Murcar Links maintained their stranglehold on the Maitland Shield after beating Deeside by three holes in the foursomes final at Nigg Bay… although things didn’t follow the script early on.
Deeside could have been forgiven for starting to prepare a space at Bieldside for the bulky trophy after Mark Halliday and Jason Bruce took a five-hole lead through six holes against the out-of-sorts duo of Bryan Innes and Terry Mathieson.
However, Bryan and Terry called upon the reserves of experience to turn the match on its head… eventually winning by a hole.
An overall three-hole victory was secured after Murcar’s second pairing of Anthony Bews and Corin Stewart overcame Tom Rennie and Kevin Willox by two holes.
The victory secured Murcar Links’ success for a staggering seventh time in 14 years following previous wins in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2019.
Bryan said: “We had a tough draw to reach the final and Deeside, with Mark in the team, was always going to be a challenge.
“Terry and I made a terrible start after playing flawlessly against Royal Aberdeen in the semi-finals with 13 pars and five birdies.
“But we have both played North-east District and team golf for years and had the experience not to panic.
“We also knew Anthony and Corin were up, so to get our score back to just three down at the turn was quite a relief.
“Fortunately, we picked it up better on the back nine with birdies at the 10th, 12th and 17th to win 1up and then watched our guys win their match 2up.
“Foursomes is an exacting format with rhythm difficult to attain, which is probably why our record is so remarkable.
“We are fortunate to be able to field players who have North-east District experience and that is a significant advantage.
“It’s a great start to what we hope will be a successful season. It was just great being back in competition.
“The courses have struggled throughout the area due to the harsh winter and credit should be given to the Nigg Bay greenkeeper and his staff for the condition of the course.”
Congratulations to Team members Bryan, Terry, Corin and Anthony in their victory and defence of the Maitland Shield in tonight’s final against Deeside GC at Nigg Bay Golf Club. An exceptional standard of golf on show, Murcar Links victorious by 3 holes, well played Gents!! 🏆 pic.twitter.com/mWe6woNrHp
— MurcarLinks (@MurcarLinksGolf) May 14, 2021
CRAIBSTONE BEAT NORTHERN BY 14 HOLES.
J Bodicot, C Wilkinson 5; C Ross, G Mitchell 0.
P Reid, I Still 9; P Benson, C Johnstone 0.
PORTLETHEN BEAT AUCHMILL BY 11 HOLES.
G Esson, K Horne 2; P Bowman, G Hay 0.
C Brechin, B Murray 9; B Duncan, G Mennie 0.
MURCAR BEAT STONEHAVEN BY 12 HOLES.
B Innes, T Mathieson 5; K Murdoch, K Riddell 0.
A Bews, C Stewart 7; S Guzik, G McFarlane 0.
DEESIDE BEAT BANCHORY BY 2 HOLES.
J Bruce, M Halliday 1; A Lindsay, B Milne 0.
T Rennie, K Willox 1; C Lindsay, B Reid 0.
BON ACCORD BEAT NIGG BAY BY 2 HOLES.
B Edmond, M Greig 0; I Welsh, S Jamieson 2.
N Mitchell, M Dunn 4; R Forbes, T Ogston 0.
NEWMACHAR BEAT CALEDONIAN BY 9 HOLES.
S Petrie, N Campbell 5; S Whyte, G Meade 0.
S Gauld, M Lynch 4; W Ross, L Ross 0.
ROYAL ABERDEEN BEAT CRAIBSTONE BY 4 HOLES.
N Macandrew, C Leith 1; C Wilkinson, J Bodicot 0.
D Macandrew, N Young 3; I Still, P Reid 0.
MURCAR LINKS BEAT PORTLETHEN BY 2 HOLES.
B Innes, T Mathieson 5; G Esson, K Horne 0.
A Bews, C Stewart 0; C Brechin, B Murray 3 .
DEESIDE BEAT HAZLEHEAD BY 1 HOLE.
J Bruce, M Halliday 5; G Kennedy, S Main 0.
T Rennie, K Willox 0; G Ingram, J Pirie 4.
BON ACCORD BEAT NEWMACHAR BY 2 HOLES.
B Edmond, M Greig 1; S Petrie, N Campbell 0.
N Mitchell, M Dunn 1; S Gauld, M Lynch 0.
MURCAR LINKS BEAT ROYAL ABERDEEN BY 1 HOLE.
B Innes, T Mathieson 3; N Macandrew, C Leith 0.
A Bews, C Stewart 0; D Macandrew, N Young 2.
DEESIDE BEAT BON ACCORD BY 1 HOLE.
M Halliday, J Bruce 2; B Edmond, M Greig 0.
K Willox, T Rennie 0; N Mitchell, M Dunn 1.
B Innes, T Mathieson 1; M Halliday, J Bruce 0; A Bews, C Stewart 2; K Willox, T Rennie 0.
Turriff player Jim takes first senior meeting
Jim Duncan won the opening meeting of the North-East Scotland Seniors Golf Association at Ballater.
Turriff member Jim, who plays off 19, carded 43 Stableford points to win by two shots.
Home player George Bruce (18) was second on 41pts, with Craibstone’s Nicol Maccallum (20) a further point away in third.
The association’s next tournament is at Insch on Thursday, with the following competition at Hazlehead’s Mackenzie course on Thursday, May 27.
Meanwhile, entries are being accepted for the 36-hole Phillips Trophy at Peterhead on Sunday, May 23.
North-east District secretary George Young said: “The Phillips Trophy is the first counting event on the District Order of Merit.
“There will be valuable points up for grabs so it is an ideal platform for those chasing that honour to stake an early claim.”
The £25 entry fee can be made on the North-east District Golf Association website under competitions.