On Sunday 26 June, a day that started with a watery sun before the clouds came in and rain fell in the afternoon, the South Junior Golf team played their first Northern Counties Federation League match of the summer against their counterparts from Cumbria at Kirkcudbright Golf Club. The course was in immaculate condition and produced some wonderful scoring from both teams with eagles and birdies being the order of the day.
A new young pairing of Mitchell Cowie (D&C) and Callum McMillan (Kirkcudbrigh) led the South team in the morning foursomes. Mitchell and Callum got off to a steady start against a strong Cumbrian pairing but were one down after 4 holes and fought back to be all square after 9. They lost holes 12 and 13, could not recover and lost 3 and 1. Angus Bendall (Castle Douglas) and Nathan Watson (Kirkcudbright) had a similar experience in their game being one down after 4, all square at the turn, two down after 13 and lost 2 and 1. The third match got off to a cracking start, Cumbria winning the first hole with a birdie to be followed by three birdies in the next three holes by South’s William Squires (Kirkcudbright) and Callan Harkness (Lochmaben). William and Callan increased their lead to three up after nine but lost the game on the last green after a poor back nine holes. Ross Whyte (D&G) and Dylan Cairnie (D&C) in the last game were one down after 4, one down after 9 and 13 and lost by 3 and 2. The score after the morning foursomes was South 0 games to Cumbria 4 games due mainly to poor play by all four South pairings over the last nine holes.
The boys put on their waterproofs for the eight afternoon singles and were determined to atone for their bad experience of the morning. It was a tall order to achieve but they were convinced they could do it. Mitchell Cowie got off to a disastrous start by probably trying too hard and was three down after 8 and six down after 12 before losing 6 and 5. Callum McMillan was three down after 6, won the 7th but was still three down after 11 and lost 4 and 3. Not the start South wanted but Angus Bendall started the comeback in a very tight game by recording a one hole victory. Nathan Watson got off to a great start; two up after 5, three up after 8, five up after 12 and finished the game on 14th green by 5 and 4. William Squires started well, being three up after 5, lost the 8th to an eagle to be two up and stood on the 14th tee one up. He held his nerve to record a birdie on the 18th and win by one hole. Callan Harkness had a very close game; one down after 5, all square at the turn and one down after 13. His strength all day had been his short game which saved him on numerous occasions. Unfortunately this let him down on the 18th in front of all the spectators when his chip only got halfway and he could not sink the putt. He finished with a halved match. Dylan Cairnie kept the successful South run of victories continuing; two up after 5, three up after 8 and 13 and winning 3 and 1. The last match was another cracker over the first nine with Ross Whyte turning one down only for the back nine to be his nemesis again and he lost 3 and 2. The singles result was South 4 ½ Cumbria 3½ and the overall match South 4½ Cumbria 7½.
The South boys all played well against a strong Cumbria side and their fightback in the singles was most impressive and augers well for the rest of the season.
Mitchell Cowie (D&G) and Callum McMillan (Kirkcudbright) lost to Archie Davies and Dominic Barron by 6 & 5
Angus Bendall (Castle Douglas) and Nathan Watson (Kirkcudbright) lost to Will Postlewaite and Alex Rose by 2 & 1
William Squires (Kirkcudbright) and Callan Harkness (Lochmaben) lost to Byron Evans and Liam Mason by 1 hole
Dylan Cairnie (D&G) and Ross Whyte (D&C) lost to Will Barnes and David Boardman by 3 & 2
Foursomes Result South 0 Cumbria 4
Mitchell Cowie lost to Archie Davies by 6 & 5
Callum McMillan lost to Dominic Barron by 4 & 3
Angus Bendall beat Will Postlewaite by 1 hole
Nathan Watson beat Alex Rose by 5 & 4
William Squires beat Byron Evans by 1 hole
Callan Harkness halved with Liam Mason
Dylan Cairnie beat Will Barnes by 3 & 1
Ross Whyte lost to David Boardman by 3 & 2
Singles Result South 4½ Cumbria 3½
Match Result South 4½ Cumbria 7½
The photograph shows the South team. From the left Nathan Watson, Mitchell Cowie, Callan Harkness, Callum McMillan, William Squires, Ross Whyte, Angus Bendall and Dylan Cairnie.