Tuesday, May 14, 2019


Brora Golf Club's phenomenal record in the Dornoch Firth Golf League since 1973 was celebrated with their twenty-first winning of the Targe last weekend when the fixtures were played over their home links.
Apart from a heavy hail shower around mid-day on Saturday the weather was generally good over the weekend and the golf course and especially the greens in excellent condition and together brought two eagle winning shots on Saturday, the tenth hole by Golspie's Steven Doogan and then at the first hole by Royal Dornoch's Craig MacKay.
Royal Dornoch announced their intention to deny Brora a twenty first league success when in their first match on Saturday afternoon they banked seven points with a white wash over Invergordon. From 28 individual ties Invergordon, who were winners just seven years ago, won only eight games and halved two through the weekend.   
In the morning play Tain's defence of the Targe began in defeat to Brora although after the first three ties the visitors were ahead. Course record holder James MacBeath lost by two holes to Tain's rising star Sean Kennedy before Wick greenkeeper, Dougie Thorburn, through his “Highland” club membership levelled with a last green win over Munro Ferries.
Stuart Murray from Falkirk has been a member at Brora since before his early teenage years but made his team début with a big defeat to Tain's Billy Ferries before the fourth tie between the Brora team captain Roddy Cameron was halved against Tain's Ian Cowper for the holders to still lead 2.5 to 1.5
Then Brora's tale enders Graham Grant, Calum Stewart and Owen MacLennan all won to rescue a 4.5 - 2.5 winning score while Murray recovered from his first loss to be one of Brora's best point earners by winning his remaining three ties. 
In Brora's afternoon fixture against Golspie the hosts came within a half point of matching Royal Dornoch's seven points when the inspired Golspie team captain Steve Doogan birdied the last hole to half his game against the former North District champion, Dougie Thorburn. This second Brora win gave the hosts an overnight lead of 12.5 points to Dornoch's 7 (from one game) before the crucial with Royal Dornoch on Sunday morning.
James MacBeath, after missing the Saturday afternoon fixture against Golspie to attend his mother's 80th birthday party was back to lead the team against Dornoch's away member from Nairn Dunbar, Brain Watson.  James brought in the first point with a 2&1 result in the overall Brora of 4.5 to 2.5 win but with Dornoch involved in the final round double fixture against Tain and Golspie, where fourteen points were available to be won, Dornoch the 13 time winners were still in the mix.
For Brora's final fixture against Invergordon the first match was between the two head greenkeepers, Brora's MacBeath and Invergordon's Gary Urquhart, Urquhart emerged a one hole winner but Brora's Thorburn levelled the score with a 5 and 3 win over Invergordon newcomer, Tommy McCleneghan (correct spelling) before Stuart Murray, Robert MacDonald, Calum Stewart, Owen MacLennan and Alistair MacDonald swept Brora to a final 6-1 result and points total of 21.5 to anxiously await the results from the double ties.
With the help of two Brora members using their “Highland” membership of Golspie Golf Club, Tony Gill and George F Sutherland, Golspie had a “Super Sunday” beating both Dornoch and Tain.
Sutherland, aged 76, was a twice Sutherland County Champion in the mid sixties and was the sting in the Golspie tail taking in wining points against Tain's Gary Tonge 5&4 and Royal Dornoch's 2012 County Champion, David Pearson (62) 2&1 for Golspie to win 4.5-2.5 against Tain and 4-3 over Royal Dornoch. Probably their first ever league win over Dornoch.
All match results.
Saturday AM - Brora 4.5, Tain 2.5. Invergordon 5.5, Golspie 1.5. Brora 6.5, Golspie 0.5. Invergordon 0, Royal Dornoch 7. PM – Brora 4.5, RDGC 2.5. Tain 4.5, Invergordon 2.5.
 Sunday AM – Brora 4.5, RDGC 2.5. Tain 4.5, Invergordon 2.5. PM -Brora 6, Tain 1. Golspie 5, Tain 2. Tain 2.5, RDGC 4.5. RDGC 3 Golspie 4. 
The final league table -
 Brora 21.5 points, Royal Dornoch 17, Tain 11.5, Golspie 11 Invergordon 9. Next year's league venue will be Golspie, and in 2021 Invergordon with the league's fiftieth anniversary hosted by Royal Dornoch in 2020. 

Picture  caption: centre Brora GC captain hands team captainn Roddy Cameron the DFL League Targe.


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