Dispatch Trophy: Harrison’s derby hopes dashed

Robbie Sanderson, aged ten, and  Steve 'McMahon shelter on the 5th tee. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Robbie Sanderson, aged ten, and Steve 'McMahon shelter on the 5th tee. Picture: Ian Rutherford

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Harrison’s hopes of having two sides fighting it out in a Dispatch Trophy semi-final tomorrow were dashed by a Hailes storm at the Braids.

The “A Team” are through to the last four in the 116th staging of the Edinburgh Leisure-supported event after a 7&6 win over Braids United.

But it was the end of the road for the “B Boys” as they lost 5&4 to Hailes on a night when Silverknowes and Edinburgh Western were the other two triumphant teams in the quarter-finals.

“The mood was both up and down in the club afterwards,” admitted Stuart More. “We were delighted to win our match but it’s a pity that there’s not a Harrison derby to look forward to on Saturday.”

On another testing night, More and Dougie Waugh were two-under for 15 holes as they finished four up on Neil Baird and Ian Grimwade.

Alan Stewart and John Cafferty also produced sub-par figures at the back in finishing three up on Glen Marsters and Sandy Myles as Braid United’s promising progress was halted in its tracks.

“Thursday is a horrible night as you don’t want to go out a round before the medal stage,” added More, who was in Harrison’s last trophy-winning side – in 2000 – along with Cafferty. “We are delighted to be in the semi-finals and hopefully we can go all the way now.”

Steve McCulloch was in the last Hailes side to reach the medal stage in 1990, but it’s new territory for Marc Cairnie, Gary Malone and Alan Mackay.

McCulloch and Cairnie won five out of six holes from the sixth in a decisive burst in front while Malone rolled in a 20-foot downhill putt at the 16th as they beat Harrison B.

“It’s great for the club to be back in the semi-finals and neither of the two pairings have been beaten so far this week,” said McCulloch.

Defending champions Silverknowes had to dig deep to stay on course for a fifth victory in 10 years.

“That was tough tonight,” admitted Keith Reilly of a 2&1 success over Colinton Mains that was in the balance most of the way.

Tam Caldwell and Kenny Alexander won the 17th with a par-3 as they finished one down to Graeme Millar and Malcolm Campbell. At the back, Reilly and Craig Scott bagged five birdies, the “crucial” one coming at the 14th as Reilly rolled in a ten-footer.

“We knew it would be a hard one as Colinton Mains had a good team and we had to grind it out,” added Reilly. “We are pleased to be in the semi-finals and it is great to see two Braids teams there as well.”

Edinburgh Western bridged a 21-year gap to reach that stage, beating Stinger Golfing Society 7&5 in a game that was closer at one stage than the score suggests.

“We realise that Silverknowes will be favourites against us in the semi-finals, but we are looking forward to it,” said David Wilson, who had Danny Cameron back as his partner in the second Western couple while John Ralston and Gerry Curran continue to impress up front.