Lochend Ladies Championship 2007
Saturday 11th August
In one of the wettest ever seasons it was no surprise that the Championship final was played in almost constant rain. But all credit to our finalists Linda Bain and Eileen Gillespie for giving us yet another high quality, closely fought match.
Eileen's steady 4-4-4 start enabled her to take advantage of Linda's untidy early play to go three up after three holes. Just as in the previous two finals Linda was slow out of the starting blocks but as ever she kept her composure and never looked fazed. Linda halted Eileen's run by sharing the fourth hole, winning the 5th and when she nailed a 2 at the 6th she was very much back in this match on her way to being all square after seven. And it remained that way round the turn as our top two, who have shared this competition since 2001, did play some wonderful long range irons and excellent putting. With two players who are so closely matched, the quality is such that any mistake is punished and a couple of misjudged drives from Eileen while Linda creamed up the fairway gave Linda a little daylight to be two-up after 14.
Linda almost bagged another two at the 15th but had still done enough to go three-up with three to play. Then Eileen went for broke with a spectacular birdie 3 at the 16th. But it was once again Linda's day as a share of the 17th was enough for Linda to hole out for her 5th Championship and regain the title for the first time, 12 years after her very first win. Linda will once again take on the Lothian's big guns when she represents Lochend in the Champion of Champions tournament and if she exhibits the level of focus and shot-by-shot concentration on show today she will do very well indeed.
And for Eileen another gutsy performance in what has been a tough year, yet again a very close runner up. Her performances throughout the competiton must give her high hopes of adding to her tally of three Championships in the future.
In the Bronze Championship Violet Paterson proved too strong for Eunice Reid as she took an early three up lead. Eunice did get it back to two at one stage but at the 15th it was Violet, winner of this competition in 2005, who sunk the winning putt for victory and a second Bronze Championship.
Bronze Championship Draw
Wednesday 8th August
Linda Bain and Eileen Gillespie have dominated this competition all the way from the first qualifying medal and it continued tonight as they both proved too strong for their semi-final opponents.
Eileen never looked in trouble as Diane Moncrieff didn't quite find the form that had produced much success and high hopes for this year. Eileen ending up winning pretty convincingly at the 13th.
Linda was given a slightly tougher test from Jaci Moriarty. Two-up at the turn Linda managed to maintain the gap then increased it to 4 by the 13th. Jaci pulled one back then would rue another missed put at the 15th allowing Linda to book her place in yet another final.
So, for the third year in a row, it's Eileen and Linda in the final and I wouldn't bet against the final once again going down to the last putt on the 18th hole just like the previous two finals, it really is too close to call.
In the Bronze Championship Eunice Reid and Violet Paterson will contest the final and will both be aiming to be the first lady to win a second Bronze Championshup. Eunice Reid who won the trophy on 2003 had a commanding 3-up lead over Thelma Dey (also a previous winner of this competition) at the turn. Thelma then got it back to two but in contrast to Monday Night the short game and putting didn't fall kindly for her as Eunice remained steady and played out the match at the 15th
Violet Paterson, winner in 2005, looked to be cruising after an early three up lead over Margaret Richards. However Margaret clawed the match back to be all square by the 10th then Violet just kept her one-up lead until eventually winning the match at the 17th.
The Championship Finals begin at 13:00 on Saturday. As usual friends and family will be welcome to come along, support the finalists and enjoy the day with food and disco arranged for afterwards. Don't miss it.
Monday 6th August
Tonight's first round matches in the Championship all went with form as the top qualifiers made it through safely.
First up Linda Bain was actually one down to Coleen Derighetti at the turn but showed her true form in the back nine to overturn the match and eventually close it out at the 16th. Once again Linda is within sight of another Championship and once again its a glorious failure for yours truly. but I have to be happy the way I competed. Its true the best player won but giving our four-times Champion a decent game off scratch was quite a thrill.
Jaci Moriarty also found herself behind as Myra Law took an early 2-up lead but again that was overturned and by the turn Jaci was 2-up. Myra began to struggle later in the tie as her problem back began to trouble her again. Jaci remained focused to finish off the match at the 14th setting up Wednesday's semi final with Linda Bain in a repeat of the 2005 semi-final in which Linda won handsomely. Something tells me it might just be a bit closer this year.
Top qualifier Eileen Gillespie got a bye in the first round and had to watch from the sidelines (and didnae share her chips) as Diane Moncrieff booked her semi-final place with a fine win over Pat Meikle, also at the 14th. So its Eileen against Diane in the other semi-final again I predict a close game as Diane has come along way since these two last met in this competition in the 2004 final when Eileen won at the 16th.
In the Bronze Championship, it didn't quite go to plan for top qualifier and current champion Joan Gray as she crashed out to Thelma Dey who only just qualified in 8th place but played very well tonight to defeat Joan. In the semi-finals Thelma will play Eunice Reid who completed her win over Sue Sayer at the 16th hole. Violet Paterson is looking good to be the first person to win a second Bronze Championship having won well over Patsy Miller and will now meet Margaret Richards following Margaret's win over Nicola Moriarty.
Bronze Championship Draw
Saturday 28th July
After today's wild and windy final qualifier, here is the line-up for this years Championship
Three-times winner Eileen Gillespie leapfrogged Linda Bain to take the top qualifying position. This year already Eileen has won two medals and the Coronation Foursomes (with Linda Bain) the last time she did that was 2005 when she went on to win the last of her 3 back to back Championships.
Eileen will be hoping to turn around the memory of last years nail bighting final when she lost to Linda Bain at the 18th hole having missed a putt for the match at the previous hole. Eileen receives a bye in this year's first round.
Linda Bain V Coleen Derighetti
Reigning Champion Linda Bain won't be easily knocked off the top. Having won the April medal Linda has usually been in the top two or three in most competitions this year as well as winning the Coronation Foursomes with Eileen Gillespie and the recent Alternative Greensomes with Eunice Reid.
With no less than four Championships under her belt now Linda will be hoping to win back to back titles for the first time.
Linda's first hurdle is against Coleen Derighetti. Yes yours truly, despite a very good start to the season, chose the championship qualifiers to card two of her worst scores of the year and has been given a suitably tough match. Please be gently with me Linda.
Jaci Moriarty V Myra Law
For Jaci Moriarty the golf just get's better and better. A 5th Lochcraig Championship, win's at Murrayfield Mixed and Graigmillar park Ladies Greensomes as well as cutting her handicap to its lowest ever level was topped off by winning the June Medal with an excellent scratch 85 giving her a best ever qualifying position.
Myra Law always competes well and has come close to winning this competition in previous years. Her best showing was in 2002 and 2003 when she was runner-up on both occasions. Her never-say-die style of Matchplay which has brought her a stack of Championships at Musselburgh Old Course will ensure this match will be one to watch.
Diane Moncrieff V Pat Meikle
Diane Moncrieff is another who's game has improved out of all recognition over the last year or two. Since getting to the final in 2005 her confidence and ability have grown and Diane is rightly now considered a genuine contender.
Pat Meikle will also have a great deal of confidence following good performances on the Thursday Stablefords and at the Thornton outing (both on and off the course I hear). Another potentialy close match.
So the scene is set for the 46th Lochend Ladies Championship, and the Bronze Championship. Eileen and Linda may have dominated the last 5 years but it's clear the rest of the pack are definitely closing the gap, stay tuned to the web site or come along on the day to find out just how it all unfolds.
Bronze Championship Draw