The first match of the season for both teams took place at Southerness Golf Club on Sunday 15 April 2018. The course was in superb condition as the first fourball of the morning set off under grey skies with a slight breeze from the east.
The South boys from Portpatrick, Sam Mitchell and Kaleb Johnston, got off to a terrible start but recovered well and were only one down after 5 holes. They were 3 down after 11 and lost 5 & 4. In the top match, Taylor Kerr (Thornhill) and Cameron Gray (Kirkcudbright), slowly increased their grip on the game and from being one up after 5, 2 up after 9 and 3up after 11 won 4 & 3. Both boys combined well and thoroughly enjoyed their victory.
Finlay Copland (D&G) and Callum McMillan (Kirkcudbright) had a titanic struggle in the third game. One down after 5 holes they were back to all square after 11 but 2 down after 14. They fought back well and finished all square. Jamie Marchbank (D&G) and Glen Irvine (D&G) took an early lead and increased it to be 3 up after 11 holes. Back to 2 up after 14 holes they held on to win by 2 & 1.
South had gained a slender lead after the morning foursomes with the scoreline reading South 2½ games Cumbria 1½
During lunch the wind turned round to the south-west and strengthened as rain clouds started to gather over the Lake District.
In the afternoon singles Sam Mitchell continued his steady play of the morning and reached the turn all square before the wheels came off and he lost the next five holes to lose 5 & 4. He had played in a 36 hole event the previous day and tiredness took over his body and mind and he was unable to win a hole. Kaleb Johnston put the disasters of the morning behind him and from being all square at 9 won three of the next five holes to be 3 up after 14. He coasted over the next two holes to record a 3 & 2 victory.
Taylor Kerr was more relaxed in the afternoon and produced some marvellous golf in winning 3 & 1. He was one up after 6, 3 up after 9 and 2 up after 14 before seeing out the game by 3 & 1. Cameron Gray, on the other hand, does not like to do things the easy way. He played very well and had his opponent on the ropes when he was 4 up at the turn but then his exertions of the previous day took over and his lead slipped away and he unfortunately lost by one hole.
Another to let a strong lead disappear over the final holes was Finlay Copland, who had played well over the first fourteen holes to be 4 up. He then lost the last four holes for a halved game. Callum McMillan also played well over the first fourteen holes and was 4 up. He lost 15 and 16 and a half on 17 gave him a well-deserved victory.
In the penultimate game, Glen Irvine was 2 up after 6, 4 up after 11 but then tiredness began to affect his play and he lost the next three holes to be only 1 up after 14. He continued to battle away and held on for a halved game. Jamie Marchbank, in the last game, had a marvellous game with holes changing hands at regular intervals and neither player gaining an upper hand or superiority. Jamie was 1 up after 6 and 11 but all square after 14 holes before his greater experience and fighting qualities helped him to a one hole victory.
South won the singles by 5 games to 3 and the match by 7½ games to 4½. A good result for South of Scotland in which 5 of the games went to the eighteenth green and all the boys made a telling contribution.
Sam Mitchell and Kaleb Johnston (Both Portpatrick) lost to Will Coxon and Dominic Barron (both Kendal) by 5 & 4
Taylor Kerr (Thornhill) and Cameron Gray (Kirkcudbright) beat Liam Mason (Sedberg) and Jamie Sowerby (Appleby) by 4 & 3
Finlay Copland (D&G) and Callum McMillan (Kirkcudbright) halved with Alex Park (Eden) and Lewis Ransley (Eden)
Jamie Marchbank ( D & G) and Glen Irvine (D&G) beat Travis Little (Carlisle) and Tom McNeil (Carlisle) by one hole
Foursomes Score South 2½ games Cumbria 1½
Sam Mitchell lost to Dominic Barron by 5 & 4
Kaleb Johnstone beat Will Coxon by 3 & 2
Taylor Kerr beat Liam Mason by 3 & 1
Cameron Gray lost to Jamie Sowerby by 1 hole
Finlay Copland halved with Alex Park
Callum McMillan beat Travis Little by 2 & 1
Glen Irvine halved with Lewis Ransley
Jamie Marchbank beat Tom McNeil by 1 hole
Singles Score South 5 games Cumbria 3
Match Score South 7½ Cumbria 4½
The accompanying photograph shows the South team well wrapped up to beat the weather. From the left Finlay Copland, Glen Irvine, Taylor Kerr, Cameron Gray, Jamie Marchbank, Sam Mitchell, Callum McMillan and Kaleb Johnston. Orlando Pace Jersey