County finals at Baberton give WHI triochance to make up for Irvine heartbreakFROM THE EDINBURGH EVENING NEWS WEBSITE
By MARTIN DEMPSTER
Three of the players left heartbroken by Scotland's failure to win the Women's Home Internationals at Irvine last week will be on opposing teams as they all attempt to bounce back at Baberton over the next three days.
The Juniper Green course is staging the Scottish Women's County Finals, with Midlothian, Galloway, Northern Counties and Renfrewshire the four teams set to battle it out for the title.
Jane Turner, who picked up two points from her three matches in Ayrshire, is in the Midlothian line up while her Scottish team-mates, Kelsey MacDonald and Megan Briggs, are representing Northern Counties and Renfrewshire respectively.
Claire Hargan, the Scottish team manager at Irvine, is also playing for Midlothian and she admits the experience suffered by the hosts in the Women's Home Internationals was very painful indeed.
"Lesley Nicholson (the team captain] and I were talking afterwards and, for all that we've both played in Home Internationals and European Championships ourselves, that was definitely one of the most disappointing experiences we've encountered on a golf course," said Hargan.
"We had such a strong team and everything was going according to plan until the singles against Wales. It was such a shame that we were unable to sink the putts we needed to in that session."Hargan is something of a veteran when it comes to the County Finals, having represented Dunbartonshire & Argyll on a number of occasions before switching her colours to Midlothian after moving through to Edinburgh.
"It is definitely one of my favourite events," said the current Midlothian champion from Mortonhall. "There's great camaraderie yet it's still competitive at the same time. While I don't know a lot about Galloway, both Northern Counties and Renfrewshire will definitely be heading to Baberton with strong sides, so it promises to be very close over the three days.
"However, we've prepared well for the event – we were able to learn the best lines from tees during a recent match against a Baberton men's team – and we have a great mix of youth and experience.
"Rachael Watton, for instance, is one of the exciting youngsters in the side, while Louise Fraser, who is back after focussing on rugby for a couple of years, and Kirsten Blackwood both have bags of experience."
Midlothian face Galloway in the opening match tomorrow, the foursomes teeing off at 9.30am with the afternoon singles beginning at 1.30pm.THE TEAMSGalloway:
Pat Magill, Sheila McMurtrie, Christina Meldrum, Caroline Merrick, Tracy Milligan, Gillian Monteith, Gwen Robson and Addi Shamash.Midlothian:
Kirsten Blackwood, Louise Fraser, Claire Hargan, Claire MacDonald, Karen Marshall, Wendy Nicholson, Jane Turner and Rachael Watton.Northern Counties:
Alison Bartlett, Cara Gruber, Kelsey MacDonald, Pam Mackay, Hannah McCook, Jenny Milne, Mary Smith and Julie Vass.Renfrewshire:
Eilidh Briggs, Megan Briggs, Clare-Marie Carlton, Donna Jackson, Gillian Kyle, Alyson McKechin, Liz Stewart and Carol Whyte.
Labels: County News