ROYAL BURGESS retained the Inter-Cities Cup after John Fraser clinched a dramatic sudden-death victory for the Edinburgh champions in their two-legged match against Glasgow counterparts Bishopbriggs.
The Barnton side made up a two-point deficit from the first leg by matching their opponents’ winning 5.5-3.5 margin to leave the two teams locked together at 9-9. It meant the first shoot-out in the event’s history involving Fraser, who was selected by Burgess team captain Richard Hughes, and Graeme McDougall. Both players hit the first green and, after Fraser had left his putt three feet short, McDougall had a 25-footer to win it for Bishopbriggs.
But, after rolling it five feet past, he then missed the return and Fraser duly knocked his one into the hole to keep the trophy at the east end of the M8 for another year. “My players produced another gutsy performance to squeeze through,” said a delighted Hughes.
Earlier Varun Varadharajan had given Burgess a good start, bagging three birdies in a row from the fifth to go from one down to a couple up as he went on to beat Gordon Yule in the top match. Fraser, Ian Taylor and Fraser McCluskey also won for the home side but Grant Pollock had to settle for a half after he lost the 16th and 18th to birdies from Scott Wearing. It meant Jim Thomson had to win the anchor match to level the tie on aggregate and he duly obliged after chipping to a couple of feet at the last.
Match details: Royal Burgess 5.5, Bishopbriggs 3.5: V Varadharajan bt G Yule 3 and 2; G Archibald lost to M Liddel one hole; J Yuille lost to A McPherson 3 and 2; J Fraser bt I Gillan 2 and 1; F McCluskey bt G McDougall 2 and 1; G Pollock halved with S Wearing; I Taylor bt M McPhee 4 and 3; S Gray lost to G Johnston 3 and 2; J Thomson bt S Ferris one hole.