Final Scratch League Table 2017

 

Played
Won
Drawn
Lost
For
Against
Points
               
Moray
4
2
2
0
19
13
6
               
Forres
4
2
1
1
18½
13½
5
               
Nairn
4
1
2
1
16½
15½
4
               
Nairn Dunbar
4
1
1
2
13½
18½
3
               
Elgin
4
0
2
2
12½
19½
2
               
               
               

SUNDAY

Click on Sunday Match Report for how the day unfolded

 

SOME SUNDAY PERMUTATIONS!

A close finish is the only certain outcome with all five teams able to still win the G.R. Thomson Shield. In fact it is mathematically possible for every team to finish on 4 points which would mean a five way countback or even a sudden death play-off to decide the title.

For that to happen Nairn Dunbar and Moray would need to draw, Forres beat Nairn, Elgin beat Forres, Nairn beat Moray: stranger things have happened!

An exciting day's golf lies ahead.

SATURDAY

In the morning two matches, Forres beat Nairn Dunbar and although the score reflects an emphatic win, six games went to the last hole, with most of them going Forres's way. In the other match a similar score for Nairn beating Elgin. The conditions were ideal with overnight rain making the going a lot softer than Friday.

Forres after their morning win took on Moray and it was the team from Lossiemouth which came out on top. The closest games both went Moray's way with wins for Graham Murray and Nat Simpson, moving Moray up the table overnight.

Elgin and Nairn Dunbar produced a 4-4 draw that was as close as the match result suggests. Elgin held the upper hand for much of the afternoon and the final outcome hinged on the game between Kevin Taylor and Darren Pitchforth. Both hit the par 5 18th in two and Kevin rolled up a 60 foot putt to the holeside for a birdie four. Darren faced with a 40 foot putt for eagle saw his putt with its final roll drop into the hole for a crucial half point to the appreciation of the local support.

FRIDAY

Elgin and Moray met on a beautiful sunny evening which still tested the players with a steady breeze and fast running fairways. The match was evenly poised from the start with Elgin shading the early matches to finish before Moray rallied to lead 4-3 with the top match left on the course. In it Jordan Milne got the better of Graham Murray to leave honours even in a 4-4 tie.

THURSDAY

Nairn opened the defence of their title against local rivals Nairn Dunbar and were first on the scoreboard with George Asher winning on the 18th green. Michael Howitt leveled for the visitors after securing a half in birdie 4 on the final green and Logan Gilles, playing in his first Moray and Nairn League, beat the experienced Kenny Donnelly. Calum Scott looked like getting the better of Nairn Dunbar team captain Darren Pitchforth when 2 up with four holes to play but three straight birdies put Darren 1 up and a half in par at the last gave Nairn Dunbar the overall lead for the first time. The top three matches also went Nairn Dunbar's way to give them a well deserved 6-2 win.

For Nairn Dunbar it broke a run of eight successive losses to Nairn going back to 2009. Since the present format started in 1976 this is the 9th time Nairn have hosted the League and Nairn Dunbar have only ever won on one other previous occasion here against the home club. The year? 1982. The league winners that year? Nairn Dunbar. So is this an omen??!!!!!

LEAGUE PREVIEW

Nairn will be looking to continue their level of success in recent years when they defend the Shield on home soil. Led by last year's Scottish Amateur runner up, Andrew Burgess, they will be the team to beat as they go for a sixth win in the past seven years but Moray will certainly push them all the way as they did at Forres in 2016.

Only Nairn Dunbar have interrupted that run but they, and both Forres and Moray, have enjoyed success in the past at Nairn. Elgin are never an easy fixture for any of the clubs so close competiton is guaranteed over the second weekend in May.

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