him back to all square. He lost 8 and 9, his opponent won 15 with a birdie and Nathan ran out of holes and unfortunately lost by 3 & 2. Iain Rae, also playing his last game for the junior league team, was three up after a birdie on 7 and increased this to four up after 9. He finished his junior career with another birdie on 14 and an impressive 5 & 4 victory.
Jamie Alison (D&G) got off to a slow start having not played in the morning, and was two down after 5 but recovered well to win 12 and 14 and his opponent held on to gain a halved game. Corey Brown (D&C) had a similar game after his rest in the morning. Two down after 7 and four down after 9, he won 11, 12 and 13 and had a good up-and-down on 14. He won 16 and his opponent held on also to get a halved game.
David Sharp, afflicted with the golfers’ dreaded disease, fought like a wounded animal all the way round and never gave up. Two down after 2 he got it back to all square after 7. He lost 14, but won 16, only to lose the last and the game by one hole. A magnificent effort which his team mates will remember for a very long time. Neil Macdonald, making his debut, was one down after 2 but three up after 8 and gaining confidence. He lost 11 and 12 but a good up-and-down on 14 steadied the nerves and he went on to win by 2 & 1.
This gave the South a win in the singles by 5 games to 3 and victory in the match by 8 games to 4.
Neil Macdonald (D&C) and David Sharp (D&C) lost to Jack Burton and Nicky Le Shields by 3 & 2
Nathan Watson (Kirkcudbright) and Callum McMillan (Kirkcudbright) beat Josh Hogarth and Duran Gun by 4 & 3
Iain Rae (Dalbeattie) and Taylor Kerr (Sanquhar) beat Stephen Turnbull and Cameron Pipe by 3 & 2
Corey Brown (D&C) and Jamie Alison (D&G) wo
Foursomes Result: South 3 Durham 1
Taylor Kerr beat Jack Burton by 4 & 3
CallumMcMillan beat Nicky Le Shields by 2 & 1
Nathan Watson lost to Josh Hogarth by 3 & 2
Iain Rae beat Duran Gun by 5 & 4
Jamie Alison halved with Stephen Turnbull
Corey Brown halved with Cameron Pipe
David Sharp lost to Daniel Vine by one hole
Neil Macdonald beat Louis Godfrey by 2 & 1
Singles Result; South 5 Durham 3
Match Result South 8 Durham 4
The photograph shows the South team: David Sharp, Jamie Alison, Corey Brown, Iain Rae, Taylor Kerr, Neil Macdonald, Callum McMillan and Nathan Watson.