Carrickvale stalwart George Alexander has welcomed a new challenge facing the traditional Dispatch Trophy teams in this year’s event.
A field of 46 – four more than the tournament’s first staging under the Edinburgh Leisure banner last year – includes no less than 11 new teams.
Taking advantage of a change in the rules for the historic event at the Braids allowing course-owning clubs to enter for the first time are some of the top clubs in the Lothians.
Royal Burgess, Prestonfield, Swanston New, Turnhouse, Murrayfield, Broomieknowe and Liberton are all being represented.
And equally exciting is the decision by Tantallon, Kilspindie, Gullane and Dunbar to fly the flag for East Lothian.
“The addition of these new teams will make it a bit more interesting as most of them will be se sending up strong teams,” said Alexander, team manager of holders Carrickvale.
“It will mean some different faces rather than being used to seeing the same old faces up at the Braids and that can only be good for the tournament.
“Hopefully this year will be another success and we then see a few more new teams enter next year.”
Kilspindie will be the first of the new teams to enter the fray on Saturday week, facing RICS in the first of 14 ties in the opening round of an event being sponsored for the second year running by Golfclubs4cash.
“These new teams coming in is definitely good for the event,” said George Ackroyd as he joined Murray Winton in representing the sponsors at last night’s draw.
“It was time for the Dispatch Trophy to move with the times by allowing course-owning clubs to take part. It needed to happen for it to survive, so this is good for the future of the event.”
Broomieknowe, Gullane, Turnhouse, Dunbar, Tantallon and Royal Burgess will also make their debuts on the first day.
Turnhouse, last year’s Edinburgh Summer League winners, face Watsonians in a tasty tie while Royal Burgess are up against Harrison B.
Murrayfield, Swanston New, Liberton and Prestonfield have Sunday starts, having been among 18 teams to receive byes in a draw conducted by Winton and Lothians Golf Association president Paul Gibson.
Also among those teams, Carrickvale start their defence against Lochend, with the winners facing either Swanston New or Silverknowes Generations in the last 16.
“We’ve got the same team again,” reported Alexander, which means that Allyn Dick, Craig Deerness, Craig Elliot and Paul Cunningham will again be on duty for Carrickvale.
“It’s always a bit special when you are heading up to the Braids as the Dispatch Trophy holders and I am sure the guys will be thriving on the extra pressure that creates.”
Turnhouse team BBT, last year’s beaten finalists, face a tough start this time around against Silverknowes, winners three times in the last six years, in the second match out on Saturday week.
Full Dispath Draw:
First round (Saturday, May 20)
7.00 RICS v Kilspindie; 7.15 Silverknowes v BBT; 7.30 Broomieknowe v Hailes A; 7.45 Gullane v Third; 8.00 Kilgour Private Clients v Caermount; 8.15 Kilgour Wealth Management v Cramond; 8.30 Harrison v Braids United; 8.45 Watsonians v Turnhouse; 9.00 Dunbar v Munro Heating; 9.15 Bank of Scotland v Harrison Seniors; 9.30 Tantallon v Ye Monks of Ye Braids; 9.45 Munro Bathrooms v British Rugby Club of Paris; 10.00 Edinburgh Western v Hailes C; 10.15 Royal Burgess v Harrison B.
Teams to get a bye into the second round (Sunday May 21): 7.45 Harrison or Braids United v Edinburgh Leisure; 8.00 Royal Bank of Scotland v Stevenson & Cheyne; 8.15 George Heriots B v Murrayfield; 8.30 Lochend v Carrickvale; 8.45 Swanston New v Silverknowes Generations; 9.15 Silverknowes 50s v George Heriots A; 9.30 Hailes B v Stephen Gallacher Foundation; 9.45 Edinburgh Western B v Colinton Mains; 10.00 Stewart’s Melville FP v Liberton; 10.15 Prestonfield v Watsonians or Turnhouse.