On Saturday 23 July 2016, South Juniors entertained Northumberland Juniors to a Northern Counties Federation league match at Southerness Golf Club. With the course in immaculate condition and the dull, windless weather conditions everything was set for some wonderful golf by two evenly matched teams.
Mitchell Cowie (D&C) and Cameron Gray (Kirkudbright) led the South team off in the morning foursomes. They were two up after 7 holes, pegged back to all square after 11, regained their two hole lead by the 14th but again lost their two hole lead to finish all square. Angus Bendall (Castle Douglas) and Nathan Watson (Kirkcudbright) got off to a great start to be five up after 7, never looked in trouble and won easily on the fourteenth green by 5 and 4.
In the third match, William Squires (Kirkcudbright) and Ross Whyte (D&G) were involved in another close game. All square after 7 and after 11 they lost two of the next three holes and despite fighting hard could not recover and lost by 2 and 1. Dylan Cairnie (D&C) and Callan Harkness (Lochmaben), probably playing their last match for the Juniors as they are both in full time employment, set off to finish on a high by winning three of the first 7 holes, were still three up after 7 and four up after 14 before winning on the sixteenth green by 3 and 2.
The match score at lunch was South 2½ Northumberland 1½ and everything to play for in the afternoon singles.
As a stiff breeze got up in the afternoon, the recently crowned South Junior Match Play Champion, Cameron Gray led the South team in the singles. Not a good start being one down after 5 and then losing the 8th, he showed his fighting spirit by winning 13, 14, 15 and 17 to win by 2 and 1. Mitchell Cowie, who continues to improve with every outing, went two up with a birdie at 5 and then lost 12, 13 and 14 to be one down before recovering to win 1 up on the last green.
Although Angus Bendall’s driving was not as accurate as usual over the first 5 holes he found the answer and by the 8th had a 2 hole lead. He increased this to three after 11 and romped away to win by 5 and 4. The always consistent Nathan Watson was all square after 5, one up after 8, three up after 14 and won by 3 and 2 with a birdie on the 16th.
William Squires, fighting swing inconsistences, was one down after 5 and after 8. At the 11th he was two down and lost two more before he was finally beaten by 4 and 3. Ross Whyte had a terrible start and his usual smile had turned to a grimace as he found himself four down after 10 and holes running out. But this was the start of a marvellous fight back. He got it back to three down after 14, won 15, 16, and 17 to be all square but unfortunately lost the last to a birdie and his game by 1 hole.
The first of the two anchormen, Dylan Cairnie, got off to a steady start and was one up after 8, increased this to four after 14 and closed the game out at the next to win 5 and 3. Callan Harkness‘s putting for once deserted him and he couldn’t buy a putt as he went from two down after 4, four down after 8 and after 13 and unfortunately lost by 6 and 4.
The singles score was South 5 Northumberland 3 and a match win by South by 7½ games to 4½.
Mitchell Cowie (D&G) and Cameron Gray (Kirkcudbright) halved with Max Bromley and Joseph Robson
Angus Bendall (Castle Douglas) and Nathan Watson (Kirkcudbright) beat Richard Coulthard and Brandon Jones by 5 & 4
William Squires (Kirkcudbright) and Ross Whyte (D&G) lost to Joseph McStravick and Matthew Wood by 2 & 1
Dylan Cairnie (D&C) and Callan Harkness (Lochmaben) beat John McStravick and Aidan Topham by 3 & 2
Foursomes Result South 2½ Northumberland 1½
Cameron Gray beat Max Bromley by 2 & 1
Mitchell Cowie beat Joseph Robson by 1 hole
Angus Bendall beat Richard Coulthard by 5 & 4
Nathan Watson beat Brandon Jones by 3 & 2
William Squires lost to Joseph McStravick by 4 & 3
Ross Whyte lost to Matthew Wood by 1 hole
Dylan Cairnie beat John McStravick by 5 & 3
Callan Harkness lost to Aidan Topham by 6 & 4
Singles Result South 5 Northumberland 3
Match Result South 7½ Northumberland 4½
The photograph shows the South team, back row: Nathan Watson, Callan Harkness, Angus Bendall, Dylan Cairnie; front row: Mitchell Cowie, Ross Whyte, William Squires, Cameron Gray.