It was a big day, and a big entry, as 102 came forward for the J. W. Gray Carling Kirkwall Open.
Down on last year’s record entry, but all the top players from Orkney, Shetland and Caithness mustered at the Masonic, all competing for the £500 first prize.
The entry consisted of 54 non-registered players and included 29 ladies, but only 16 ‘B’ players, which is hard to understand as there was £100 on offer for the most successful of the ‘B’ boys.
That title went to Brett Dickenson, of the Nomads, while Irene Thomson collected the ladies’ prize.
On to the big game, some of the fancied players hitting the dust early on.
The top game was the clash between the holder, and Kirkwall Singles Champion Kevin Gray taking on the Shetland Singles Champion Neil Redfern, who had just returned from taking part in the Scottish Open Championship.
That didn’t help him though, as Kevin the Kirkwall champ, beat him 3-2.
However, two games later, Kevin crashed out to fellow Orkney player Brian Moar at the quarter-final stage.
At that stage there were six Kirkwall ‘A’ players, one ‘B’ player, and also one from Caithness, Stewart Tait, and he made the semi-finals, before going out 4-1 to Ian Wilkie.
By this time, it was certain that a new name was going on the cup, as, in the other semi-final, Ivan Leslie beat Brian Moar 4-0.
The final will go down as a classic. By the score, it looked very one-sided, but it was far from that, with only Ivan’s great finishing proving decisive on the day. Iain won the first game, but that was it.
The cup, once again, remains in Kirkwall, as it has done since the start of the open.
It was great to meet some old friends once again, like ex-Scottish international Angus Ross.
On to the leagues, and the Legion have done it again! With an 11-1 thumping of Quoyburray, they have retained the Williamson’s ‘A’ League title. The defeat also means Quoyburray will be relegated.
The Golf Club could equal the Legion’s points, but not the game difference. They beat the Untouchables 7-5.
It was the same score for the Commodores over Meadowbank, which puts them down to the ‘B’ League, and keeps the Commodores in contention for second spot.
The Wanderers also won 7-5, against the Untouchables ‘A’, but they are too far behind now to get up to second. Sanday got back to winning ways, 9-3 over RBLM.
Shapinsay are nearly there, after an 8-4 win over Deerness, but the Murray Arms also won, and it was 11-1 against the Bilco boys, and they look like the main challengers to Shapinsay.
However, the Sands might have a say in things yet. There was no score in from their game against Tankerness, who are also up there near the top.
Another good win for the Nomads – 7-5 over the Shore ‘2’, and also a win for the Legion Arrows over the other Shore team; 9-3 was the score.
There were 180s from Ian Eunson, Steven Walls, Roy Griffiths, Michael Moore, Brian Murray, Keith Brumpton, Craig Taylor, Kevin Gray, Neil Croy, Andrew Rendall, and two from Alan Gray, Stevie Linklater and Brett Dickenson.
High checkouts: 102 Peter Mathieson; 103 and 116 Billy Ward; 104 Graham Rendall and Colin Ross; 108 Graham Louttit and Colin Barnett; 111 Brian Moar and Neil Croy; 112 Peter Liddle; 116 Gary Drever and Stevie Linklater; and 119 from Ian Wilkie; 121 Callum Miller; and 140 and 116 Ivan Leslie.
It is the Tom Notman Cup on, Friday, in the Legion. It is singles and open to any player who has ever played in the KDDL.
The East team and the team to play Shetland is: Captain Craig Taylor, Kevin Gray, Derek Firth, Ivan Leslie, Neil Croy, Robbie Stanger, Billy Ward, Stevie Linklater, Bruce Moar, Brian Moar, Alan Gray, Ian Wilkie and Michael Bain. Reserves: Colin Kirkpatrick and Roy Foubister.
The ‘B’ team is: Captain Allan Brown, Keith Bain, Derek Ward, Billy Eunson, Ryan Tulloch, Billy Brown, Ian Eunson, George Low and Brett Dickenson.
Reserves: Jamie Drever and Paul Firth.
It takes place on March 29, Stromness Golf Club. A bus will leave the Kirkwall Legion at 7pm, returning after the game.
J. W. Gray and Carlings Open Final:
Ivan Leslie beat Ian Wilkie 5 - 1.
Williamson’s ‘A’ League:
Legion 11, Quoyburray 1; Wanderers 7, Untouchables ‘A’ 5; OGC 7, Untouchables 5; Commodores 7, Meadowbank 5; RBLM 3, Sanday 9; No game – Quoyburray ‘B’.
Williamson’s ‘B’ League:
Sands ‘2’ 3, Likely Lads 9; Murray Arms 11, Bilco Boys 1; Sands v Tankerness – no score; Deerness 4, Legion Arrows 9; Nomads 7, Shore ‘2’ 5.
Friday, March 15:
Tom Notman 301 Singles Cup, Legion 7.30pm.
Monday, March 18:
Wllliamson’s ‘A’ League:
Sanday v Commodorowbank v OGC; Untouchables v Wanderers; Untouchables ‘A’ v Legion; Quoyburray ‘B’ v RBLM; No game – Quoyburray.
Williamson’s ‘B’ League:
Legion Arrows v Deerness; Shapinsay v Sands; Tankerness v Murray Arms; Bilco Boys v Sands ‘2’; Shore ‘2’ v Likely Lads; Nomads v Shore.