Monday, May 13, 2013


 Neil Hampton and his Royal Dornoch team with the Dornoch Firth League Targe.L to R: Alex MacDonald, David Pearson, Daniel Holden, Neil  Hampton, Jamie Shepherd, Kevin Matheson and Neil   Munro.
In the Tain Golf Clubhouse last weekend Royal Dornoch Golf Club handed back the Miller Quaich to Brora  then quickly replaced it in their trophy room with the Dornoch Firth League Targe.

Unlike the Miller Quaich scenario there was no asking for  a recount after Royal Dornoch crept closer to Brora's record league- winning years with a repeat of their success from five years ago over the Tain links with a star-studded team of two Sutherland county champions, Kevin Matheson and Davie Pearson, Carnegie Shield winner Alex MacDonald and captained by their club manager and past North District champion, Neil Hampton.

Matheson and Pearson were the only two players who completed the weekend unbeaten in the fixtures against Brora, Golspie, Tain and Invergordon.
The Dornoch line- up was completed by Dean O'Brien, Neil Munro, Daniel Holden and Jamie Shepherd.

On Saturday morning the 2013 winners opened their account with a 6-1 win over Golspie. In the afternoon they took their points to 10½, with a win 4.5 to 2.5 result over the hosts by winning the top three games before Billy Ferries got Tain's first point.
Mike Sangster earned them a half point and Iain Cowper Tain's second full point.

Saturday afternoon saw also a result that could not be recalled in the history of the league, Golspie beat Brora! 
Over many years Michael Bonner has been Golspie's battle warhorse and still good enough to take a point from the Brora secretary, Tony Gill, but even Bonner was eclipsed when Colin (Scooty) Sutherland beat the great Jim Miller on the final green for Golspie to emerge with their memorable 4-3 result.

Last season's winners, Invergordon became the whipping boys on Sunday, Golspie beating them  in the morning 4-3. In an afternoon of embarrassment all seven Invergordon players failed to win a game in the triple match against Brora and Royal Dornoch.

The Dornoch team arrived for their Sunday ties with Jamie Shepherd in for Dean O'Brien and proceeded to whip Brora 4.5 to 2.5, Shepherd losing to Gill, but against their Invergordon opposition they both won comfortably to bring in the whitewash 7-0 results.

Royal Dornoch's final points tally rose to 22, Tain came second with 19.5, then Brora 14, Golspie 9 and Invergordon 5.5.  The league fixtures in 2014 will return to Brora Golf Club.

Match Results
Tain 4.5, Invergordon 2.5
Golspie 1, Royal Dornoch 6
Royal Dornoch 4.5, Tain 2.5
Brora 3, Golspie 4
Tain 5.5, Brora 1.5
Golspie 4, Invergordon 3
Tain 7, Invergordon 0
Brora 2.5, Royal Dornoch 4.5
Brora 7, Invergordon 0
Royal Dornoch 7, Invergordon 0. 



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