Ayrshire, bidding for their first County Finals title for over 40 years, lost their opening match on Friday 16th September to Midlothian as the three day competition began at Dumfries & County Golf Club.
By COLIN FARQUHARSONColin@scottishgolfview.com
Midlothian made light of the absence of international player Rachael Watton, now at Denver University, and the unavailability of other squad members, to make a flying start to this weekend's Scottish women's county championship finals at Dumfries and County Golf Club.
Winners of the title in 2007 and runners-up in 2009 and 2010, it was felt that Midlothian might struggle to chalk up a second championship win in five years. How wrong can you be!
Midlothian took the foursomes 2-1 from Ayrshire, the West Division champions, and then the singles 4-2 with wins by Kate McIntosh, Wendy Nicholson, Gabrielle Macdonald and current international Jane Turner. Nicholson, Turner and Macdonald had also been successful in the foursomes.
Ayrshire last won the county finals in 1970.
South Division champions Dumfries-shire scored a very good opening 6 1/2-2 1/2 win over North Division qualifiers Perth and Kinross in the opening day's other match. The Doonhamers took the foursomes 2-1 which would have been 3-0 but for a last-green win by P and K's third pairing, world-class curler Eve Muirhead and Jill Milne.
If P and K thought they could still turn their fortunes around in the singles, Dumfries-shire had other ideas. The home county's Jordana Graham beat former Scottish girls champion Laura Walker in the top singles and there were other wins for Katie McCracken, Emma Greenlees and Rachel Walker.
Graham, Greenlees and Rachel Walker had also won in the foursomes.
Dumfries-shire have never won the national title. Could this be their year at last? Their clash with Midlothian on Sunday could provide the answer to that question
Saturday's ties are: Midlothian v Perth and Kinross, Dumfries-shire v Ayrshire.
SCOTTISH WOMEN'S COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS
Dumfries and County Golf Club.
MIDLOTHIAN 6, AYRSHIRE 3
Karen Marshall and Wendy Nicholson bt Catherine Malcolm and Debbie Watt 3 and 2.
Sally Shepherd and Linda Bain lost to Lesley Hendry and Jenny Linklater 2 holes.
Jane Turner and Gabrielle Macdonald bt Audrey Thompson and Connie Jaffrey 2 holes.
Marshall lost to Malcolm 2 holes.
Kate McIntosh bt Gillian Arnott 5 and 3.
Nicholson bt Lesley Arnott 3 and 1.
Kirsten Blackwood lost to Linklater 2 and 1
Macdonald bt Thompson 4 and 3.
Turner bt Jaffrey 2 and 1.
PERTH and KINROSS 2 1/2, DUMFRIES-SHIRE 6 1/2
Emily Ogilvy and Fiona Ramsay lost to Jordana Graham and Emma Greenlees 1 hole.
Laura Walker and Eilidh Watson lost to Rachel Walker and Kate McCracken 2 holes.
Jill Milne and Eve Muirhead bt Diane Macdonald and Lindsey Kirkwood 1 hole.
Singles (1 1/2-4 1/2)
Laura Walker lost to Graham 1 hole.
Watson bt Macdonald 2 and 1.
Steph Crolla lost to McCracken 1 aand 1.
Nicola Robertson halved with Kirkwood.
Ramsay lost to Greenles 2 and 1.
Milne lost to Rachel Walker 4 and 3.