Fife crowned Scottish champions on home turf at Leven

Fife made home advantage count at Leven to win the ?Scottish Area Team Championship for the third time in nine years.

Fide defeated Ayrshire 5-4 in the final of the Scottish Area Team Championship.
Fide defeated Ayrshire 5-4 in the final of the Scottish Area Team Championship.

The hosts beat Ayrshire 5-4 in the final, making amends for the disappointment of losing to North in the title decider last year.

It was a deserved success for Bill Dickson’s team after they had qualified for the knock-out stage in the top spot on Friday.

Ayrshire, the 2014 winnners, drew first blood as Jim Johnston (Ayr Belleisle) and 
Robbie Muir (Kilmarnock (Barassie)) recorded an impressive 4&3 victory in the first of three foursomes in the morning.

But it was advantage Fife at lunch following wins behind them for Andrew Davidson (Carleton)/Fraser Carr (Crail) and Leven Thistle duo Steven Aitken/Scott Crichton.

Johnston then rounded off a good day’s work by beating
former Scottish Order of 
Merit winner James White (Lundin) in the first of six 

However, successes from Crichton, Aitken and Carr against Michael Smyth (Royal Troon), Steven Wallace (Prestwick St Cuthbert) and Tommy McInally (Loudoun Gowf) respectively saw Fife repeat 2011 and 2013 victories since the format for the 16-team event was changed.

“Great team performance against a very strong Ayrshire team,” said a delighted Dickson. “We stuck in when we were up against it on the front nine.

“The guys battled back to get the three points we needed after a sterling foursomes battle and this makes up for losing out afterlast year. The trophy is back where it belongs!”

Aitken fought back from four down after eight to deliver his point in the afternoon, sinking a 15-foot downhill putt to clinch the win.

“That was tremendous, but I am very proud of the whole team effort,” added Dickson.

Fife had earlier beaten South 5-0 in the quarter-finals before coming out on top 
3-2 in a tight last-four tussle with record winners Lothians.

Ayrshire opened the knock-out phase by ending North’s hopes of a successful title defence, beating them 3.5-1.5, before sweeping aside North-East 4.5-0.5.