On Monday 15 August 2016, sixteen of the finest young golfers in the Area gathered at Kirkcudbright Golf Club on a beautiful summer’s day to play a match between a South Select and Dumfries & County Golf Club. The match had been arranged to give the boys experience in match play team golf. All the boys were under 16 years of age and determined to display their skills, competence and ability to propel a golf ball round a course in excellent condition. The boys all looked extremely smart in their team colours – Dumfries & County in blue shirts and the South players in white as they waited for their turn to play.

In the morning foursomes top match Dumfries & County players Mitchell Cowie and Lewis Fraser took an early lead over the South pairing of Finlay Copland (D&C) and Callum McMillan (Kirkcudbright) by winning the 9th to go two up. Finlay and Callum fought back by winning 10 and 11 and then went into the lead and were two up after 15 and won 16 to win 3 & 2.

Jamie Marchbank (D&G) and Jamie Alison (D&G) representing South had a titanic struggle against Corey Brown and David Sharp. Corey and David were two up after 6 and 3 up at the turn. The two Jamie’s fought back and Corey and David were glad to settle for a half on the eighteenth green.

The third game was between Sam Mitchell (Portpatrick) and Glen Irvine (D&G) against Lewis Cheetham and Danny Irving of Dumfries & County. The game was all square after 6 but the South boys won 7 and 8 to go two up which they held through 11 and went on to win 4 &3.

In the final game of the morning Taylor Kerr (Sanquhar) and Patrick Innes (Kirkcudbright) took an early lead against Neil MacDonald and Ben Marshall of Dumfries & County and were one up after 4. They increased this to two up after 9 and three up after 11 before the County boys’ got one back at 15 but could not continue the fight back and the South pairing won 2 & 1

The score after the morning foursomes was South Select 3½ games to Dumfries & County ½.

After lunch, the top game in the afternoon singles was an epic struggle between two well-matched players at the top of their game. Mitchell Cowie (D&C) took an early lead of one up after 4 and held this lead through 8 and 11.Finlay Copland then got one back and standing on the 15th tee the game was all square. Mitchell then hit a marvellous tee shot at the long par 3 and holed the putt for a birdie. He did the same at the 16th to go dormie two and went on to win by 2 holes.

The second top match found Callum McMillan, playing on his home course, use his local knowledge to good effect to take an early lead of two up after 4 against Lewis Fraser. Lewis hung on bravely keeping the score at 2 down after 8 and 11 but no matter how hard he tried he could not reduce the deficit and lost 5 & 3.

The game between Jamie Marchbank (D & G) and Corey Brown (D & C) was another example of two well–matched players going head–to head in friendly confrontation with no quarter asked or given. All square after 4, Corey took a two hole lead after 8 before Jamie fought back to all square after 16. Corey won the 17th after a bad drive from Jamie and held on to win by one hole.

David Sharp (D & C) used the experience he had gained by playing for the South in previous matches to good effect in seeing off Jamie Alison (D & G) by 2 & 1. All square through 4 and 8, David had a slender lead of one hole after 15, which he increased to two up with a par after a super tee shot at the short 16th and a half at 17 gave him his narrow victory. Jamie should not be discouraged as he fought all the way and never gave up.

Glen Irvine (D & G) was very focussed against the tenacious Lewis Cheetham (D & C) as the advantage swung from one to the other in this pulsating game. Glen was one up after 4 but one down after 8 and then two up after 15. Lewis hit his tee shot to 8 feet at the short 16th and although he did not get his birdie, a par was sufficient to win the hole. Glen did not panic and won the 17th to be victorious by 2 & 1.

Another close game was between Sam Mitchell (Portpatrick) and Danny Irving (D & G). Both boys played very steadily over a course neither knew well using good course management to work out the best way to get round in the fewest shots. All square after 4, Sam had a two hole advantage after 8 but Danny reduced this to one after 15 before he lost 2 & 1

Two marvellous prospects for the future battled it out in the penultimate game. Neil MacDonald (D & C) never gave up and fought to the end although he could not match the relentless pressure Taylor Kerr (Sanquhar) exerted with his marvellous short game. Getting off to a good start, Taylor was two up after 4, increased this to three up after 8 and then four up after 14 before going on to win 5 & 3.

In the last match, local member Patrick Innes took an early lead of three up after 4 against a nervous Ben Marshall (D & C). Ben recovered and started to enjoy himself holding Patrick to three down after 8 and after 15 before he won 16 when Patrick lost his ball off the tee. Unfortunately for Ben this was the end of the fight back and Patrick won the 17th to emerge victorious by 3 & 1.

The Singles score was South 5 games to Dumfries & County 3. A very close match and much tighter than the score line suggests as six of the eight singles went to the 17th green  It was only the more experienced South players in the lower order which turned the match and gave South a victory by 8½ games to 3½ by Dumfries & County.

A day in the sun which was enjoyed by all the boys with some marvellous golf played and memories to take home. The sportsmanship, etiquette and behaviour were exemplary throughout the whole day and a credit to all the boys. The future of golf in the South looks in good hands for the next few years.

Individual Results (D&C) players first)

Morning Foursomes

Mitchell Cowie and Lewis Fraser lost to Finlay Copland (D&G) and Callum McMillan (Kirkcudbright) by 3 & 2

Corey Brown and David Sharp halved with Jamie Marchbank (D&G) and Jamie Alison (D&G)

Danny Irving and Lewis Cheetham lost to Sam Mitchell (Portpatrick) and Glen Irvine (D&G)

by 4 & 3

Neil MacDonald and Ben Marshall lost to Taylor Kerr (Sanquhar) and Patrick Innes (Kirkcudbright) by 2 & 1

Foursomes Result         South 3½         Dumfries & County ½

Afternoon Singles

Mitchell Cowie beat Finlay Copland by 2 holes

Lewis Fraser lost to Callum McMillan by 5 & 3

Corey Brown beat Jamie Marchbank by 1 hole

David Sharp beat Jamie Alison by 2 & 1

Lewis Cheetham lost to Glen Irvine by 2 & 1

Danny Irving lost to Sam Mitchell by 2 & 1

Neil MacDonald lost to Taylor Kerr by 5 & 3

Ben Marshall lost to Patrick Innes by 3 & 1

The photograph shows the two teams before play; Back row; Jamie Alison, Lewis Fraser, David Sharp, Corey Brown, Ben Marshall, Neil Macdonald, Finlay Copland, Sam Mitchell, Patrick Innes, Danny Irving; Front row; Jamie Marchbank, Taylor Kerr, Lewis Cheetham, Callum McMillan, Glen Irvine and Mitchell Cowie.