GULLANE’S lead at the top of the East Lothian Winter League has increased to five points after the latest round of matches.
An away win at the Glen, coupled with defending champions North Berwick losing to Musselburgh, means Jeff Aitken’s side already have one hand on the title.
Gullane’s fifth win of the campaign was never really in doubt at the east end of North Berwick, where Scott Walker and Duncan Low led the way with a 3 and 2 win over Gary Reid and Jim Jack in the top match.
Murray Saunders and Scott Gillies also delivered a point for the visitors, as did John Clelland and Greg Houlston to secure the victory.
But, in fairness, the home team did go on fighting, with James Pennycuik and Greig Govenlock accounting for the Thomsons – George and Ross – while Graeme Noblett and skipper Innes Christie overturned a two-hole deficit after 13 holes to win their match on the last green.
North Berwick couldn’t take advantage of a weakened Musselburgh team and slumped to a second successive defeat on the road.
Longniddry took a point home from their trip to Kilspindie, leaving both teams in the relegation zone.
But, with Gullane now well clear at the top and only two points separating the other five teams, it’s a case of perming any two from five for relegation.
In Division 2, Royal Musselburgh were untroubled by the visit of neighbours Musselburgh Old, a 5-0 win taking them into second place in the table.
Tantallon stayed on top courtesy of a draw away at Whitekirk, though time will tell whether that result was a point gained or a point lost for the leaders.
In a bunched table, it looks like Dunbar, Tantallon and Royal Musselburgh are the principle contenders for two promotion spots.
But Haddington could yet have their say. George Blair’s team have suffered a couple of setbacks, but still have to face all three of the main contenders starting with Dunbar this Sunday.
Musselburgh 3, North Berwick 2: Ken Davidson & Calum Burgess lost to Ali Simpson & Weston Main 1 hole; Benn McLeod & Scott Greig beat Richard Johnston & George Cochrane 3/2; Myles Clapperton & Jamie Wright beat Douglas Turner & Craig Hardie 6/4; Dougie Burgess & Ian Fyfe halved with Kevin Messer & John Stewart ; Brian Henderson & Tom Cordery halved with Mike Gray & Chris Brown
Glen 2 Gullane 3: Gary Reid & Jim Jack lost to Scott Walker & Duncan Low 3/2; Gordon Burns & Greg Lynn lost to Murray Saunders & Scott Gillies 2/1; Greig Govenlock & James Pennycuik beat Ross Thomson & George Thomson 4/3; Mark Lutton & John McMorland lost to John Clelland & Greg Houlston 2/1; Innes Christie & Graeme Noblett beat Robert Jack & Lawrie Main 1 hole. Juniors - Murdo Lunn & Finlay Goodlad lost to Joanne Free & Oliver Ladbrooke 3/2.
Kilspindie 2½, Longniddry 2½: Colin Ross & Alan O’Reilly lost to Michael Bacigalupo & Kevin Girdler 4/3; Grant Robertson & Martin Hay halved with Don McKinnon & Bruce Robertson ; David Watters & Graeme White lost to Gus Wilson & David Porteous 2/1; Rob Paterson & Carter Jerome beat Connor Farrell & Lewis Reid 5/4; Duncan Searle & Derek Naples beat Peter Henderson & Jonnie Watt 1 hole.
Team P W D L F A Pt
Gullane 5 5 0 0 17 8 10
Musselburgh 5 2 1 2 14 11 5
North Berwick 5 2 0 3 13½ 11½ 4
Glen 5 2 0 3 11½ 13½ 4
Kilspindie 5 1 2 2 9½ 15½ 4
Longniddry 5 1 1 3 9½ 15½ 3
Whitekirk 2½, Tantallon 2½: David Ewen & Ian Jones beat Andrew Doig & Stuart Wimberley 2/1; Andy Ovens & David Jeffery lost to Simon Holt & Euan Bowden 3/2; Craig McCartney & Kenny Plain beat Neil Park & Neil Brown 6/4; S Hall & David Hill halved with Fraser Symon & Michael Davidson ; Cam Murray & Jamie Murphy lost to Shaun Gordon & Joe Lockie 4/3.
Royal Musselburgh 5, Musselburgh Old 0: Chris Mackie & Jamie Ramsay beat Colin Whoriskey & Ewan Glen 3/2; Willie Reid & Kevin Connachan beat Keiron Blyth & Scott Higgins 1 hole; Craig Johnstone & John Hall beat Matthew Craigie & Kevin Wylie 2/1; Lindsay Shepherd & Stuart Blair beat Tyler Hood & Scott McFarlane (ret); Kenny Fee & Chris Ratcliffe beat Andrew Burnside & Nathan Free 1 hole.
Castle Park 3 Thorntree 1: no details reported.
Team P W D L F A Pt
Tantallon 5 3 1 1 13 12 7
Royal Musselburgh 5 3 0 2 17 8 6
Whitekirk 5 2 2 1 13 12 6
Dunbar 4 3 0 1 12 8 6
Gifford 4 2 0 2 11½ 8½ 4
Castle Park 5 2 0 3 11 13 4
Haddington 4 2 0 2 10½ 9½ 4
Craigielaw 4 2 0 2 9 11 4
Musselburgh Old 5 2 0 3 9 16 4
Thorntree 5 0 1 4 8 16 1