Northumberland Juniors were the visitors to Dumfries & Galloway Golf Club on Monday 7 August for the return match in the Northern Counties League. They had come with a strong team after the first match a fortnight ago in Northumberland when South was victorious by 9 games to 3.

The course was in immaculate condition on a bright summer’s day when the morning foursomes got the match underway with Jamie Marchbank (D&G) and Callum McMillan (Kirkcudbright) leading off for the South. After losing the first they got back to all square after three holes and continued trading holes in a tight game until Jamie and Callum lost three in a row from the fourteenth and the game by 3 & 2. Nathan Watson (Kirkcudbright) and Iain Rae (Dalbeattie) didn’t fare much better. One down after seven, soon became two down after eight and three down after eleven and they eventually lost by 4 & 2.

Thomas Robinson (D&G) and Glen Irvine (D&G) played very steadily and were one up after eight. They then lost the eleventh but fought back to all square after 15 but then lost both 16 and 17 to two marvellous long putts lost the game 2 & 1. The new pairing of Cameron Gray (Kirkcudbright) and Corey Brown (D&C) combined well although they were one down after 7 but got it back to all square after 14 with a birdie. An excellent sand save to win 15 and a half on 16, 17 and 18 gave them a deserved win by one hole and the only point for the South.

At lunch South were bitterly disappointed with the score of Northumberland 3 games South 1but determined to overcome the deficit.

In the afternoon singles Jamie Marchbank got off to a great start with two birdies in the first two holes but could only match his opponent and was still all square. After winning the 3rd hole with a par he lost the 4th to a birdie and remained all square through 7 and 10 and still two under. This was a marvellous game with both boys playing at their best and holes changing hands with great regularity. Jamie won 14 with a par, 15 with a birdie and 16 with a par to win the game 3 & 2.

Callum McMillan is getting his confidence back. He always gives 110% and this game was no different. All square after 7 , he sank a long putt on 11 to go one up but lost 12 and 13 before winning 14 to get back to all square and held out for a half game. Nathan Watson started with a birdie but was all square after 3 and with a winning up and down on 4 he was one up. Still all square after 11, Nathan won the next two but lost 14 to a birdie to be one up. He then lost 16 and 18 to lose by one hole.

All the luck Iain Rae got was bad, lipping out on the first to lose to a birdie, he kept fighting and after 11 holes was still one down. Back to all square after 14, he then lost 15 and ran out of holes and lost 2 & 1. Thomas Robinson got off to great start winning the first two holes and then the fourth to be three up. By the eighth he had been pegged back to one up which he retained through eleven. The holes then kept slipping away and he lost three more to lose 2 & 1.

Glen Irvine tries so hard and keeps fighting away, never giving a hole away cheaply. All square after 3, one up after 7 and two up after 11, he then lost 13, 14 and 15 and the game 2 &1. Corey Brown was all square after 4, winning the first and losing the second, but was one up after 7. He lost 11, 12 and 13 but won 14 and lost 15 but never gave up and won 16 and 17 and finished all square. Cameron Gray also finished all square in a game which fluctuated back and forth. One up after 4, he was back at all square by 11 but a birdie at 14 gave him a two hole cushion till he lost 15 and 16 and he was pleased to half the last two holes for a halved game. This gave Northumberland a win in the singles by 5½ games to 2½ and victory in the match by 8½ games to 3½

The South boys all played well in the singles in some very tight games but on this occasion were just lacking the killer instinct over the last few holes. Hopefully they will have gained valuable experience and as a young squad will learn for the future.

Individual Results:

Morning Foursomes:

Jamie Marchbank (D&G) and Callum McMillan (Kirkcudbright) lost to Max Bromley (Ponteland) and Angus Buchanan (Matfen Hall) by 3 & 2

Nathan Watson (Kirkcudbright) and Iain Rae (Dalbeattie) lost to Aidan Topham (Seahouses) and Luke Denny (Alnmouth) by 4 & 2

Thomas Robinson (D&G) and Glen Irvine (D&G lost to John McStravick (Ponteland) and Isaac Connelly (Arcot Hall) by 2 & 1

Cameron Gray (Kirkcudbright) and Corey Brown (D&C) beat Marc Friar (Alnwick Castle) and Alex Buchanan (Matfen Hall) by one hole

Foursomes result;         South 1            Northumberland 3

Afternoon singles:

Jamie Marchbank beat Max Bramley by 3 & 2

Callum McMillan halved with Angus Buchanan

Nathan Watson lost to Aidan Topham by one hole

Iain Rae lost to Luke Denny by 2 & 1

Thomas Robinson lost to John McStravick by 2 & 1

Glen Irvine lost to Isaac Connelly by 2 & 1

Corey Brown halved with Marc Friar

Cameron Gray halved with Alex Buchanan

Singles Result               South 2½         Northumberland 5½

Match Result                South 3½         Northumberland 8½

The photograph shows the South team: Corey Brown, Callum McMillan, Iain Rae, Glen Irvine, Nathan Watson, Cameron Gray, Jamie Marchbank and Thomas Robinson.