The annual match for the President’s Pewter took place this year at Portpatrick Dunskey on Sunday 25 March. On a most beautiful spring day, four youths (U23), four boys aged Under 18 and four boys aged Under 16 from each Area comprised the two teams. The boys had been looking forward to this day for weeks as it signalled the first match of the season and they were raring to go.

The course was in superb condition as Sam Mitchell (Portpatrick) and Ciaran Howat (D&C) led the South boys off in the morning foursomes. This friendly game set the spirit for the day and finished with an honourable half on the eighteenth green. The first win for the South was in the second game when Kaleb Johnston (Portpatrick) and David Sharp (D&C) had a narrow victory by 2 and 1. Mitchell Cowie (D&C) and Finlay Copland (D&G) combined well and were back in the clubhouse for an early lunch after a good 5 and 4 victory.

It soon became evident that the rustiness of the winter months, particularly with their short game, was affecting all the boys in the early stages of their games. Taylor Kerr (Thornhill) and Callum McMillan (Kirkcudbright) fought hard but suffered the first defeat for the South by 3 and 2. In the penultimate match Alex Long (New Galloway) and Dylan Cairnie (D&C) lost two holes in a row at 13 and 14 and ran out of holes and lost 2 and 1. The two Herriot Watt University students, Iain Rae (Dalbeattie) and Nathan Watson (Kirkcudbright), who had made the long journey from Edinburgh never got going and suffered a humbling defeat by 6 and 5.

Ayrshire took a narrow lead into the afternoon singles by 3.5 games to 2.5 games but the South boys knew they could play better and were determined to overcome the deficit.

Sam Mitchell continued his fine form of the morning to get the South boys off to a fine start by winning 3 and 2. Unfortunately Kaleb Johnston and Ciaran Howat could not continue the momentum and both lost by 2 and 1 and 5 and 3 respectively. The ship was steadied by good wins from David Sharp by one hole and the ever reliable Mitchell Cowie by 3 and 2. Taylor Kerr sunk a long birdie putt on the eighteenth for a 0ne hole victory and Finlay Copland was never in trouble in recording a 3 and 2 victory.

Callum McMillan used all his young experience but could not get the better of his opponent and unfortunately lost by 3 and 2. Dylan Cairnie, on the other hand showed that he had lost none of his competitive spirit and manufactured a fine 2 and 1 victory.

The highlights of the afternoon singles were provided by the mighty Alex Long, who was 2 down after 5 holes but when he came to the short uphill par 4 fourteenth he opened his shoulders off the tee and drove the green. He missed the six foot uphill putt and had to settle for a half in birdies. He played his last eight holes in 5 under par to record a fine 2 and 1 victory.

Iain Rae and Nathan Watson played a lot better than in the morning and both were unlucky to lose by one hole and 2 and 1 respectively. The South won the Singles by 7 games to 5 and the match by 9.5 games to 8.5.

Individual Results:

Morning Foursomes

Sam Mitchell (Portpatrick) & Ciaran Howat (D&C) halved with Ben Watson (Kilmarnock Barrassie) & Ross McDonald (Kilmarnock Barrassie)

Kaleb Johnston (Portpatrick) & David Sharp (D&C) beat Jack Allan (Ballochmyle) & John McCracken (Kilmarnock Barrassie) by 2 and 1

Mitchell Cowie (D&C) & Finlay Copland (D&G) beat Alyx  Murray (Troon Welbeck) & Sean Addie (Ayr Belleside) by 5 and 4

Taylor Kerr (Thornhill) & Callum McMillan (Kirkcudbright) lost to Ewan Milligan (Kilmarnock Barrassie) & Kieran Beauchamp (Turnberry) by 3 and 2

Alex Long (New Galloway) & Dylan Cairnie (D&C) lost to Shaun Hedger (West Kilbride) & Robbie Muir (Kilmarnock Barrassie) by 2 and 1

Iain Rae (Dalbeattie) & Nathan Watson (Kirkcudbright) lost to Greg Telfer (Prestwick St Cuthberts) & Sandy Walker (Kilmarnock Barrassie) by 6 and 5

Foursomes Result:            South 2.5             Ayrshire 3.5

Afternoon Singles:

Sam Mitchell beat Ross McDonald by 3 and 2

Kaleb Johnston lost to Ben Watson by 2 and 1

Ciaran Howat lost to John McCracken by 5 and 3

David Sharp beat Jack Allan by 1 hole

Mitchell Cowie beat Alyx Murray by 3 and 2

Taylor Kerr beat Ewan Milligan by 1 hole

Finlay Copland beat Keiran Beauchamp by 3 and 2

Callum McMillan lost to Sean Addie by 3 and 2

Dylan Cairnie beat Robbie Muir by 2 and 1

Alex Long beat Sandy Walker by2 and 1

Iain Rae lost to Shaun Hedger by 1 hole

Nathan Watson lost to Greg Telfer by 2 and 1

Singles Result:    South 7                Ayrshire 5

Match Result:     South 9.5             Ayrshire 8.5

The photograph shows the victorious South team with the Presidents Trophy. From the left: David Sharp, Ciaran Howat, Finlay Copland, Mitchell Cowie, Iain Rae, Callum McMillan, Sam Mitchell, Taylor Kerr, Nathan Watson (hidden), Dylan Cairnie, Kelab Johnstone and Alex Long.