Winter League: Mid on cusp of retaining title

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Mid are on course for a first successful title defence in the Fife & Lothians Winter League in 20 years heading into the final round of matches.

The holders backed up an opening weekend win over West by beating East 3-1 at Thornton, where hosts Fife lost 2.5-1.5 to West in the other match.

The results leave Mid sitting on four points, two ahead of West, with Fife and East both a point further adrift, as the campaign concludes this weekend at Bathgate.

“Both John Allan and myself were very happy to come away from Thornton with victory against a strong East team,” said Mid’s Alastair Dun.

“For most of the day it looked as if it would be a 2-2 draw until our fourth couple – Baberton duo Dougie Waugh and Jake Edgcombe – won the last four holes to secure the win.

“We are now looking forward to our last match against Fife, hoping to retain the title for the first time since we won it back-to-back in 1996 and 1997.”

Mid triumphed despite David Miller and Kieran Cantley losing their unbeaten record, though East duo Benn McLeod and Lewis Bain shared an eagle and nine birdies in achieving that feat.

The scores were levelled as Sean Marc and Jamie McIntosh joined forces to win the second match before a new mid pairing of Andrew Ni and Sean McGarvey also won a close encounter.

Waugh, the Baberton champion, birdied the 15th, 16th and 17th before his young clubmate Edgecombe holed from six feet on the last to secure a one-hole win.

West’s win was secured through some good golf, notably from Bathgate duo Ross Callan and Simon Lockhart, who were a combined seven-under in winning their game 3&2.

Equally impressive were the Turnhouse pairing of Euan McIntosh and Mark Napier, covering 15 holes in six-under in winning the top match 4&3.

“We were going to get a draw after losing the first two matches, but an excellent second shot from to set up birdie on last by Rory Smith put paid to that,” said Fife’s Bill Dickson of the Dalmahoy player securing a half for West in the third game.

Fife 1.5, West 2.5: S Aitken and A Moir lost to E McIntosh and M Napier 4&3; S Brownlie and R White lost to S Lockhart and R Callan 3&2; L Duncan and A Collier halved with J Rhind and R Smith; S Nicholson and R Walsh bt M Wilson and R Mallon 3&1.

Mid 3, East 1: D Miller and K Cantley lost to B McLeod and L Bain 4&3; S Marc and J McIntosh bt C Low and J Duguid one hole; A Ni and S McGarvey bt C Ratcliffe and C Johnston 2&1; D Waugh and J Edgcombe bt C Burgess and D Rudd one hole.