This was the first official match of the season for both teams and was played at Lockerbie Golf Club on Saturday 28 May. The course was in good shape and well presented after the ravages of the winter weather. The boys of both teams were excited and all keyed up ready for the morning foursomes as the sun broke through from a cloudy sky to welcome them on to the first tee.
In front of a gathering of fellow competitors, officials, families and friends and some Lockerbie Members, Cameron Gray (Kirkcudbright) and Finlay Copeland (D&G) led the South boys up the first fairway and after 6 holes held a narrow one hole lead, which they held on to through 12 before winning by 3 & 2. Mitchell Cowie (D&C) and Corey Brown (D&C) got off to a terrible start being three down after 6 holes. They rallied for a few holes but were still four down after 12 holes before losing 4 &3. The two Jamies, Jamie Marchbank (D&G) and Jamie Alison (D&G), were one down after 6 holes, kept fighting but were still one down after 12 holes and were eventually outplayed and lost 3 &2. It fell to the two youngest in the team to restore the balance in the match. And they didn’t disappoint. Callum McMillan (Kirkcudbright) and David Sharp (D&C) belied their inexperience and took an early lead to be two up after 4 and after 6. They were pegged back to one up after 12 but regained the initiative to be 2 up after 15 and held on desperately to win by one hole on the eighteenth green. At lunch honours were even at 2 games each with all to play for in the afternoon singles.
Cameron Gray again had the honour of leading the South boys in the singles in the afternoon sunshine. He was one down after 6 holes, one up after 12 but unfortunately lost by one hole on the eighteenth green. Finlay Copeland followed and got off to a great start to be two up after 6 but all square after 12 before his excellent short game saved him time after time and he ended all square after 18. Mitchell Cowie, disappointed with some of his play in the morning, was one down after 6 but recovered well to lead by one after 12 and held his game together to win by one hole on the eighteenth green. Corey Brown was one down after 6, fought back to be all square after 12 and was disappointed to only gain a halved match on the eighteenth green. The first four games had been well contested by evenly matched players and all were settled on the last hole.
David Sharp, on his debut, was one down after 4 but all square after 6. Unfortunately he lost three of the next 6 holes and eventually was beaten by 4 & 3. Although disappointed he finished with a smile on his face and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Jamie Marchbank took an early lead to be one up after 4, one up after 6 and increased his lead to be two up after 12. He was never down in his game and one up at the end. So with two games still out on the course it was all to play for with the match standing at 5 games all. Jamie Alison, on his debut, fought back well from two down after 6 to be one up after 12 and all square after 17. Unfortunately he could not match the par of his opponent at eighteen and lost by one hole. Callum McMillan was one up after 6, one up after 12 and came off the seventeenth green still one up. A large crowd had gathered around the eighteenth green to watch the outcome of this game and the match but Callum sadly missed his par putt and ended up with a halved game. The initiative in the last two games had not been lost by bad golf but by inexperience. A final count showed that Cumbria won the match by 6½ games to 5½.
Of the eight singles, seven went to the eighteenth green and on another day the result could so easily have been different. The South boys all played well on a course not many had played before. The team spirit was excellent and everyone supported each other all day. The South boys were disappointed at the result but the experience will stand them in good stead and make them more determined in the future.
Cameron Gray (Kirkcudbright) and Finlay Copeland (D&G) beat Archie Davies and Liam Mason by 3 & 2
Mitchell Cowie (D&C) and Corey Brown (D&C) lost to Tom McNeil and Dominic Barron by 4 & 3
Jamie Marchbank (D&G) and Jamie Alison (D&G) lost to Elliot Cleasby and Joseph Brennan by 3 &2
Callum McMillan (Kirkcudbright) and David Sharp (D&C) beat Will Coxon and Ryan Whitehead by 1 hole
Foursomes Result: South 2 Cumbria 2
Cameron Gray lost to Archie Davies by 1 hole
Finlay Copeland halved with Liam Mason
Mitchell Cowie beat Tom McNeil by 1 hole
Corey Brown halved with Dominic Barron
Jamie Marchbank beat Elliot Cleasby by 1 hole
Jamie Alison lost to Joseph Brennan by 1 hole
David Sharp lost to Will Coxon by 4 &3
Callum McMillan halved with Ryan Whitehead
Singles Result South 3½ Cumbria 4½
Match Result South 5½ Cumbria 6½
The photograph shows the South team before play
From the left: Finlay Copeland, Mitchell Cowie, David Sharp, Callan McMillan, Jamie Alison, Cameron Gray, Corey Brown, Jamie Marchbank.