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Monday, October 26, 2009

East Lothian Juniors County Cup

Craigielaw win East Lothian Juniors County Cup

East Lothian Junior League secretary

Haddington Captain Andrew Douglas presenting the Junior County Cup
to Greg Smail flanked by Team mates (L-R) Grant Forrest, Gabrielle MacDonald and Jack Dow.

This knock-out alternate shot event was played on Thursday and Friday at a Haddington course in fine condition. The format consisted of two foursomes matches, the winners being decided by aggregate holes up. The first match was a scratch game and the second was a handicap game. Gullane were seeking a “treble” having won the County League and Strokeplay events already.
Tantallon, one of the favourites, were defeated 1 up in the first round by the Musselburgh Old Team, but they in turn were beaten 1 up by Gullane. Gullane therefore reached the final where they faced Craigielaw, recent victors in the Scottish Junior Team Championship. Craigielaw had convincingly beaten Kilspindie and North Berwick on their way to this final.
In superb weather, the two Teams proceeded to do battle. In the handicap game, Duncan McLean and Greg Houlston of Gullane, receiving 1 stroke, struggled to find their form and were soon well behind, mainly due to some fine putting by Gabrielle MacDonald and Jack Dow of Craigielaw.
The real fireworks happened in the scratch game which was between four fine players, some of whom are Scottish Internationals and all of whom have a scratch or near scratch handicap. Greg Smail and Grant Forrest represented Craigielaw whilst Gullane were represented by Lesley Atkins and Rachael Watton. This was a real battle between boys and girls, and the only advantage the girls had was that they played off the Ladies’ tees. However, they were frequently still ahead of the boys after the drives. There was considerable good natured “banter” between these two sides and the match was played swiftly and in fine spirit.
The scoring in this game was excellent, the boys gaining an early lead by having birdies at the 2nd, 3rd and 4th holes. When the overall aggregate match was decided on the 16th green, Greg and Grant were 5 under par, but were only 2 up on Lesley and Rachael! Despite the spectators wanting this exhibition of golf to continue, the match had to end there with Craigielaw having won by 6 & 5 overall.
Haddington Captain Andrew Douglas presented the trophy to the winners. Haddington have always been great supporters of Junior Golf in the County, and Jim Simpson, their Junior Convenor, hopes that their own Team will soon be challenging for trophies again.

Above photo (L-R) Greg Smail and Grant Forrest representing Craigielaw, 
Lesley Atkins and Rachael Watton representing Gullane.

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