NCF Northumberland v SOUTH

On Monday 27 July the South Juniors travelled to Linden Hall Golf and Country Club, Morpeth, to play the return fixture in the Northern Counties Federation League against Northumberland Juniors. The boys were in confident mood having narrowly won the first match at Dumfries & County a fortnight earlier.

The early evening practice round on Sunday 26 July was curtailed by the forecast of heavy rain and four of the boys played the front nine and four the back nine and compared notes for the match. The course was long, particularly from the green to the next tee, tree lined undulating fairways, large bunkers and slow large greens that took a bit of getting used to.

The weather forecast on Monday was for heavy rain with a chance of drier spells in the afternoon. The morning foursomes started dry with a heavy overcast sky and after nine holes turned to a steady drizzle. The first pairing of Nathan Watson (Kirkcudbright) and Jamie Marchbank (D&G) took an early lead of one hole after 4 holes, increased it to two after 12 but lost 14 and 15 with poor chipping to stand on the sixteenth tee all square. They then chipped in at the long par 5 sixteenth to win the hole and held on to win one up. A good fighting start. Angus Bendall (Castle Douglas) and Rowan Marchbank (D&G) in the top match were three down after 6 but recovered by the twelfth to stand all square. Still all square after 15 they too won the sixteenth and the last to win by 2 holes.

The Newton Stewart pairing of Fraser Hughes and Graeme Hoodless were one down after 4 holes, still one down after 12 but no matter what they threw at their opponents they could not get that one hole back and eventually lost the eighteenth as well to lose by two holes. In the final game Ross Whyte (D&G) and Dylan Cairnie (D&C) took an early lead and by the fifteenth were two up and coasting. But their Northumberland opponents fought back and Ross and Dylan were relieved to come off the final hole with a one hole victory. All the four foursomes games had gone to the eighteenth green and the South held a lead of 3 games to 1 at lunch.

The rain went off at lunchtime and the skies brightened up for the afternoon singles. Nathan Watson played well but his opponent scored better and was three down through 6. They halved the seventh with birdies before Nathan managed to turn the tables and through dogged determination fought back to be one up after 13 and win 2 &1. Jamie Marchbank also got off to a bad start and was 3 down after 6 holes. He then steadied the ship with good chipping and putting before losing 5 &4. In the top match Angus Bendall had a ding dong battle: two up after 6 and 9, all square after 13 and one up when they shook hands on the eighteenth green. Rowan Marchbank took an early lead which he was never to relinquish; 3 up after 5 and 9 before closing the game out on the sixteenth green and winning 3 &2.

The South now had a total of six wins and could not lose but who would sink the winning putt? The honour fell to the determined Fraser Hughes who had been one up after 5, three up at the turn, four up and four under par after 13 and won 3 &2. Graeme Hoodless was also one up after 5, three up after 9, three up after 13 and won 4 &3 on the fifteenth green. Ross Whyte, one up after 5 and two up at the turn continued his steady play to win 3 &2. Dylan Cairnie had a more difficult time being one up after 5, pegged back to all square at 9, one up after 13 and gained an honourable half on the eighteenth.

The South won the eight singles games by 6½ games to 1½ games and the match by 9½ games to 2½. The standard of play from both teams had been extremely high with plenty of birdies and the score line did not accurately reflect the difference between the teams.

Individual Results

Morning Foursomes

Nathan Watson (Kirkcudbright) and Jamie Marchbank (D & G) beat Max Bromley and Brandon Jones by 1 hole

Angus Bendall (Castle Douglas) and Rowan Marchbank (D & G) beat Joshua Brookes and Aidan Topham by 2 holes

Fraser Hughes (Newton Stewart) and Graeme Hoodless (Newton Stewart) lost to Conor Turnbull and Jonny Douglas by 2 holes

Ross Whyte (D & G) and Dylan Cairnie (D & C) beat Richard Coulthard and Adam Wright by 1 hole

Foursomes Score         South  3           Northumberland  1

Afternoon Singles

Nathan Watson beat Max Bromley by 2 & 1

Jamie Marchbank lost to Brandon Jones by 5 & 4

Angus Bendall beat Joshua Brookes by 1 hole

Rowan Marchbank beat Aidan Topham by 3 & 2

Fraser Hughes beat Conor Turnbull by 3 & 2

Graeme Hoodless beat Jonny Douglas by 4 & 3

Ross Whyte beat Richard Coulthard by 4 & 3

Dylan Cairnie halved with Adam Wright

Singles Score                South   6½       Northumberland   1½

Match Result;               South   9½       Northumberland   2½

The photograph shows the South team. From the left Graeme Hoodless, Angus Bendall, Rowan Marchbank, Nathan Watson, Ross Whyte, Fraser Hughes, Jamie Marchbank, Dylan Cairnie