On Monday 23 July 2018 an inexperienced South junior team played a Northern Counties League match against Northumberland Juniors at Bedlingtonshire Golf Club. The undulating, tree lined course was in superb condition with hard, fast fairways and greens and the weather was sunny and very hot.
David Sharp (D&C) and Kaleb Johnston (Portpatrick) got off to a fine start in the morning foursomes and were one up after four holes. By the half way mark they were two down after losing holes five, seven and eight and never recovered before losing by 4 & 2. The top pairing of Callum McMillan (Kirkcudbright) and Ciaran Howat (D&C) suffered a similar fate after a good start. All square after 4 holes they lost three in a row from the fifth and reached the turn three down. They also fought hard on the back nine but lost by 3 & 2.
Another good start from Sam Mitchell (Portpatrick) and Neil Macdonald (D&C) gave them a one hole advantage after four holes and they kept battling away to be all square after nine and fifteen. Unfortunately they lost sixteen and seventeen and the game 2 & 1. Glen Irvine (D&G) and Danny Irving (D&G) were also one up after four holes but lost the sixth and were still all square after nine. They gained the initiative by winning twelve and kept up the momentum to be three up after fifteen and holding on to win by 2 & 1.
The score at lunch was Northumberland 3 games and South 1 game with the eight singles to come in the afternoon.
David Sharp had a tight game and was two down after four holes but won five and six to be all square which he held to the turn. He won the tenth but then lost eleven and twelve before eventually losing by 2 & 1. Kaleb Johnston held his own till the fourth but lost five and six and was three down after nine holes. Five down after twelve saw him shaking hands on the fifteenth green after losing by 4 & 3.
A great start by Callum McMillan to be three up after four holes was increased to five up on the outward nine. His opponent fought back and a birdie on the last hole gave Callum victory by two holes. Ciaran Howat also had a battle but he had to show his fighting qualities in taking his opponent to the eighteenth green. He was one up after six and two up after nine but only one up after fifteen. Unfortunately he lost the last and the game by I hole.
Sam Mitchell got off to a bad start after lunch and was two down after four holes. He steadied the ship and was still two down as they turned for home. By fifteen he was three down and lost by 3 & 2. Neil Macdonald was one up after 4 holes but two down after twelve. Even with his fighting qualities he was unable to regain the initiative and he lost narrowly by 2 & 1.
A great outward nine by Glen Irvine put him in the driving seat at two up after nine holes but he lost three holes in a row from the turn, never recovered, and although he fought to the last he lost by 1 hole. In the final game Danny Irving reached the turn four down. He kept fighting but could not overcome the deficit and lost 3 & 2.
Northumberland won the singles by 7 games to 1 and the match by 10 games to 2. A lot of the games were very close and the final result did not reflect the effort and commitment given by the South boys.
David Sharp (D&C) and Kaleb Johnston (Portpatrick) lost to Alex Buchanan (Matfen) and Max Bromley (Ponteland) by 4 & 2
Callum McMillan (Kirkcudbright) and Ciaran Howat (D&C) lost to Jai Scott (Newbiggin) and Cameron Fletcher-Smith (Percy Wood) by 3 & 2
Neil Macdonald (D&C) and Sam Mitchell (Portpatrick) lost to Angus Buchanan (Matfen) and Jamie Charleton (Blyth) by 2 & 1
Glen Irvine (D&G) and Danny Irving (D&C) beat Junior Dobson (Matfen) and Morgan Blythe (Matfen) by 2 & 1
Foursomes Score Northumberland 3 games South 1 game
David Sharp lost to Alex Buchanan by 2 & 1
Kaleb Johnston lost to Max Bromley by 4 & 3
Callum McMillan beat Jai Scott 2 up
Ciaran Howat lost to Jamie Charleton by 1 hole
Sam Mitchell lost to Angus Buchanan by 3 & 2
Neil Macdonald lost to Cameron Fletcher-Smith by 2 & 1
Glen Irvine lost to Junior Dobson by 1 hole
Danny Irving lost to Morgan Blythe by 3 & 2
Singles Score Northumberland 7 games South 1 game
Match Result Northumberland 10 games South 2 games
The Photograph shows the South team: David Sharp, Ciaran Howat, Danny Irving, Kelab Johnston, Sam Mitchell, Glen Irvine, Neil Macdonald and Callum McMillan