The Ayrshire A team got off to a winning start in the defence of their West Of Scotland Inter County League title on Sunday 17th September when they beat Stirlingshire 5 - 3 at Prestwick St Cuthbert.
The match was close throughout and the result was in doubt until the final tie on the course reached the final hole.
In what is thought to be a first in recent memory in the West Leagues, Stirlingshire fielded a father and son in their eight man team, the elder Richard Johnston from Glenbervie, being joined by his son, also Richard, in the senior side for the first time.
The younger Johnston contributed one of the first two points for Stirlingshire with a 2 &1 win over Jack Broun adding to the first point posted for the visitors by mark Hislop who defeated Tommy McInally.
With Craig Hamilton one behind with two to play in the lead tie, the early signs were not good for the Ayrshire team, but Hamilton won the seventeenth to square the tie and followed up b y hitting two great shots to within a few feed at the last which eventually prompted his opponent to concede a winning eagle three to Hamilton.
Greg Telfer lost the final hole to be pegged back for a half match but Jim Johnston, one behind with three to play, pulled his tie back to earn another vital half point for Ayrshire.
In the two anchor ties, host club members Craig Telfer and Stuart Robin secured comfortable wins in their respective ties to give Ayrshire four points overall and ensure at least a half match, with one tie remaining on the course.
In the final tie on the course, Scotland internationalist Euan Walker, back in the county side after a four year absence due to his university studies in the USA, was all square with two to play against David Oates. With Walker having bunkered his tee shot at the seventeenth, and Oates on the green, albeit some distance from the hole, the tie looked to be turning in the favour of the visitors, but Walker showed his mettle by almost holing his bunker shot which prompted a conceded par three and his effort proved all the more important when his opponend three putted the hole to give Walker a one hole lead and effectively ensure a match win for Ayrshire.
At the final hole, walker played safely and was ultimately conceded a winning birdie four which gave him a two hole win and Ayrshire victory by 5- 3 overall.
Next week the A team are away to Lanarkshire at Crow Wood.
Match details (Ayrshire names first):-
Craig Hamilton (Ballochmyle) beat Graeme Robertson (Glenbervie) by 1 hole
Tommy McInally (Loudoun) lost to Mark Hyslop (Glenbervie) by 4&3
Jack Broun (Ayr Belleisle) lost to Richard Johnston Jr. (Glenbervie) by 2&1
Greg Telfer (Prestwick St Cuthbert) halved with Tam Beattie (Grangemouth)
Jim Johnston (Ayr Belleisle) halved with Lindsay Blair (Grangemouth)
Euan Walker (Kilmarnock Barassie) beat David Oates (Stirling) by 2 holes
Craig Telfer (Prestwick St Cuthbert) beat Richard Johnston Sr. (Glenbervie) by 6&4
Stuart Robin (Prestwick St Cuthbert) beat Stuart irving (Falkirk) by 5&3
AYRSHIRE 5 STIRLINGSHIRE 3
In the corresponding youths match, also played on Sunday 17th September, Ayrshire were away to Stirlingshire at Callander and lost out by 6 - 2 to their hosts.
At the turn the Ayrshire team looked to be in a good position to get an away win in the match but the loss of holes in a number of ties late in the round by Ayrshire turned the match in favour of the hosts from Stirlingshire.
Match details (Ayrshire names first):-
Shaun Hedger (West Kilbride) beat Greg Nicol (Bonnybridge) by 3&1
Sandy Walker (Kilmarnock Barassie) lost to Peter Maxwell (Glenbervie) by 2&1
Greg Vernon (Kilmarnock Barassie) lost to Greg McLellan (Stirling) by 2&1
Andrew Gordon (Ayr Belleisle) lost to Stuart Myurray (Falkirk) by 2 holes
Murray McCrone (Troon Welbeck) lost to Thomas Craig (Falkirk) by 3&2
Aiden Long (Ayr Belleisle) lost to James Yarnell (Glenbervie) by 2&1
Callum Irving (Ayr Belleisle) lost to Stewart McLellan (Stirling) by 5&3
Daryl Lynch (Ayr Belleisle) beat Dariusz Kunecki (Stirling) by 1 hole
STIRLINGSHIRE YOUTHS 6 AYRSHIRE YOUTHS 2
Next sunday, 24th September, the youths play host to Lanarkshire at Troon Darley.