Stirling 5s golf team are Scottish Conference Cup champions, after an agonisingly close victory over Scotland Rural College’s first team.
In a tight tussle on home turf at Alloa Golf Club, captain Lewis Fraser and his team had a tough match on their hands, but swung home to produce a 4.5 – 3.5 win.
The team’s lineup was almost the same as the team who won the semi-final last month, with the only substitution coming in the form of Finlay Hamilton. He replaced Mirren Fraser, who was unable to play due to competing in the BUCS finals.
The 5s team are no stranger to close contests, after narrow victories in the quarter final, and again in the semi-final against Stirling 4s, who beat them in the league this year.
Individually, there were some really close matches, one of which came down to the very last hole.
Despite losses from Fergus Bannon, Grant Cunningham and Charlie Ellam, the 5s fought on to claim four wins and a draw in the other five matches, which was enough to come out on top.
Finlay Hamilton produced the most impressive result of the day – he won convincingly, leading by four holes with three left to play. And Fraser Matthews won his match, leading by three holes after the seventeenth.
And despite trailing for the majority of the match, Jennifer Rankine came back strong in the back nine, halving the last hole to clinch the half-point that the team needed to win overall.
There were also some close matches for captain Lewis Fraser and Chris Garry.
Fraser started off strong, going four holes up after the twelfth, but his opponent birdied the thirteenth. Despite a couple of tricky holes, he made it home to win the match on the penultimate green.
Chris Garry was three holes down playing the thirteenth hole. Unlucky for some, but certainly not for Garry, as he went on to win four of the last five holes to gain another significant point for the team.
This was the first time that Garry has won a match playing for the 5s this year, and no better time to do it.
Speaking after the win, Fraser told Brig: “I knew it was going to be a close match, but we’ve put in a huge amount of work this year to get this result.”
He is also extremely thankful for his teammates, adding: “They’ve been amazing, not just today but through the whole campaign. It’s fantastic for the uni and the club to get another trophy.”
The club’s president Sean Davidson is also thrilled with the team’s success. He said: “The 5s thoroughly deserved the win for their hard work and improvement throughout the year.”
Charlie Ellam will captain the team next year, and is hoping to capitalise on the team’s incredible achievements.
Fourth-year BA (Hons) Journalism Studies student.
News Editor, Sports Editor and Head of Proofreading for Brig Newspaper.
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