Dispatch Trophy: Lothian Boys lead newbies’ charge in second round

More than half of the 16 teams still standing in the 120th Edinburgh Evening News Dispatch Trophy are newcomers to the Braids event in recent years.

Sunday, 19th May 2019, 6:03 pm
Neil Canavan helped Lothian Boys defeat British Rugby Club of Paris. Pic: Neil Hanna

The exact total is ten, reflecting the breath of fresh air that has resulted from the tournament entry rules being relaxed two years ago to allow course-owning clubs to participate in the golfclubs4cash-sponsored event.

That list includes a Lothians Boys team that consists of four players 16 and under, as well as three East Lothian clubs – Dirleton Castle, Dunbar and Kilspindie – looking to lift the magnificent trophy for the first time.

The same goes for Capital clubs Murrayfield, Royal Burgess and Turnhouse, while Edinburgh Leisure are also through to the third round on Tuesday after proving the surprise packages in this year’s event along with Lochend.

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Fair play to Lothians Golf Association for entering a boys’ team consisting of 14-year-old duo Sean Gallacher and Josh Beveridge, 15-year-old Ciaran Paterson and 16-year-old Neil Canavan.

If it had been based on experience alone, they’d have ended up soundly beaten by British Rugby Club of Paris, but the youngsters took the challenge in their stride to come out on top.

It was a winning debut in the event for both Gallacher, who plays at Prestonfield, and Bathgate boy Beveridge.

They birdied the first and fourth against Alan Williams and Mark Young at the back before Gallacher holed a 15-footer for a half in birdies at the 10th.

Lothians Boys now face Turnhouse after they beat Heriot’s Quad, helped by an early birdie-birdie-eagle burst from Stevie Armstong and Keith Watt at the back.

Earlier, Heriot’s top team had also bowed out, the 2017 winners losing to Stewart’s Melville as they gained revenge for a defeat when the two teams met in the Grafton Morrish tournament last year.

“It’s nice to restore natural order,” quipped Stew Mel’s Stuart McLaren, a Hearts man, after joining forces with David Donaldson to provide the foundations by getting off to a fast start against John Archibald and John Liddle.

Murrayfield are next up for Stewart’s Melville after the Capital club produced “solid golf” in both pairings in proving too strong for Hailes C.

Lochend, conquerors of five-time winners Carrickvale in the opening round, backed that up by beating Hailes B, a success that proved particularly pleasing for Gary Cheyne after he’d been drafted in to replace Graham Markey.

Lochend now take on Dunbar, who had front duo Blair Shearer and Jamie Duguid to thank for a win over Tantallon 1, meaning both Tantallon teams are already out a year after they fought out a semi-final tie.

It’s been an event to remember so far for Edinburgh Leisure, who followed up a Saturday success over 2015 winners Hailes A with an equally-impressive victory over BBT, finalists three years ago.

“The dream continues,” declared Edinburgh Lesiure’s Scott Findlay after joining forces with Matty Harper, Matty Craigie and Jamie Wright to set up a last-16 clash with newcomers Sunflower Financial Planning.

Mortonhall, the defending champions, survived a little wobble from their front couple to progress at the expense of Silverknowes Over 50s.

They now take on Kilspindie after Aaron Hall and Graeme White were four-under for the holes played in helping record a comfortable win over Silverknowes Generations.

Helped by a barrage of birdies, including one from 40 feet from Murray Paterson at the 11th, six-time winners Silverknowes swept to a 13&12 success over another young Lothians side.

Also still in the hunt are Harrison, Ye Monks of Ye Braids, Royal Burgess and Munro Heating, with Clark Munro and Fraser Martin fighting back from five down early on to help the latter progress at the expense of Edinburgh Thistle.