Carrickvale win their fifth Dispatch Trophy in ten years
Paul Cunningham became a Dispatch Trophy winner for the first time thanks to being kept calm at the Braids by the Fred Couples of Capital golf.
“Craig (Elliot) is so laid back he’s horizontal,” said Cunningham of his playing partner in the Carrickvale team that claimed the coveted prize for the fifth time in ten years on Saturday.
Elliot, Allyn Dick and Craig Deerness were all in the team that triumphed in 2013, with Elliot and Dick also figuring in the side that recorded a hat-trick of victories from 2007-09.
Since coming into the side Cunningham had picked up a bronze medal but there was no disguising his delight after striking gold with a 7&6 final win over Turnhouse team BBT in the golfclubs4cash sponsored event.
“I took a week’s holiday specifically for this and a Lothians Champion of Champions tie and it is great to go through the week undefeated,” said the 42-year-old transport delivery supervisor.
“I won that tie at the second extra hole and now it is fantastic to be part of a winning Dispatch Trophy team, especially as I am the club champion at the moment.”
Appearing in the final for the first time, a BBT quartet comprising of father and son Keith and Michael Watt, Olly McCrone and Neil Anderson stood just down overall at the turn.
It would have been even tighter but for Elliot coming within a few inches of a hole-in-one at the ninth with a 5-iron. “I heard it was close but didn’t actually see for myself as it had been conceded by the time I got up to the green,” said the former Scottish Mid-Amateur champion with a smile.
But, as the sun broke out, the title showdown quickly went from being close to Carrickvale being in control, as had been the case in their morning 6&5 semi-final win over Harrison.
Dick and Deerness won the 10th, 11th, 13th and 14th while a birdie at the 14th from McCrone and Anderson at the back only delayed the denouement by a hole.
“It’s great to get our hands back on the trophy again after a three-year gap and even better having done so by surviving a tough route,” said Dick of the winners having also overcome Bank of Scotland, Silverknowes, Stephen Gallacher Foundation and holders Hailes.
At the peak of his career, Dick won the Scottish Mid-Amateur Championship, a handful of Scottish Order of Merit titles and also played for his country in the Home Internationals.
But nothing gets his juices flowing these days like the Dispatch Trophy and he hailed the 117th staging, the first to be run by Edinburgh Leisure, as a “new beginning” for the event.
The 37-year-old added: “It is a great tournament with a great atmosphere and I would encourage people to play in it next year.”
There’s a fair chance that will be the next time Elliot plays competitively. “I made the right decision by letting George Alexander twist my arm to play,” admitted the 44-year-old. “But, while I’ve enjoyed it, this will probably be my only event this year.”
Deerness described this win as being “just as good” as his first taste of success three years ago. “Once you get involved in the Dispatch Trophy you always look forward to it coming around,” added the 34-year-old.
BBT, who had dug deep to beat Heriots 2&1 in the other last-four clash, may have fallen at the final hurdle but they certainly weren’t disgraced.
“We are a little bit disappointed, but it was always going to be tough against Carrickvale,” admitted McCrone. “And, if you’d said last Sunday when we set out that we’d be in the final, we would have taken it.”
Harrison (D Waugh and S More 0, B Byars and A Stewart 0); Carrickvale A (C Deerness and A Dick 5, C Elliot and P Cunningham 1).
Carrickvale A won 6&5
BBT (K Watt and M Watt 0; N Anderson and O McCrone 3); Heriots (J Archibald and R Smith 1; W Kerr and D Campbell 0).
BBT won 2&1
Carrickvale A (C Deerness and A Dick 3, C Elliot and P Cunningham 4); BBT (K Watt and M Watt 0; N Anderson and O McCrone 0).
Carrickvale won 7&6