Carrickvale have the stomach for another Dispatch battle

Craig Elliot, left, pictured with Aaron McHardy of RJM Kitchens, is one of the Carrickvale players going for yet more success in this year's Dispatch Trophy. Picture: Scott Louden
Craig Elliot, left, pictured with Aaron McHardy of RJM Kitchens, is one of the Carrickvale players going for yet more success in this year's Dispatch Trophy. Picture: Scott Louden
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ALLYN DICK said today he believes Carrickvale have the stomach to become Dispatch Trophy winners again – but insists it wouldn’t make him the first player in the event’s history to claim success at the Braids using an anchored stroke.

The former Lothians champion, a member of Vale’s hat-trick heroes from 2007-09, is part of the long putter brigade at the moment.

But he says his method of using one won’t be outlawed from the start of 2016 as he doesn’t actually anchor it in his 
belly.

“I use it similar to the way Martin Laird does – it isn’t anchored,” insisted Dick 
after helping his side reach the last eight in the event’s 114th 
staging.

That certainly appeared to be the case as the former Scotland international demonstrated the method to the Evening News.

But, on a windy night, his fluttering top was touching the putter grip and that’s something those who keep 
using long putters when the ban comes into place will need to try and avoid.

Both Dick and Craig Elliot, another member of that successful side, have new partners this year in Craig Deerness and Thomas Beattie.

Dick reckons the top pairing have been finding “position A” with most of their drives only to put the next shot in “position Z”.

“When you do that a 
5700-yard course becomes a monster,” declared Dick.

“Craig Deerness has played here before in the Winter League but it’s different in the summer and it’s a learning curve for him.”

Elliot and Beattie, who saved the side’s bacon against RJM Kitchens on Tuesday to set up tonight’s tie with Braids 
United, revealed the Edinburgh Leisure-supported event had allowed them to be reunited.

“We played golf together back in our Ratho Park days as youngsters,” revealed Elliot. With a young son in the house, he’s not playing much golf at all these days.

“He’s still magic, though,” said Beattie, who is “loving” his first taste of the event.

So, too, are 18-year-olds Stuart McLaren and Scott Simpson, the duo having also made it to the last eight on their first appearance with Stewart’s Melville.

“Having just finished school, this is the first time we’ve been able to play and it’s been really good fun,” declared McLaren, who plays off scratch at 
Bruntsfield Links.

“When we’d come up here for the Lothians Boys qualifying (the day after the Dispatch Trophy finishes) we’d see the results board. We didn’t know much about it (the Dispatch) then – but we certainly do now!”

Simpson, a two-handicapper at Murrayfield, added: “We know each other’s games and that definitely helps in this event.”

The youngsters held their own on Tuesday night as they “traded birdies” against Edinburgh Western. And, with an experienced pairing of David Donaldson and Ally Ritchie at the back, Stew-Mel are on course to make the final for the first time since 2005.

Standing in their way in tonight’s last-eight ties are Silverknowes, whose minds were well and truly focused by a tough Tuesday match 
against Cramond. “It was Hans 
Christian Andersen stuff out there,” declared a relieved Tam Caldwell as the five-times winners survived.

Caermount face Network Cooling in the other tie at the bottom of the draw and that won’t be an easy one for the holders.

Network Cooling’s top pairing of David Liddle and Stevie Doyle is a nice blend of youth and experience while Chris Timms and Mike Currie have been “solid” at the back so far.

“I know what this is all about when you get to this stage,” said Currie, a member of the winning Rhodes side a decade ago. “Everyone seems to be playing well and Chris, who plays off one at Mortonhall, hasn’t put a foot wrong so far.”

Talking of feet, Edinburgh Thistle’s Barry Anderson certainly wins the prize for the flashiest shoes in this year’s event – a black pair which have a swathe of pink on them!

But they’re obviously proving lucky as both him and brother Donald bid to follow in the spikemarks of dad David, a prolific medal winner in the event, and also get Thistle’s name back on the trophy.

“It’s a long time since we even got to the final stages and it would be good if we could achieve that this year,” said Donald as he looked forward to a quarter-final clash with 
Munro Heating B.

Tonight’s ties

4.30pm: Edinburgh Thistle v Munro Heating B

4.50pm: Carrickvale v Braids United

5.10pm: Stewart’s Melville v Silverknowes

5.30pm: Caermount v Network 
Cooling