NEW Silverknowes member Allyn Dick is determined to make himself unpopular among his clubmates – by ending their reign as Dispatch Trophy holders.
The former Scottish Mid-Amateur champion turned out for Silverknowes for the first time in the Edinburgh Summer League earlier this week.
He bagged seven birdies in recording a hard-earned win over Stuart Cochrane in a 4-4 draw at home to deposed champions Royal Burgess.
But Dick will be an enemy in opposition ranks when the 116th Dispatch Trophy gets underway at the Braids tomorrow.
It’s Carrickvale colours he’ll be wearing in that and they’re returning to the Edinburgh Leisure-supported event with the same quartet that lost to Silverknowes in the semi-finals 12 months ago.
“I needed to remain competitive after leaving Kingsknowe and there’s no better way to do that in a midweek by continuing to play in the Summer League,” said Dick, who led the qualifying for the recent Lothians Championship playing out of Kingsfield, his new home club.
“I’ve known the Silverknowes guys for years and it was great to start with a win against Stuart, who was very impressive.
“It kept my 100 per cent record against Royal Burgess intact and a draw was a good result for us.”
Edinburgh’s premier team tournament has been dominated over the past decade by Silverknowes and Carrickvale.
Silverknowes bridged an eight-year gap when lifting the iconic piece of silverware in 2006, and since when they have repeated the feat on three more occasions – 2010, 2011 and 2014.
Over the same period, Carrickvale have also tasted victory on four occasions, including a hat-trick from 2007 to 2009 as well as a repeat victory in 2013.
Caermount are the only team to have broken the duo’s dominance with a win in 2012 – which was the club’s first trophy triumph since 1957.
Carrickvale will need to hit the ground running in their bid to reclaim the prize after finding themselves in the toughest part of the draw.
They face Duddingston team Temple Golfing Society in the opening round tomorrow. If they win that one, either Heriot’s Quad, last year’s beaten finalists, or Third, a Dalmahoy team, will be lying in wait on Sunday while two other strong sides, Harrison and Heriot’s, could be last-16 opponents for Carrickvale.
“It’s clearly a very difficult start and a difficult route to progress, but we are looking forward to it,” said Dick, who will again have Craig Deerness as his partner while Craig Elliot is teaming up with Paul Cunningham. “We are obviously determined to get our hands back on the trophy.”
Silverknowes will be missing one of last year’s heroes as Graeme Robertson is currently working in Kentucky.
Kenny Alexander, who has played for Cramond in the past, replaces him, joining forces with Keith Reilly, Tam Caldwell and Craig Scott.
“We can’t wait to get back up to the Braids as the Dispatch is the highlight of the golfing calendar,” said Reilly.
On paper, Silverknowes, who launch their trophy defence on Sunday after being among 12 teams to receive byes, look to have an easier draw than Carrickvale.
But it will be a case of one step at a time for the holders and Reilly said of an opening test against Kilgour Wealth Management: “There are no easy games nowadays.”
Likewise, Carrickvale won’t be getting ahead of themselves but Dick admitted: “It would be great if we could both make the final.”
In some respect, there’s one final this weekend – with two Munro Heating teams facing each other on Sunday.
Two former winners, Paul Middleton and David Ewen, join forces with a pair of young guns, Kieran Cantley and Lewis Bain, in the A team. And on duty for the B side are John Hunter, Troy O’Connor, Fraser Smith and Marc McAdam.
“We’ll just have to wait and see who comes out on top but the good thing is that one of the teams will still be involved next Tuesday,” said Hunter.
“Clark Munro, who owns the business, will be up watching the match and it’s good of him to enter two teams.
“It’s disappointing that the entry is down from 59 last year to 52 this time but I don’t know what the solution is to stop the slide.”
For those still supporting the event, it will, as Reilly pointed out, be a highlight of their season because the competition, coupled of course with its venue, will always have a special appeal to Capital golfers.