Sunday, September 02, 2018

WEST OF SCOTLAND INTER COUNTY UNDER 18 BOYS LEAGUE - Ayrshire are champions again after 22 year wait.

The Ayrshire Under 18 team are champions of the West Of Scotland after they secured a 4 - 4 draw in their final match of the 2018 series at Brunston Castle GC on Sunday 2nd September against defending champions Renfrewshire, to ensure they remained unbeaten in the five match series and took the Wishart Trophy for only the second time.

The winning Ayrshire Boys team at Brunston Castle
with team manager Scott Gilchrist
And the Wishart Trophy

John McCracken (Kilmarnock Barassie) led the line in style in the opening under 16 tie, romping home to an 8&6 victory to put Ayrshire one ahead.

The match was leveled soon after when Fraser Russell (Royal Troon) wend down by 4&3, but wins in the final two under 18 ties from Ewan Milligan (Kilmarnock Barassie) and Jack Broun (Turnberry), by 3&2 and 5&4 respectively, put Ayrshire 3-1 ahead and needing just one point from the remaining four ties on the course.

All four ties were very close going into the final few holes and the match became even tighter when Kerr Brooks (Irvine) and Ross McDonald (Kilmarnock Barassie) both lost out narrowly on the final green to make the match score 3 - 3 with just two ties remaining.

Sean Addie (Ayr Belleisle) and Euan Ferguson (Turnberry) both lost the seventeenth hole, with Addie being pulled back to all square with one remaining whilst Ferguson went one behind with one to go as a result.

Not for the first time this season, Sean Addie stepped up to the plate when needed, and a superb second shot into the final green, after a great drive drive, left him just six feet from the hole, whilst his opponent was just through the green in two.

After Addie's opponent chipped up to a couple of feet in three, the Ayrshire Boys Champion showed his true matchplay mettle once again, confidently holing his six foot put for a winning birdie three to take the tie by a single hole and give Ayrshire the long sought after West Of Scotland title after a 22 year wait.

A win at the final hole would have given Euan Ferguson a half and secured a fifth successive victory for the team but in the event and excellent approach from his Renfrewshire opponent ensured a single hole defeat for Ferguson and a 4 - 4 match result overall.

At the close of play, the Renfrewshire management congratulated the Ayrshire team on their victory and, having courteously brought the trophy to the match in the event of an Ayrshire win, presented the Wishart Trophy to the Ayrshire team manager Scott Gilchrist and the winning team.

Match details (Ayrshire names first):-

John McCracken (Kilmarnock Barassie) beat Euan Urquhart (Paisley) by 8&6
Fraser Russell (Royal Troon) lost to Ewan McGeoch (Paisley) by 4&3
Kerr Brooks (Irvine) lost to McKenzie Holmes (Kilmacolm) by 1 hole
Ross McDonald (Kilmarnock Barassie) lost to John Jack (Gourock) by 1 hole
Sean Addie (Ayr Belleisle) beat Cameron Percy (Caldwell) by 1 hole
Euan Ferguson (Turnberry) lost to Greg McCaffer (Whitecraigs) by 1 hole
Ewan Milligan (Kilmarnock Barassie) beat Euan McNeill (Lochwinnoch) by 3&2
Jack Broun (Turnberry) beat Patrick McCartney (Greenock) by 5&4


The winning Ayrshire team
with AGA Secretary Alasdair Malcolm, Team Manager Scott Gilchrist
and AGA Vice President John W Watt

Throughout the five match series Ayrshire used a total of sixteen players who all contributed to a fine series win. The players involved were:-

Sean Addie (Ayr Belleisle)
Jack Allan (Ballochmyle)
Kerr Brooks (Irvine)
Jack Broun (Turnberry)
Josh Davies (Troon Welbeck)
Euan Ferguson (Turnberry)
Ben Fleming (Troon Welbeck)
Luke Greig (Irvine)
Cameron Johnstone (Troon Welbeck)
Ruben Lindsay (Ayr Belleisle)
John Lomas (Ayr Belleisle)
John McCracken (Kilmarnock Barassie)
Ross McDonald (Kilmarnock Barassie)
Ewan Milligan (Kilmarnock Barassie)
Fraser Russell (Royal Troon)
Rob Yorston (Loudoun)

The last Ayrshire win in the championship was in 1996 when the team secured the title in their final home match at Beith GC. The team that day included a number of well known Ayrshire players who went on to win various Ayrshire and national titles in the following years.

Players & officials of the wining team in 1996 - how many can you name ?

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