An absolutely tremendous day was had at Newbattle Golf Club today in the first day of the match play stages of the County Championship and “B” Championship. Luckily the weathermen got it wrong and apart from a heavy shower towards the end of the morning play and at the start of the afternoon play, no rain was seen. The morning brought some wind but the afternoon saw idea conditions with blue skies and no wind and the splendid sunshine matched the splendid display of golf which was on offer to the spectators.

The results, after day 1, can be seen by clicking on “C’ship M-Play” and “B C’ship M-Play” on the left hand side of the page. Great results were recorded by all and three of the juniors who had all been part of the victorious Cuthbertson Cup team, made it through to the afternoon; only Gillian Simpson stumbled in a great match against no. 2 seed, Rachael Watton by 2&1. Karen Marshall came through in a tough tie against Claire MacDonald. Claire halved the match on the 18th with a birdie 3 before the two players played par golf on the first two extra holes. Karen went on to win at the 3rd extra play off hole. The “B” Championship saw 2 matches going to extra holes with Mandy McBain and Dee Williams both winning at the 19th. Four of the remaining six matches fininshed at either the 17th or 18th hole.

The good golf continued into the afternoon and the juniors again offfered some stunning golf. Gabrielle Macdonald had a great tussle with Louise Fraser, the no. 1 seed. With never more than a hole in it, Louise three putted the 16th and 17th to let Gabrielle take the advantage and a half at the 18th hole saw Gabrielle, round in level par 72, make it through to Sunday. Karen Marshall, after her three extra holes in the morning, had the better of Kirsten Blackwood and Claire Hargan managed to keep things together to beat Fiona de Vries. The final match went down to the wire and saw Rachael Watton beat Kate McIntosh, with a better ball score of 6 under par. Throwing birdies and eagles at each other, it was a ding dong battle which reached the 18th tee all square. Rachael recorded an ever solid par 4 at the 18th to beat Kate’s bogey and progress to meet her fellow clubmate, Claire Hargan, on Sunday morning.

In the “B”-Championship, defending Champion Susan Dalrymple progressed through against her rival in last year’s semi-finals Margaret Alexander. She will now meet Cuthbertson Cup reserve, Hannah Scott who won 4&3 against Jaci Moriarty. At the 0ther end of the draw, Helen Warnock won convincingly against Mandy McBain and will meet Pam Townsend who came through a tough battle against Dee Williams.

I cannot stress enough how good the golf was and what a great spectacle it was to watch. The Committee will be conducting their anti-rain dance routines from now until Sunday at 9.30 am, in the hope that the good weather continues. So, why not come along and support the players? It promises to be an exciting climax!

Click HERE to view photos on Mary’s Picasa site

Championship at Newbattle – what a day!