Craigielaw become first East Lothian club to win Edinburgh Summer League since 1977

Team manager Rodney French and the Craigielaw players celebrate winning the Edinburgh Summer League for the first time at Longnddry.Team manager Rodney French and the Craigielaw players celebrate winning the Edinburgh Summer League for the first time at Longnddry.
Team manager Rodney French and the Craigielaw players celebrate winning the Edinburgh Summer League for the first time at Longnddry.
Craigielaw capped a fairytale year after digging deep against Royal Burgess in the final to win the Edinburgh Summer League for the first time.

In team manager Rodney French’s final match at the helm, Craigielaw ran out 6-3 victors at Longniddry but only after they’d initially been behind in a number of the matches in the early stages.

The success saw Craigielaw become the first East Lothian club since Musselburgh back in 1977 to claim the coveted crown after they joined the Capital competition in 2016 - a year after near neighbours Lonniddry played in it for the first time.

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It also came after Craigielaw had won the East Lothian Winter League earlier in the year, as well as landing back-to-back East Lothian Winter League Cups, a third straight East Lothian County Cup victory and winning the Wemyss Cup.

Edinburgh Summer League official Bill Buchan, right, presented the trophy to Craigielaw team manager Rodney French on behalf of league sponsor Dean Ballingall from Rowanbank.Edinburgh Summer League official Bill Buchan, right, presented the trophy to Craigielaw team manager Rodney French on behalf of league sponsor Dean Ballingall from Rowanbank.
Edinburgh Summer League official Bill Buchan, right, presented the trophy to Craigielaw team manager Rodney French on behalf of league sponsor Dean Ballingall from Rowanbank.

“It was a great way to end the season, and it was a deserving end for the team with everyone being so committed throughout the season,” said 2021 Scottish Amateur champion Angus Carrick, a member of the triumphant team.

“We came very close two years ago, when we narrowly missed out in the final, but to be part of the first team at Craigielaw to win the Summer League will be unforgettable.”

Three of the first four encounters went to the 18th green, where Marc Reid and Carrick came out on top for Craigielaw against Varun Varadharajan and Greg Nicolson respectively.

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Teenager Jake Johnston, meanwhile, put the first point on the board for seven-time champions Royal Burgess as he beat Ross Colquhoun by two holes.

Kenny Glen’s 4&3 win over Kenny Walker was an important blow for Craigielaw in another of the games in the top half of the order before George Sampson’s 5&4 win for Royal Burgess was negated by an equally comfortable success for Mark Watt.

That meant it was 4-2 to Craigielaw with three matches still to finish and, in a fitting end to the season, they all went the distance as well.

All square playing the last, Royal Burgess stalwart John Fraser was unlucky with his approach as it took a big hard bounce and ran through the back of the green into the rough, leaving him short sided.

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In contrast, opponent Davie Nicholson managed to hit and hold the green with his second shot and was eventually conceded the hole, clinching victory in the process, after Fraser was unable to get up and down.

In a cracking match, Richard Johnston beat Sean McGarvey on the last to add a third point for Royal Burgess and Richard Johnson before Guy Dalziel beat John Yuille 2&1 in the anchor match.

“Team golf always provides some of the most enjoyable experiences and I have been fortunate enough to play at club, county and national level,” added Carrick. “But, regardless, winning as a team never fails to be special and the team camaraderie Craigielaw has is second to none.”

Royal Burgess team manager Ian Jeffrey said: “It was a disappointing end to the season for our team, but I have a tremendous amount of pride for the way our squad has performed throughout the season.”

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Craigielaw will now represent the Rowanbank Edinburgh Summer League in the Inter Cities match against the Glasgow champions, Glasgow Club.

“Having grown up playing for Douglas Park (where the contest is being hosted), and being a member of Glasgow GC, it is going to mean a little bit extra getting to go back there and play,” said Carrick of that encounter.

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