On Sunday at Musselburgh Golf Club The Lothians men’s team played against an experienced and strong Northumberland men’s team in this annual match, Northumberland had won this fixture comfortably last year.
Big thanks to Musselburgh Golf Club for the condition of their course and facilities as well as looking after us food and drink wise all were first class and appreciated by the Lothians and Northumberland players and Executive.
Lothians Team Captain Tam Caldwell team consisted of the Craigmillar Open Champion and Battle Open Champion Joe Bryce (Bathgate) along with Connor Wilson (Castle Park) who had won The Edward trophy at Glasgow Gailes the previous day. We also had Cameron Gallagher (Longniddry) and Aaron Hall (Kilspindie) who feature 2nd and 8th respectively in the latest Scottish Boys Order of Merit mixed in with experienced Lothian players.
The morning foursomes were a close affair with Cameron Gallagher holing an important three foot putt in the last match on the course to keep us within a point of Northumberland at 3 ½ v 2 ½ in their favour.
After lunch Joe Bryce lead us off both he and Stuart Blair (Royal Musselburgh) were our only points in the top six matches but word out on the course was that our bottom six matches were all either up or all square at the turn which meant for a close and exciting finish.
Lothians Champion Jamie Morris (Glencorse) watched his opponent hole a spectacular 20 foot putt from above the hole at the last to gain a halved match for Northumberland, but whilst that was happening Connor Wilson, Michael Wilson (Kingsfield), Benn McLeod (Musselburgh) and Andrew Fernie had all secured vital victories for the Lothians.
It came down to the last match which featured Aaron Hall for the Lothians who was all square playing the last, a crowd of players and officials had gathered surrounding the 18th green, Aaron’s dad John had been told to get out of sight but not as politely as that. In golf when watching from a distance of 400+ yards you never like to see the hand coming off the driver at impact then the ball hitting a tree but that’s what we witnessed from Aaron. His second shoot from the trees and rough was with a two iron, low cut under branches chasing up the fairway onto the green (nothing short of spectacular but still not the best shot of the day!), his opponent made a terrific up and down four at the last and Aaron had left himself the dreaded “Dennis Wise” putt, this nasty four footer downhill with break, it would have left many an experienced campaigner struggling to breathe let alone hole! Not Aaron though he holed it with maturity and confidence. A proud father re-appeared to see his son’s moment of glory.
The best shot of the day was by Michael Wilson (Kingsfield) who had a hole in one at the 6th in his singles match on his way to superb 4&3 victory.
Overall a tremendous victory on the day for the Lothians Men and Team Captain Tam Caldwell.
The full match result can be seen by clicking http://www.lothiansgolfassociation.org.uk/DownloadPDFs_2.asp?pdfid=13
The Lothians also wish to congratulate Northumberland’s Andrew Minnikin who played his 100th match for his county.
The other part of this notable double was President John Allan’s Lothian’s Executive team beating their counterparts Northumberland on the previous day at Royal Musselburgh GC, also part of this annual event. Although the golf may not reach the heights of the Men’s team match it was still a tight affair.
Once everyone was strapped up and Deep Heat applied, buggies charged up off we all went. It was down to Sharon MacPherson (Baberton) and John Anderson (Kilspindie) winning the vital point and match for a victorious Lothian’s Executive.
Next Lothians Men’s match is at Castle Park against The Borders on Sunday 12th May 2019.