Royal Burgess hopes hang by a thread

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A SECOND loss to Silverknowes this season, coupled with Duddingston coming out of the shadows, has left Royal Burgess clinging on to hopes of a sixth successive Edinburgh Summer League triumph.

It is shaping up to be an exciting finish in the “Group of Death” and the Barnton side look as though they will need some serious slip-ups by the three teams above them to have a chance of progressing to the knock-out stage.

Following back-to-back away wins, Duddingston now top Section A in the Pollock (Scotrans) Ltd-sponsored event, two points ahead of Silverknowes, with Dalmahoy a point further back.

The latest of four Royal Burgess defeats came at Silverknowes, who had sprung a major surprise right at the start of the campaign by winning the reverse fixture. “We went to Silverknowes determined to get a result and get back into contention, but we fell just short despite a great start,” said Burgess team manager Richard Hughes.

In a clash between the respective club champions, Silverknowes star Tam Caldwell was five-under for 16 holes in beating Varun Varadharajan.

But, helped by James Ross defeating Graeme Robertson and John Yuille and John Fraser both producing sub-par figures, the visitors needed just one point from the last three matches to win it.

Alas, the points comfortably went the way of Silverknowes who strengthened their position in the group.

Duddingston have emerged as serious contenders for top spot after successive away wins at Liberton and Prestonfield, where they triumphed 7-1.

“A disappointing result for us, though having three games in a seven-day spell is taking its toll, especially with a stretched squad,” said Prestonfield’s Ricky Myles of that result.

Section C is also heading for a nail-biting final few weeks, with Kingsknowe, Glencorse, Royal Musselburgh and Baberton all separated by just two points.

“An excellent result against one of our main competitors,” said Kingsknowe’s Bill Buchan after a 6-2 home win over Broomieknowe, while newcomers Royal Musselburgh crushed Baberton 7-1.

Definitely heading for the quarter-finals are West Linton, who beat Swanston New 6-2 at home to make it six wins out six in Section D. “The win cements our position as leaders, but some interesting games lie ahead,” said West Linton’s John McWilliams. “Swanston’s match with Mortonhall now has huge significance for both teams – and, following that, Mortonhall visit West Linton in an equally important fixture.”

Results:

Section A:

Silverknowes 4½, Royal Burgess 3½: K Reilly halved with S Buckley; G Robertson lost to J Ross 2 and 1; T Caldwell bt V Varadharajan 3 and 2; C Scott lost to J Yuille 6 and 5; M Paterson lost to J Fraser 3 and 2; I Doig bt D Ross 3 and 2; K Alexander bt G Pollock 3 and 2; C Milligan bt I Taylor 3 and 2.

Prestonfield 1, Duddingston 7: A McHardy lost to D Miller one hole; S Johnston lost to G Thomson one hole; L Blyth lost to C Scott 3 and 2; D Johnston lost to C Hay 6 and 5; G Duffy halved with M Armstrong; K Wood lost to C Regan 2 and 1; M Welsh lost to S Hogg 5 and 4; R Myles halved with N Hamilton.

Dalmahoy 5, Prestonfield 3: S Smith bt A McHardy 3 and 2; C Brown bt S Johnston 3 and 2; C Cochrane bt L Blyth 3 and 2; J Rooney bt S Kelley 6 and 5; D Brown lost to M Fisher 4 and 2; G Johnston lost to R Farley one hole; S Murray bt S Laing 2 and 1; I Campbell lost to D Johnston 4 and 2.

Liberton 3½, Duddingston 4½: D Rennie lost to D Miller one hole; A Blaney bt S Knox 8 and 7; I Neilson halved with M Armstrong: G Scott bt N Hamilton one hole; J Hunter lost to S Hogg 2 and 1; D Eardley lost to M Hymers one hole; D Kerr lost to J Shepherd 4 and 3; K Cantley bt D Williams one hole.

P W D L F A Pts

Duddingston 6 5 0 1 28 20 10

Silverknowes 6 4 0 2 27 21 8

Dalmahoy 6 3 1 2 26 22 7

Royal Burgess 6 2 0 4 24½ 23½ 4

Prestonfield 6 1 2 3 18½ 29½ 4

Liberton 6 1 1 4 20 28 3

Section B:

Craigmillar Park 2½, Bruntsfield Links 5½: A Robertson bt A Anderson 3 and 2; I Christie lost to M Kernaghan one hole; C Murison lost to A Ritchie 2 and 1; J Nolan halved with S Reid; F Christie bt R Brydon 4 and 2; G Lewington lost to D Wallace 2 and 1; D Davies lost to D Miller one hole; A Williamson lost to D Donaldson 7 and 6.

Bruntsfield Links 7½, Merchants ½: K Cattanach halved with R Craig; Z Culverwell bt A Brown one hole; K MacKenzie bt M Leitch 4 and 3; A Ritchie bt J Kerr 2 and 1; M Kernaghan bt A George 3 and 2; R Brydon bt A Brown 4 and 3; D Miller bt D Montgomery 3 and 2; R Phillips bt D Hall 4 and 2.

P W D L F A Pts

Bruntsfield Links 5 5 0 0 30 10 10

Turnhouse 6 4 1 1 28½ 19½ 9

Merchants 5 2 1 2 17 23 5

Musselburgh 6 1 2 3 22½ 25½ 4

Ratho Park 5 1 1 3 15 25 3

Craigmillar Park 5 0 1 4 15 25 1

Section C:

Royal Musselburgh 7, Baberton 1: C Ratcliffe bt D Waugh 3 and 2; L Shepherd bt S Scott 4 and 2; D Glass bt C Malone 3 and 2; S Cunningham bt R Bradly 3 and 2; R Cochran bt C Purves 2 and 1; C Johnstone bt A Macphail 2 and 1; K Fee lost to K Messer one hole; J Hall bt S Marshall 3 and 2.

Kingsknowe 6, Broomieknowe 2: G Malone lost to J McIntosh 4 and 3; S McCulloch bt A McLean 6 and 5; A Dick bt K Smith 9 and 8; P Page bt C Renton 5 and 4; S McNaughton lost to S Porter one hole; A Mackay bt S Marc 4 and 3; G Fraser bt J Ross 4 and 3; M Cairnie bt N Marc 5 and 4.

Broomieknowe 4, Royal Musselburgh 4: A Sim bt C Ratcliffe 2 and 1; C Renton bt S Blair 7 and 6; S Marc bt B Fairgrieve 2 and 1; J McIntosh lost to D Glass 2 ans 1; A Wynn lost to L Shepherd one hole; S Beck lost to K Young 2 and 1; J Ross lost to J Hall 2 and 1; K Lunn bt K Fee 3 and 2.

P W D L F A Pts

Kingsknowe 6 4 0 2 30½ 17½ 8

Glencorse 5 4 0 1 25½ 14½ 8

Royal Muss 7 3 2 2 29 27 8

Baberton 6 3 0 3 24 24 6

Broomieknowe 6 2 1 3 27 21 5

Torphin Hill 6 0 1 5 8 40 1

Section D:

Murrayfield 4, Swanston New 4: D Hunt lost to R Fergus one hole; A Ni bt S Fergus one hole; D Marshall lost to C Mackinnon 2 and 1; S Mackay bt J Stevenson 4 and 3; D Douglas lost to J Bell 3 and 1; M Horne bt G Skinner 4 and 3; A Daley lost to M Campbell 7 and 6; N Hudson bt A Crawford 2 and 1.

West Linton 6, Swanston New 2: S Mackenzie bt R Fergus 3 and 2; S Smith bt S Fergus two holes; K Mail lost to M Campbell one hole; F Thain lost to J Bell one hole; J McWilliams bt C McKinnon one hole; S Walter bt A Crawford 6 and 5; N Barr bt J O’Hara 5 and 4; S Walker bt G Millar 5 and 4.

P W D L F A Pts

West Linton 6 6 0 0 43 5 12

Mortonhall 6 4 0 2 24 24 8

Newbattle 5 2 1 2 20½ 19½ 5

Swanston New 6 2 1 3 19½ 28½ 5

Murrayfield 5 1 2 2 16½ 23½ 4

Lothianburn 6 0 0 6 12½ 35½ 0