HADDINGTON completed a remarkable double when they beat Tantallon in the latest round of the East Lothian Winter Golf League.
The win meant they knocked the four-times league champions off the top of the Second Division table. It also came hot on the heels of their previous success – at Dunbar, when they thwarted their hosts’ attempt at a quick return to the top of the table seven days earlier.
The brace of victories means George Blair’s team move up into the promotion places but the new leaders, with an impressive goal difference, are Royal Musselburgh.
The Prestongrange outfit made light work of their weekend assignment at Whitekirk as they recorded their third whitewash in their last four starts to take over at the top.
Royal will be favourites to maintain their position when they play at home twice in January against less-fancied opposition. But if Haddington can keep pace by dealing with the visit of Craigielaw early in the New Year, that could set up a mouth-watering title decider when the leading pair go head-to-head at Royal Musselburgh in the last match of the league season.
Meanwhile, Dunbar bounced back with a 4-1 win away at Castle Park to join the leaders on eight points, while Craigielaw reached the same mark thanks to victory at Musselburgh Old.
Dunbar have the easier run-in, and will be odds-on to steal a promotion spot if they can win their remaining three matches.
But all that meant Tantallon were the weekend’s unlucky losers, as their narrow defeat saw the four times league champions tumble from first place to fifth. Andrew Doig knows his team’s promotion hopes now rest not only on a winning finish but on some favours from elsewhere.
In the top flight, Gullane continued their romp with a comfortable win at Kilspindie, extending their lead to six points as nearest challengers Musselburgh had to settle for a draw at home to the Glen.
Jeff Aitken’s team can secure the title on January 5 if they beat defending champions North Berwick and Musselburgh fail to win at Longniddry.
Kilspindie 1½ Gullane 3½: Grant Robertson & Alan O’Reilly lost to Scott Walker & Duncan Low 2 holes; Bob Humble & David Watters halved with Murray Saunders & Scott Gillies ; Graeme White & Martin Hay lost to George Thomson & Ross Thomson 3/2; Rob Paterson & Carter Jerome beat John Clelland & Greg Houlston 3/2; Derek Naples & George Gray lost to Robert Jack & Alan Smith 3/2North Berwick Longniddry
North Berwick 4½ Longniddry ½: Weston Main & Ali Simpson beat Don McKinnon & Bruce Robertson 3/2; Chris Wood & Kevin Messer beat Jonnie Watt & Peter Henderson 5/4; George Cochrane & John Stewart halved with Michael Bacigalupo & Kevin Girdler ; Richard Johnston & Richard Johnston jnr beat Gus Wilson & David Porteous 2/1; Chris Brown & Mike Gray beat Marc Owenson & Fraser Johnstone 3/2. Juniors - Longniddry won w/o
Musselburgh 2½ Glen 2½: Lewis Bain & Connor Good halved with Gary Reid & Jim Jack ; Calum Burgess & Jack Valentine halved with James Pennycuik & John McMorland ; Brian Henderson & Tom Cordery halved with Innes Christie & Graeme Noblett ; Benn McLeod & Scott Greig beat Gordon Burns & Fraser Christie 3/2; Myles Clapperton & Jamie Wright lost to Barry Ford & Paul Howson 4/3. Juniors - Declan Henderson & Cameron Blair beat Murdo Lunn & Finlay Goodlad 6/5
Team Pl W D L F A Pt
Gullane 6 6 0 0 20½ 9½ 12
North Berwick 6 3 0 3 18 12 6
Musselburgh 6 2 2 2 16½ 13½ 6
Glen 6 2 1 3 14 16 5
Kilspindie 6 1 2 3 11 19 4
Longniddry 6 1 1 4 10 20 3
Musselburgh Old 2 Craigielaw 3: no details reported
Gifford 3 Thorntree 2: Blair Shearer & Andrew Finlayson beat Keith Auld & Iain Wyper 4/3; Craig Imrie & Ben Caird lost to Brian Fairgrieve & Scott Allan 2 holes; Stephen Doctor & Sean Cunningham beat Grant McDonald & Bob Walkingshaw 3/2; Tom Simpson & Keith Watkins beat Arthur Reid & Derek Mooney 7/5; Colin Shearer & Colin Thomson lost to Grant Fleming & Craig Baillie 3/1.
Castle Park 1 Dunbar 4: No details reported
Haddington 3 Tantallon 2: David Warner & George Blair lost to Joe Lockie & Shaun Gordon 2 holes; Law Hardie & Graham McCann beat Calum Hill & Chris Low 5/4; Daryll Souness & Keith Gemmell beat Liam Brown & Michael Davidson 3/1; Keith Nicholson & Steven Smail lost to Euan Bowden & Eddie Danks 3/1; Mark White & Stuart Hamilton beat Andrew Doig & Richard Helik 4/3
Whitekirk 0 Royal Musselburgh 5: David Ewen & S Hermiston lost to Chris Ratcliffe & Kenny Fee 2 holes; Andy Ovens & Ian Jones lost to Lindsay Shepherd & Stuart Blair 5/4; Kenny Plain & Craig McCartney lost to Chris Mackie & Jamie Ramsay 1 hole; Jamie Murphy & David Jeffery lost to Jamie Reid & Willie Reid 3/2; David Smith & Ian Fraser lost to John Hall & Craig Johnstone 5/4
Team Pl W D L F A Pt
Royal Musselburgh 6 4 0 2 22 8 8
Haddington 6 4 0 2 17½ 12½ 8
Dunbar 5 4 0 2 17 13 8
Craigielaw 6 4 0 2 15 15 8
Tantallon 6 3 1 2 15 15 7
Gifford 6 3 0 3 16½ 13½ 6
Whitekirk 6 2 2 2 13 17 6
Castle Park 6 2 0 4 13 17 4
Musselburgh Old 6 2 0 4 11 19 4
Thorntree 6 0 1 5 10 20 1