The South Junior team recorded their first win in their first match of the season in the Northern Counties League against Northumberland after a titanic struggle. On a dry overcast day on Sunday 12 July at a pristine Dumfries & County golf course the eight man team eventually overcame their stubborn opponents with six of the afternoon eight single games going to the eighteenth green.
In the morning foursomes the Under 16 Kirkcudbright pairing of Nathan Watson and William Squires recovered from losing the first hole to be 2 up at the turn, thanks to a Nathan chip-in at the 9th, and held their game together over the back nine to win 3 &2. In the top match, Angus Bendall (Castle Douglas) and Rowan Marchbank (D&G) fought hard to hold the top Northumberland pairing to all square after nine holes. After 16 holes they managed to be two up but lost the 17th and Angus had to sink an outrageous twenty foot putt across the eighteenth green for a half to win by one hole. The Newton Stewart club mates Fraser Hughes and Graeme Hoodless never combined well and from 3 down after the first nine lost on the fifteenth green by 5 and 3. The new South Champion, Dylan Cairnie (D&C) and Grant Hannah (Thornhill) played steadily and were never down in winning 3 and 2. The South team were happy with their 3-1 lead at lunchtime but knew the Northumberland boys would fight back in the afternoon singles.
In the first singles match Nathan Watson was 2 down after 6, 3 down after 12 and eventually lost 3 and 2 due mainly to missed putts. William Squires took an early lead, was 2 up after 6 holes, 1 up after 12 and held on to win by 1 hole. In the top singles match Angus Bendall and Northumberland’s Joshua Brookes played some marvellous golf. Never more than one hole in it they were all square after 6 holes, still all square after 12 and although Angus lost the 15th, got it back at the 16th he unfortunately lost by one hole to a birdie at the last. Rowan Marchbank decided at lunch he was taking no prisoners and raced into an early lead, being 3 up after 6, and played very well to win easily by 6 and 5.
South still held a two point advantage and needed one and a half points from the four games left on the course After 12 holes they were down in three and only up in one. The experienced Fraser Hughes battled bravely but could not find the magic touch on the greens and lost by one hole on the last green. Graeme Hoodless had been 6 down after nine holes and looked down and out but produced the fightback of the day to win the final hole and halve his game. In the penultimate game Grant Hannah got off to a slow start and was three down after six holes, and one down after twelve. He then learned the match could depend on his game and showed his fighting qualities to win one up. The cool and unruffled Dylan Cairnie, the anchorman, continued his steady play of the morning round over his home course and finished with a birdie to win by two holes. The South team won the singles by 4½ games to 3½ and the match by 7½ games to 4½. But it could have been so different with all the last four games going to the last. It was a very relieved but happy South team that sat down to a lovely and well deserved meal in the clubhouse to bask in their own glory.
Nathan Watson & William Squires beat Max Bromley & Brandon Jones by 3 and 2
Angus Bendall & Rowan Marchbank beat Joshua Brookes & Matthew Wood by 1 hole
Fraser Hughes & Graeme Hoodless lost to Adam Wright & Conor Turnbull by 5 and 3
Dylan Cairnie & Grant Hannah beat Aidan Topham & Jonathon Douglas by 3 and 2
Foursomes Score: South 3 points Northumberland 1 point
Nathan Watson (Kirkcudbright) lost to Max Bromley by 3 and 2
William Squires (Kirkcudbright) beat Brandon Jones by 1 hole
Angus Bendall (Castle Douglas) lost to Joshua Brooks by 1 hole
Rowan Marchbank (D&G) beat Matthew Wood by 5 and 4
Fraser Hughes (Newton Stewart) lost to Adam Wright by 1 hole
Graeme Hoodless (Newton Stewart) halved with Conor Turnbull
Grant Hannah (Thornhill) beat Aidan Topham by 1 hole
Dylan Cairnie (D&C) beat Jonathon Douglas by 2 holes
Singles Score: South 4½ points Northumberland 3½ points
Match Total South 7½ points Northumberland 4½ points
The photograph shows the victorious team. From the left: Graeme Hoodless, Grant Hannah, Rowan Marchbank, Angus Bendall, Fraser Hughes, William Squires, Nathan Watson and Dylan Cairnie.