Dispatch delight for Scott as Silverknowes clinch trophy

Silverknowes' Craig Scott, Tom Caldwell, Graham Robertson and Keith Reilly show off the magnificent Dispatch Trophy. Pic: Ian Georgeson
Silverknowes' Craig Scott, Tom Caldwell, Graham Robertson and Keith Reilly show off the magnificent Dispatch Trophy. Pic: Ian Georgeson
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An event that involved a “Rory” look-a-like ended with “Monty” getting his hands on the Dispatch Trophy.

“It’s what some of the boys call me down at the club – probably because I’m a nice thin guy,” joked the burly Craig Scott, a member of the triumphant Silverknowes team in the event’s 115th staging.

He was wearing a smile as wide as Princes Street after seeing a 16-year golfing dream come true in the Edinburgh Evening News-sponsored event on a sun-kissed day at the Braids.

Revenge had been sweet for Silverknowes as they won their morning semi-final – a repeat of the trophy showdown 12 months earlier – by one hole against Carrickvale.

And, though the final was a bit of a tousy affair, they eventually shook off a dogged Heriots Quad quartet to secure the spoils with a 5&3 victory.

It was Silverknowes’ sixth success in the Edinburgh Leisure-supported tournament and third in the last five years.

Tam Caldwell and Keith Reilly both now have five gold medals apiece, Graham Robertson four and Scott his first – in his first appearance in Siverknowes colours.

“There is absolutely no better feeling than this – it’s superb,” declared the 30-year-old. “I first came up here as a 14-year-old to watch the team that won in 1998.

“I’ve played for Cramond in the past before getting my chance in the top team this year. I know what this event means to the club so to be part of a winning team is fantastic.”

It was redemption day for both Caldwell and Reilly after their heavy defeat in last year’s final had proved costly.

“Keith and I finished eight down then, so to have bounced back as a team 12 months later definitely feels good,” said Caldwell, who had Robertson as his partner on this occasion.

Reilly said it had been “good to get rid of the demons”, though they almost came back to haunt him again in that mouth-watering morning match.

Playing at the back, Reilly and Scott went five up after ten, before losing six holes in a row to Craig Elliot and Paul Cunningham.

As Reilly, the Lothians captain, produced a tidy chip to stop the rot with a half at the 17th, Allyn Dick was rolling in a 12-foot birdie putt at the last.

It meant Dick and Craig Deerness finished one down on Caldwell and Robertson, with Carrickvale one up at the rear with one to play.

In the circumstances, Reilly probably hit the shot of the tournament with a drive that found the heart of the green at the par 4. Scott’s eagle attempt just missed, but a 3 sufficed as Elliot’s birdie putt slipped by.

“I’ve probably never hit a better drive than that at the last before,” admitted Reilly as he heaved a huge sigh of relief.

Compared to the first semi-final – the top match was finished in two hours and 45 minutes – the second one was played at a more sedate pace.

To the delight of former SGU president Graham Ewart – a well-known FP from the school – Heriots Quad emerged from that with a 2&1 triumph.

Powered by pie and beans bought for them by Ewart in the Edinburgh Thistle clubhouse, Sandy Gilmour, Innes Christie, David Campbell and Ian Smith didn’t allow Silverknowes to have the easy ride some expected in the final.

Ahead early on before finding themselves three down overall at the turn, both Heriots pairings won the tenth and, with Christie and Gilmour taking the 11th as well, it was back to all square.

Only briefly, though, as Silverknowes quickly opened up a four-hole cushion, a burst that was illuminated by a superb 4-iron approach by Caldwell at the 13th and an outrageous birdie putt from Reilly at the 12th.

Another great tee shot – this time with a 6-iron – at the 17th from Caldwell sealed the success, just in the nick of time, too, as a little boy looked poised to pick up the Heriots ball in front of the 16th green.

“It’s good for Craig and it’s good for the club,” admitted Reilly of Silverknowes’ success. “The Dispatch Trophy is a big thing for the club and we were devastated after last year’s defeat in the final.”

The feeling for the losing finalists on this occasion was a bit different. “It was a very good effort and I think we’ve done ourselves proud this week,” said Christie, hitting that one right on the head.

A great event played, for the most part, in great weather. Roll on episode No 116 in 12 months’ time!