Final Handicap League Table 2017

Played
Won
Drawn
Lost
For
Against
Points
               
Hopeman
5
3
1
1
25
15
7
               
Moray
5
2
2
1
23
17
6
               
Nairn
5
2
1
2
22
18
5
               
Nairn Dunbar
5
2
1
2
17½
22½
5
               
Elgin
5
2
1
2
15½
24½
5
               
Forres
5
1
0
4
17
23
2
               

LEAGUE UPDATE

 

SUPER SUNDAY 2017

The Moray and Nairn Handicap League had its traditional climax to the season in Super Sunday which this year was hosted by Nairn Dunbar.

The day started with the outcome of the title resting between last year's winners, Moray and Hopeman looking for their first win in seven years. The draw had them facing each other but Hopeman started favourites as a win or draw would give them the trophy whilst Moray required a win. That small margin was to prove decisive.

Moray had the overall edge for much of the afternoon but it was Hopeman who got the first points on the board when Chris MacKenzie at the top of his game scored an early point which was then followed by Wayne Jeynes winning 3/2.

Dave Clarence in a tight game that finished on the last green also got the better of his Moray opponent until Richard Denning opened the Lossie team’s account. With Moray’s Stephen Houston, James Stephen and Terry Scholefield all being in control of their matches, the outcome was always going to hinge on Hopeman team captain, Ernie Hayes against his opposite number on the Moray team, Ben Whitefoot.

The game was close all the way but one up with one to play in Hopeman’s favour, a half on the par 5 eighteenth was enough to give a final 4-4 score line and Hopeman were celebrating their first League win since 2010.

Hopeman now are level with Elgin as joint leaders on 5 wins a piece over the 22 year history of the Handicap League.
In the two other matches Elgin drew with hosts Nairn Dunbar whilst Nairn had a convincing 6-2 win over Forres to take third place behind runners up Moray

Super Sunday also marked the final competition for Alan Stanfield, the League Secretary, after 30 years in the role.  Ernie Hayes, presented Alan with engraved whisky glasses on behalf of all the Member Clubs to compliment the crystal decanter he received from the Scratch League teams in May. 

 

AUGUST

Nairn Dunbar stayed in the title race with a match against Forres that was as close as the final margin suggests with three games finishing all square but they edged the other games by winning three of them to secure the points.

In two weeks time Hopeman host Elgin and that match will go a long way to deciding who are favourites come Super Sunday at the end of the month. At present only Forres and Nairn will have to wait another year for a chance to get their names on the trophy again with Moray and Nairn Dunbar keeping a close eye on the Hopeman v Elgin result.

Hopeman installed them as strong favourites for the title next weekend with a whitewash over Elgin. The draw sees them now face Moray the only other team who can lift the title, as one of the two clubs must get to at least 7 points which puts it out of reach for Nairn Dunbar and Elgin. They play each other for third place and possibly the runners-up spot if Moray lose to Hopeman. Forres play Nairn in the final match with only pride at stake.

JULY

Moray strengthened their bid to retain the trophy when they had a convincing home win over Forres. This month may go a long way to deciding who enters Super Sunday as favourite with four more matches to be played, starting with Hopeman and Elgin hosting Nairn Dunbar and Nairn respectively on the 16th.

Elgin secured the points with a narrow win over Nairn due to a strong performance from their top order bringing them level with Moray at the top. Hopeman opened their account with a convincing win over Nairn Dunbar which maintains the run of home team wins this season. If that stays the same over the four matches before Super Sunday then all six teams will be in a position to lift the trophy!

Hopeman became the first club to take points away from home this season in an exceptionally close match, where 3 of the 8 games were halved, to prevail 4½-3½ over their hosts Forres. They now move up to second in the table ahead of Elgin and only behind holders Moray on individual games won.

Moray improved their chances of retaining the trophy with a valuable away point at Nairn. In a match of 'two halves' the top order games all went to Nairn but the opposite was the case with the bottom four games going Moray's way.

JUNE

Two home wins for Nairn and Elgin by similar margins ensured only individual games won separates the teams, apart from Hopeman who have yet to have the advantage of playing a home match.

MAY

Moray opened the 2017 League season with a home win over Nairn Dunbar. The final score does not reflect the closeness of the match played in bright but testing conditions with a strong wind off the sea. Four of the games were only settled on the final green with two of the others going to the 17th. Nairn Dunbar will be looking to reverse that scoreline when they take on near neighbours Nairn at home this coming weekend.

Whilst the Scratch League was being played at Nairn, Nairn Dunbar hosted their near neighbours Handicap league Team and in a close encounter came out on top with David Proctor provding the crucial half point. Forres got their campaign off to a good start the same day with a win at home over Elgin, although with two halved matches and another two ending on the final green there was little between the sides.

LEAGUE PREVIEW

After their success last year, Moray will be hoping to repeat that at Super Sunday on 27th August. However before then all teams will have the usual very competitive two home and two away matches with the premium on not slipping up at home whilst finding a point or two in one of the away fixtures. For Moray it was getting a draw at Nairn Dunbar before a Super Sunday victory over Hopeman that made the difference.

Results and the league table will be updated as games are played throughout the season.