DALMAHOY and Royal Burgess will both be under-strength for this weekend’s Edinburgh Summer League title showdown at Broomieknowe.
Players who have helped the two teams reach the final in this season’s Pollock (Scotrans) Ltd-sponsored event have been ruled out for a variety of reasons.
Robert Carson, who has led Dalmahoy to the brink of glory in his first season as team manager, is among those missing for the Marriott men.
He’s on caddying duties for Gavin Dear at the first stage of the European Tour Qualifying School and is joined on the sidelines by Dougie Hunter and Callum Cochrane.
The experienced Hunter is at a wedding this weekend while Cochrane, the Lothians Boys’ champion, has qualified for the Faldo Series European final at Lough Erne in Northern Ireland.
“The Burgess currently have us on the mantle piece in the Summer League, ending our campaign the last two years and we go into the final as massive underdogs,” said Carson.
“But a lucky omen perhaps is that the last time we reached the final, Iain Wilson was drafted in and won his game which ultimately saw us crowned winners and the same has had to happen again this year due to players missing.”
Burgess, meanwhile, will be without two of their most experienced players as they bid to lift the title for the fifth year running.
“It is sad we are without John Fraser and Fraser McCluskey, who have been prominent members of our team over the last five years,” said Burgess team manager Richard Hughes.
“They arrive back from playing in Portugal for the Scottish Senior side an hour too late to play.
“They will both be there to support their team-mates and John will be paying special attention to David Marshall’s match, as David is the only player who can pass John in the MVP table.”
Burgess definitely go into the match as favourites, having proved tough nuts to crack since they embarked on their title-winning run in the event back in 2008.
But Hughes insists his side will be treating their opponents with the utmost respect.
“We know the Dalmahoy boys well as we play in the same Winter League,” he added. “It will be a tight affair.
“We played them in the semi-final last year and came out on top but that will count for nothing come Sunday – we have to be focused on the job in hand, which is to win our fifth consecutive title.”
Carson added: “We have some fantastic youngsters, including Josh Rooney and Murray Naysmith, but also a wealth of experience. A player who seems to improve with every passing year is Graham Lovie. He joined the club in the last ten years off 9 but has improved greatly to play to at No. 4 and has been a key part of our squad.
“He’s a man who always understands if he is being dropped for the good of the team and a super guy to have around the young guys.”
Sunday’s match tees off at 1pm.