Friday, September 17, 2010

Nairn's defending champions in the Northern Counties Cup (l to r): Robert Smith, Neil Hampton, Fraser Fotheringham and Steven Macdonald (image by Robin Wilson).

Royal Dornoch beat second

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Forty teams from the Orkneys to Aberdeen set out in the 99th Northern Counties Cup competition over the historic Royal Dornoch Golf Club links yesterday with the host club, already holding a record 21 wins, hoping to end a lean spell of 22 years.since last winning at Nairn in 1988.
The home team were dealt a blow on the eve of the competition when they lost the in-form Kevin Matheson, winner two weeks ago of a club 36 hole open, due to a work re-call and his place had to be taken by a past North District senior champion, Paul York.
York and partner Chris Mailley helped them through the first round and then they relied on a great upbeat performance from second string Kristain Sinclair and Neil Munro to pull them through a second-round fight against second favourites and winners of two years ago, Inverness.
The home second pair won by six holes against Bruce Thomson and Steven Connel to make up a loss of four by Mailley and York against Alan Cameron and Ewan Forbes.
Holders Nairn are bidding for a third successive win on Dornoch turf, following visits in 1998 and 2004, and they have the same line-up as won last year at Peterhead, Fraser Fotheringham, Steven Macdonald, Neil Hampton and Robert Smith.
They cleared their first hurdle with a five-hole win over former double winners Brora. Hampton and Smith were once more the dominant force, winning by four.
Nairn's section of the draw at commencement contained seven previous winners, but only themselves, Royal Dornoch, and Fortrose and Rosemarkie are through to the third round.
Tain, who have never won the cup, eliminated former winners Nigg Bay by one hole in round two to line up this morning's tie against Nairn while former double winners since the turn of the century, Fortrose and Rosemarkie now meet Royal Dornoch.
The North-east interest was reduced substantially when Murcar Links put out Meldrum House by three holes then Cruden Bay overcame Newmachar by 10 holes.
Royal Aberdeen lost both its teams to the McDonald Ellon selections.


Nigg Bay w.o. Nairn Dunbar scr.
Royal Dornoch bt Banchory by 3 holes.
Inverness 2 bt Newmachar 2 by 10 holes.
McDonald Ellon 2 bt Turriff by 2 holes.
Moray 2 bt Nigg Bay 2 by 9 holes.
Royal Aberdeen 1 bt Orkney 2 by 1 hole.
Deeside bt Muir of Ord at 19th.
Fortrose and Rosemarkie 2 w.o. Strathpeffer scr
Nairn 1 bt Brora by 5 holes.
Tain 1 bt Nigg Bay 1 by 1 hole.
Fortrose and Rosemarkie 1 bt Duff House Royal by 2 holes.
Royal Dornoch bt Inverness 1 by 2 holes.
Peterhead w.o. Tain 2 scr
Inverness 2 bt Muir of Ord 1 by 7 holes.
Murcar Links bt Meldrum House by 3 holes.
McDonald Ellon 2 bt Royal Aberdeen 2 by 1 hole.
Newmachar 1 bt Cruden Bay 1 by 10 holes.
Elgin bt Moray 2 at 20th.
Forres bt Nairn 2 by 2 holes.
McDonald Ellon 1 bt Royal Aberdeen 1 by 2 holes.
Moray 1 bt Orkney 1 by 1 hole.
Deeside bt Cruden Bay 2 by 3 holes.
Thurso bt Nairn Dunbar by 7 holes.
Fortrose and Rosemarkie 2 bt Loch Ness by 3 holes.



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