At Lockerbie Golf Club on Sunday 24 May on a cold, cloudy and windy day a young inexperienced South U16 squad entertained their counterparts from across the Solway Firth. The course was in excellent condition despite the poor start to the growing season and credit must go to the greenkeeper and his staff.
In the morning foursomes the South led with the Kirkcudbright pairing of Nathan Watson and William Squires who showed their experience and composure to win by 2 holes. Cameron Gray and Iain Rae fought hard to gain a halved game but the youngsters of Ryan Cano and Jamie Marchbank and the Dumfries and County pairing of Mitchell Cowie and Corey Brown each lost narrowly to their older opponents by 3 and 2. At lunch Cumbria led by 2½ games to 1½. Not an insurmountable lead which the South boys were determined to overturn in the afternoon singles.
Again Nathan Watson led the South team in the top game in the singles and showed that by steady and consistent play and keeping the ball on the fairway always pays dividends and won easily. William Squires and Cameron Gray proved that they had learned from experience gained in previous matches and took their opponents to the eighteenth green before Cameron won and William unfortunately lost. Cameron’s 6 iron tee shot at the 170 yard final hole finished four feet away and he strode forward confidently and sank the putt. Iain Rae also went to the last hole and gained an honourable half without, as he said, sinking a decent putt.
This put the two teams tied on 4 points with 4 games to finish. Ryan Cano and Corey Brown both played well from tee to green but like Iain had trouble sinking putts and each unfortunately lost. Jamie Marchbank bounced round the course with a smile on his face from ear to ear and easily demolished his Cumbrian opponent winning out in the country. Mitchell Cowie, making his debut for the South, showed no nerves and played very confidently striding up and down the fairways and putting very well. He nearly had a hole-in-one at the 131 yard 13th where his tee shot finished 3 inches from the hole. Now that would have been a story worth telling! The South won the singles by 4½ games to 3½ and the match ended in a draw, 6 games all. All the boys played extremely well and showed great team spirit and maturity beyond their years. The coaching over the winter was starting to pay dividends and the future of junior golf in the South of Scotland would appear to be in good hands for the next few years.
Nathan Watson and William Squires beat Archie Davies and Liam Mason by 2 holes
Cameron Gray and Iain Rae halved with Byron Evans and David Boardman
Ryan Cano and Jamie Marchbank lost to James Fisher and Patrick Brennan by 3 & 2
Mitchell Cowie and Corey Brown lost to Thomas Dixon and Tom McNeil by 3 & 2
Foursomes Score South 1½ Cumbria 2½
Nathan Watson (Kirkcudbright) beat Liam Mason (Sedbergh) by 4 & 3
William Squires (Kirkcudbright) lost to Archie Davies (Carlisle) by 1 hole
Cameron Gray (Kirkcudbright) beat Byron Evans (Carus Green) by 1 hole
Iain Rae (Dalbeattie) halved with David Boardman (Ulverston)
Ryan Cano (Thornhill) lost to Patrick Brennan (Seascale) by 3 & 2
Jamie Marchbank (D&G) beat James Fisher (Brampton) by 7 & 5
Corey Brown (D&C) lost to Tom McNeil (Stoneyholme) by 5 & 4
Mitchell Cowie (D&C) beat Thomas Dixon (Penrith) by 5 & 4
Singles Score South 4½ Cumbria 3½
Match Result South 6 Cumbria 6
The attached photograph shows the boys in confident mood before play
From the left: Iain Rae, Jamie Marchbank, Ryan Cano, Cameron Gray, Nathan Watson, Mitchell Cowie, Corey Brown and William Squires
To ensure the conveyor belt of young boys and girls coming through to play for the South continues the South executive are organising a fun day of golf at Brighouse Bay on Saturday 20 June with all proceeds being devoted to the development of Junior golf in the area. The Gillespie Classic is open to Ladies, Gents, Juniors or any mixed pairing thereof and will be a Four Ball Better Ball stableford. Entry is £15 per player. PLEASE SUPPORT THIS EVENT. IT IS THE MAJOR FUND RAISER FOR JUNIOR GOLF DEVELOPMENT. All entries to Iain Robin, SoSGA Secretary, 62 Albert Road, Dumfries, DG2 9DL tel 01387 252004.