A WAYWARD drive from a clubmate helped Harrison join three other Braids clubs in the quarter-finals of the 116th Dispatch Trophy.
Playing for Harrison Golf Society, George Ackroyd hit Temple’s Stuart Smith on the ankle with a pulled tee shot at the fifth hole.
Former Lothians champion Smith bravely tried to play on but called it a day at the 11th, leaving Harrison to progress in unusual circumstances in the Edinburgh Leisure-supported event.
“I was walking up the sixth hole minding my own business, having just pitched on to the green when my world went ‘crash, bang, wallop’,” said Smith.
“A golf ball hit me on the side of the ankle and it wasn’t at full toss. It could only have bounced once and not far away either.
“It hit right on the bone and it was really sore, even though I’d taken Ibuprofen for my ankles before going out.
“I tried to play on but I was in agony after playing a shot from a downhill lie at the 11th so it was better being safe than sorry.”
Smith said he felt sorry for Ackroyd, who was jokingly dubbed “Agent Ackroyd” by one of his clubmates over the unfortunate incident that cut short a tasty tie.
“He had to play on with what had happened in his mind, but he doesn’t need to worry about a lawsuit or any other nonsense like that,” added Smith.
“That’s what can happen on a golf course, though it is the first time I’ve been hit and that’s amazing considering the amount of time I’ve spent on golf courses in my life.”
Harrison were five up over the double foursome when the match finished but Stuart More admitted: “It wasn’t the way we’d have wanted to progress and we all hope that Stuart is okay.”
Harrison now face Braids United, who had their bottom couple, Glen Marsters and Sandy Myles, to thank for a 4&3 win over Harrison Golfing Society as they finished five up on Ackroyd and Neil Gordon.
“It was tough coming back into that wind,” admitted Myles, “and in those conditions it’s the bad shots that matter, not the good ones.”
Harrison B and Edinburgh Western are also still standing, though the former played their get-out-of-jail card in scraping past RICS.
“Over the double foursome, we were seven down with 12 holes to play,” reported Justin White after the sort of turnaround that probably can only happen on a course like the Braids.
Six down with six to play, White and his partner, Donny Munro, won them all with pars – no mean feat into the teeth of a strong wind – against James Godfrey and Brian Tait. And, with Brian Byers and Ian Ashley getting it back to four down at the finish after being seven down with six to play, Harrison B pulled off an unlikely two-hole victory.
“Though we never thought it was over, it’s still a good one to win,” admitted White, who heaped praise on the performance of his partner so far in the event.
“Every shot Donny has hit has been spot-on and he’s never missed a putt,” said White. “He carried me on Sunday, though I stepped up a bit tonight.”
Next up for Harrison B are Hailes, who took advantage of Scottish Universities having to make two changes from the side that had started the event so strongly to record an 8&7 victory.
“We were very solid,” reported Steve McCulloch, who has three fellow low handicappers at Kingsknowe – Marc Cairnie, Alan Mackay and Gary Malone – for company in the Hailes ranks.
Silverknowes, the defending champions, were helped by some fireworks as they overcame a potential banana skin against a useful-looking Munro Heating quartet.
Playing in the first match, Tam Caldwell and Kenny Alexander eagled the 10th and 11th while Keith Reilly and Craig Scott birdied the 10th, 11th and 12th at the back.
“I holed from ten feet at the 10th while Tam canned one from 25 feet at the 11th,” said Alexander, who has done a splendid job so far as Graham Robertson’s replacement.
An interesting tie lies ahead for Silverknowes tomorrow night because, on paper, Colinton Mains could give them a run for their money.
With Dispatch Trophy veteran Graeme Millar in their ranks, the Swanston New quartet progressed with a 3&2 win over Stewart’s/Melville. “We are delighted to be in the last eight,” declared Millar, who has Malcolm Campbell and the Fergus brothers – Ross and Scott – as his team-mates.
The remaining quarter-final will see Edinburgh Western take on Stinger Golfing Society after they both came through tight tests. John Ralston and Gerry Curran were the heroes for Edinburgh Western, finishing five up at the front, while Stinger’s back pairing of Elliot Baddock and Calum Robertson recovered from losing the 17th to crucially get their noses in front again at the last. “It wasn’t pretty but we made it,” said one Stinger player.
Harrison (Dougie Waugh and Stuart More 0; Alan Stewart and John Cafferty 0); Temple Golfing Society (John Shepherd and George Wither 0; Keith Millar and Stuart Smith 0).
Harrison won by a medical walkover
Braids United (Neil Baird and Ian Grimwade 0; Glen Marsters and Sandy Myles 5); Harrison Golf Society (Greg McKay and Paul Frain 1; George Ackroyd and Neil Gordon 0).
Braids United won 4&3
Harrison B (Justin White and Donny Munro 6; Brian Byars and Ian Ashley 0); RICS (James Godfrey and Brian Tait 0; Mike Armstrong and Mike Corrie 4).
Harrison B won by two holes
Scottish Universities (Duncan Hamilton and Johnny Calder 0; Tim Pakenham and Alex Room 0); Hailes (Marc Cairnie and Steve McCulloch 7; Alan Mackay and Gary Malone 1).
Hailes won 8&7
Stewarts/Melville (Stuart McLaren and Drew McIntosh 0; Derek Millar and Ally Ritchie 0); Colinton Mains (Graeme Millar and Malcolm Campbell 1; Ross Fergus and Scott Fergus 2).
Colinton Mains won 3&2
Munro Heating (Kieran Cantley and Lewis Bain 0; Paul Middleton and David Ewen 0); Silverknowes (Tam Caldwell and Kenny Alexander 1; Craig Scott and Keith Reilly 4).
Silverknowes won 5&4
Edinburgh Western (John Ralston and Gerry Curran 5; Danny Cameron and Dave Wilson 0); MCBA (Martin Paul and Dave Clark 0; Campbell Logan and Dave Hutton 3).
Edinburgh Western won by two holes
Carrick Knowe (Mark Chambers and Derek Wilkinson 0; James Duncan and Jim Wilson 0); Stinger Golfing Society (Gregor Thomson and Graeme Clark 0; Elliot Baddock and Calum Robertson 1).
Stinger Golfing Society won by one hole