Moray clubs contest golf league
THE Moray and Nairn golf league has new champions with Nairn pipping three Moray clubs to the trophy.
Contested for the 71st time, the scratch league was hosted by Elgin Golf Club and needed a few late changes in fixtures due to the last minute withdrawal of Nairn Dunbar Golf Club, who were unable to raise a team.
However the four remaining teams of Elgin, Forres, Moray and Nairn ensured that the tournament went into the last day with the Shield still up for grabs.
With no Thursday night fixture the proceedings were opened on a blustery Friday evening which saw host club Elgin take on Forres.
Steven H Milne got things started and secured a half point for Elgin in a tight encounter with Stuart MacLennan.
The next set of matches went the way of Forres who took a three-point lead thanks to wins for Grant Stuart, Jake Carpenter and Thomas Bell.
Elgin bounced back with wins from Colin Taylor and Andy Fiske but Forres secured the win when Matty Wilson took home the spoils in a one-hole victory over Greg Yeates.
The top match saw Elgin's Danny Edwards defeat Jeff Wright to see the final score Elgin 3½ Forres 4½.
Saturday morning's match, in glorious sunshine, saw the two favoured teams for outright victory come head-to-head as a young Nairn side faced Moray.
A tight match was expected and the defending champions from Lossiemouth took an early 2-1 lead thanks to victories from Ryan Copland and Jordan Edwards, Jamie MacKintosh getting a point on the board for Nairn.
Logan Gillies and Kevin Thomson then shared the spoils to keep the holders a point ahead and despite an emphatic win for Moray's Stuart Tatters, victories for Steven Pears, Calum Scott and team captain Fraser Fotheringham secured the win for Nairn by a scoreline of 4½ to 3½.
The afternoon session continued in brilliant sunshine with two matches, Forres against Nairn and Moray versus Elgin.
The first match saw Forres take an early lead with a Stuart MacLennan victory over Rory Asher. However this success was short-lived as Nairn sealed the tie with wins in the next five matches by Rory Cromarty, Hamish McColm, Jamie MacKintosh, Steven Pears and Calum Scott.
Two Forres wins in the top matches by Matty Wilson and Jeff Wright made the final score Forres 3, Nairn 5.
The second match saw Moray take on host club Elgin, who started well and after five matches led 3-2 thanks to wins for Allan Taylor, Kevin Taylor and Colin Taylor.
Wins for Jordan Edwards and Kevin Thomson accounted for Moray's points.
However successes for Moray's top three of team captain Malcolm Macleman, Stuart Tatters and Kyle Godsman saw the team from the coast secure a 5-3 victory.
The overnight league table saw Nairn on top with four points, Moray and Forres on two points and Elgin pointless.
This meant unfortunately Elgin were out of the equation for winning the title and although Nairn remained favourites, Moray and Forres were still in the mix.
If Saturday was glorious then Sunday was the complete opposite as the teams were greeted with some pretty torrential rain.
It was testament to the golf course at Elgin that it stood up to the constant downpour as word spread that some others in the area had to close their doors due to flooding.
Elgin hosted Nairn in the first match on Sunday with Nairn knowing that a draw would secure the title and let them bring the shield back home.
Moray took on Forres in the other match with both teams knowing that any slip up from Nairn could open the door for them to take the title.
With 'Live Scoring' from the course in full operation it became pretty clear that Nairn were in no mood to slip up as they coasted to a 7-1 victory over their hosts.
Wins for Calum Scott, Andrew Burgess, Finlay Asher, Robert Smith, Jamie MacKintosh and Logan Gillies gave the Nairn side six points and two halved matches involving Steven Pears and Allan Taylor and Fraser Fotheringham and Danny Edwards secured the title for the west side with an undefeated record.
With only pride and second place to play for, the final match involving Moray and Forres turned out to be a very tight affair.
A halved match between Lewis Bryce-Maynard and Forres captain Stuart MacLennan was followed by three emphatic wins for the men from Lossiemouth by Jordan Edwards, Nat Simpson and Kevin Thomson.
However a Thomas Bell victory over Graham Murray and Ross Proctor taking the spoils over Malcolm Macleman got the Forres side to within touching distance.
Despite a Forres victory for Jeff Wright in the top match, the point secured by Stuart Tatters against Matty Wilson sealed a 4½-3½ win for Moray.