IT’S brothers in arms for Colinton Mains as they bid to stop the Silverknowes steamroller in tonight’s quarter-finals of the Dispatch Trophy.
Ross and Scott Fergus are the Swanston New club’s front pairing and are getting on better than they used to out on the fairways. “They’d come off the golf course in the past throwing clubs at each other,” joked team-mate Malcolm Campbell.
Instead, the siblings are wielding those clubs to good effect so far in the 116th staging of the Edinburgh Leisure-supported event.
“We’ve not played in a doubles event since we were juniors, but it is working well up to now,” said Ross as his brother nodded in agreement.
Campbell, who has a Dispatch Trophy stalwart in Graeme Millar as his partner in the back Colinton Mains pairing, was one of leading lights in the Lothians a few seasons back before disappearing from the scene.
“I didn’t play much golf at all for two seasons as I was working at weekends and simply didn’t have the time,” said the left-hander. “But I worked hard last winter on my game and it is good to be back playing in an event like this again.
“We’ve got a strong team and, though people will be probably be expecting us to go out before the final, I think we could be dark horses.”
Millar is bidding to win his third gold medal at a time when he is the Swanston New club captain. “I’m trying to help him as much as I can as his old legs are making it more difficult to get round here now,” joked Campbell of the side’s senior member.
That’s one of the many great things about this event – there’s always plenty of banter flying around and no-one gets offended.
“Tell him the truth – you were rubbish,” said Keith Reilly to his playing partner Craig Scott after they’d helped Silverknowes stay on course for a fifth trophy triumph in the last ten years.
Actually, the pair both played well in beating Munro Heating, as did Tam Caldwell and his new sidekick, Kenny Alexander.
“I’ve had lots of different partners up here, Mark Whitton, Keith Reilly, Graham Robertson and now Kenny,” said Caldwell. “Kenny has done very well and it’s easy to play with him as he hits it straight most of the time and has a good short game.”
Twelve months ago, Scott was the one feeling a heavy weight on his broad shoulders as he represented Silverknowes for the first time.
“There’s a lot less pressure and I’m enjoying it a lot more,” he admitted. “Kenny is now the one in my position a year ago and he’s handling it well.”
Four Braids clubs are still in the mix with one guaranteed to make the last four as Harrison take on Braids United tonight.
“In the wind we had on Sunday and again on Tuesday, it’s about keeping the ball in play and not doing anything silly,” said Harrison’s Stuart More.
There might have been one time they’d have been hot favourites to beat Braids United but maybe not now.
Their opponents have been impressive thus far, having gained a lot of confidence from beating Carrickvale to reach the final of this season’s Edinburgh Municipal Winter League.
“We’ve not got anyone in the team down at one or two, we’re all playing off between five to seven,” said Sandy Myles. “But we know how to get it round at the Braids.”
An added incentive for Harrison is that they could meet their B team in Saturday’s semi-finals as they face Hailes in the other match tonight in the top half of the draw.
“I won a bronze in 1998, just before I met my wife,” recalled Harrison B’s Donny Munro. “I’ve not done anything in this event since so it would be nice to get to Saturday to guarantee a medal.”
That sentiment was echoed by Steve McCulloch, who is part of the Hailes side enjoying a welcome extended run in the event after a barren spell for the Kingsknowe club.
“It’s been a while since we got this far,” admitted McCulloch. “The only time we’ve got to the medal stage in my time was back in 1990.”
David Wilson, meanwhile, will bridge a 21-year-gap if he can achieve that by helping Edinburgh Western take the ‘sting’ out of their opponents in the remaining last-eight clash.
“It was 1994 when Western last made it to the semi-finals,” said Wilson, with Stinger Golfing Society standing between them and that goal tonight.