Aberdeenshire Win County Finals for First Time in 32 Years

Aberdeenshire Ladies have won the Scottish Women’s County Finals for the first time since 1986 by the tightest of margins.

In the round robin format, Aberdeenshire, Midlothian and holders Renfrewshire all won two out of three matches, so the title was decided on the most match points scored across all three matches.

It couldn’t have been closer at Kilmacolm, with Aberdeenshire recording 15.5 points, pipping Renfrewshire by half a point, with Midlothian another half point behind on 14.5 points.

In the final day’s matches, Aberdeenshire came flying out of the blocks against Renfrewshire winning all of the morning foursomes to take a 3-0 lead into lunch.

In the afternoon singles matches, Sammy Leslie (Murcar Links) defeated Alyson McGinnigle (Cowglen) 3&2 and Kimberley Beveridge (Aboyne) overcame Donna Jackson (Troon Ladies) 4&3. The experienced Sheena Wood and Curtis Cup player Shannon McWilliam both halved their matches, while there were victories for Renfrewshire’s Eilidh Briggs and Jennifer Rankine to end the match 6-3 in Aberdeenshire’s favour.

In the day’s other match Midlothian defeated Dumfriesshire 5.5-3.5 to end their tournament with two victories in a row. The match was all-square at 1.5-1.5 after the morning foursomes, but victories for Louise Fraser (Kingsknowe), Caroline Steedman (Murrayfield), Carys Irvine (Craigielaw) and Karen Ferguson-Sneddon (Mortonhall) in the afternoon helped Midlothian to victory.

Winning Aberdeenshire Captain Ann Smart said: “I’m so proud of the team, they were absolutely amazing.

“After the result yesterday, everybody was really disappointed and I just told the team to go and enjoy themselves today. If it works it works, and if it doesn’t it doesn’t, we had nothing to lose and everything to gain.

“It has been an amazing week, and we are very grateful to everyone at Kilmacolm for giving up their course for the week. The club and all the staff have bent over backwards for us all week, it has been a truly wonderful weekend with a fantastic end.

One of the starts of the winning team, Kimberley Beveridge, who won five-and-a-half points out of six this week said: “It’s fantastic to get the opportunity to play in a team event, we had such a great great team spirit and what a weekend it was, just wonderful.

“On Saturday night we didn’t really think we had a chance to be honest, but we turned it around today. Winning all three of the morning foursomes today was great and we kept the momentum going in the afternoon singles to come out on top.

After being crowned champions, a delighted Shannon McWilliam said “We have been close to winning on a number of occasions in the past, but we kept missing out by half a point here and there, so it is a great way to end the competitive season, and finally get the victory for Aberdeenshire.

(Image: Liam Allan, Scottish Golf)