Carrickvale will need to hit the ground running in their bid to reclaim the Dispatch Trophy after finding themselves in the toughest part of the draw for the event’s 116th staging at the Braids.
While Silverknowes, the holders, appear to have been dealt a favourable hand in the Edinburgh Leisure-supported team tournament, their arch rivals are likely to face a series of tough tests.
Carrickvale, winners three years in a row from 2007 before claiming the coveted prize again two years ago, face Duddingston team Temple Golfing Society in the opening round on Saturday, May 23.
If they win that one, either Heriots Quad, last year’s beaten finalists, or Third, a Dalmahoy team, will be lying in wait the following day while two other strong sides, Harrison and Heriots, could be last-16 opponents for Carrickvale.
Revenge was sweet for Silverknowes when they beat Carrickvale by one hole in last year’s semi-finals after losing to the same opponents in the title showdown 12 months earlier.
Having come out of the hat in the opposite sides of the draw this time, another mouth-watering last-afternoon clash is a possibility on Saturday, May 30, though the Braids clubs in particular will be determined to prevent that from happening.
It’s 15 years since Harrison landed the last success by players who know the course better than anyone and, on this occasion, host club Edinburgh Western has been handed a good chance to make it through to the semi-finals.
Silverknowes, another of the 12 teams to receive byes, could be waiting for them there, though, Kilgour Wealth Management will be hoping to catch them cold in round two.
In an event that attracted 52 teams - seven down on last year - the hottest temperature in any of the early ties will the one on day two involving Munro Heating and Munro Heating B.
First round (May 23): 7.00 Kilgour Private Clients v Hailes C; 7.10 Harrison v Heriots; 7.20 Third v Heriots Quad; 7.30 Temple Golfing Society v Carrickvale; 7.40 Edinburgh Western C v Braids United; 8.00 Rhodes v Bruntsfield Allied; 8.10 Hailes B v Portobello; 8.20 Kilgour Employee Benefits v Harrison Golf Society; 8.30 Harrison B v Silverknowes Generations; 8.40 RJM Kitchens & Bathrooms v Royal Bank; 9.00 Harrison Seniors v RICS; 9.10 Lochend v Edinburgh Thistle; 9.20 Scottish Universities v Buckstone GS; 9.30 FORE v BBT; 9.40 Hailes v Edinburgh Western B; 10.00 Silverknowes Veterans v Cramond; 10.10 Stewart’s/Melville v Caermount; 10.20 British Rugby Club of Paris v Carrickvale B; 10.30 Colinton Mains v Observers; 10.40 Edinburgh Bar Association v Watsonian.
Second round (May 24): 9.30 Munro Heating v Munro Heating B; 9.45 Silverknowes v Kilgour Wealth Management; 10.00 Edinburgh Western v Ye Monks of Ye Braids; 10.15 MCBA v Bank of Scotland; 10.30 Lochend B v Carrick Knowe; 10.45 Stinger Golfing Society v Mount Vernon.