Dispatch Trophy 2018: Mortonhall aim to shine on debut
Mortonhall are on a roll and feel quietly confident about getting in the mix on the club's debut in the Dispatch Trophy.
The Capital club are among seven new teams in the 119th edition of the event, which gets underway on Saturday at the Braids.
Having been among 11 teams to receive byes, Mortonhall are not in action until Sunday, when they will face either Stewart’s Melville or Dunbar.
Mortonhall head into the event with a real spring in their step after recording two notable successes in recent months, the first of which came in the club’s 125th anniversary.
That was winning the Edinburgh Summer League for the first time and they have since picked up the Inter Cities Cup after beating Glasgow champions Cawder.
“As Mortonhall team captain, I felt it was important to enter a team in this year’s Dispatch Trophy, which has such a fine history and heritage,” said Ian Dickson, a member of the triumphant Caermount side in 2012.
“On the back of winning last year’s EGL Summer League and this year the Inter Cities Cup, the club hope for Dispatch success in what will be our inaugural appearance in the event.
“Like many course-owning clubs, many of our players already represent non course-owning clubs. That said, I believe we have a strong team for this year’s event.
“That team will be selected from myself, Duncan Hamilton, Graeme Clark, Steve Scott, Alex Main and Chris Timms.”
The honour of striking the opening blow in the Golfclubs4cash-sponsored event on Saturday will go to the Stephen Gallacher Foundation.
This is the third year that the successful foundation, run mainly by the Ryder Cup player in his home patch, is taking part in the event.
For the first two years, the team involved two youngsters joining forces with two Dispatch Trophy veterans in Scott Knowles, the foundation manager, and Stuart Johnston, who also works for the foundation.
This time, though, the quartet is being made up of four teenagers in 14-year-olds Cameron Adam and Connor Currie, 16-year-old Liam Currid and Connor Wilson, the old head at 17.
“All four have come up through our Flag events and represented the Foundation in the winning team for Castle Park in the East Lothian Winter League,” said Knowles. Facing those youngsters bright and early on Saturday morning will be a Cramond side made up of Ian Doig, Conor McWatt, Craig Scott and Kenny Alexander.
While Knowles will obviously have one eye on that encounter, he is lining up on this occasion for Harrison, who take on holders George Heriot’s FP in arguably the best tie in the opening round.
“Yeah, I’m back out of retirement,” joked the former Scottish Golfer of the Year on joining forces with Dougie Waugh, Donny Munro and Alan Stewart as Harrison bid to claim the trophy for the first time since 2000.
Brian Byars and Stuart More, two members from that winning team, are in the Harrison B team – along with Iain Ashley and Cammy Bruce this time around – taking on Liberton in the first round.
For a Harrison Generations side of Ronnie Ackroyd, David Torrance, Simon Moggie and Graham Patterson, they are up against Carrickvale, five-time winners since 2007.
“They fully appreciate the job in hand but hopefully local knowledge will come into play and a close match could produce a famous result,” said match secretary Byars.
For the third year in a row, the Bank of Scotland (Edinburgh) team will be paying respect to one of the event’s stalwarts when they take on Colinton Mains in a second-round tie.
“The gents will be wearing red trousers in memory of Ian Taylor, who was such a stalwart for the Bank’s Edinburgh Golf Club and a strong supporter of the Dispatch Trophy,” said secretary David Young.
Representing the team Taylor served so admirably in the event on this occasion will be Bill Buchan, John Gallacher, Callum Burgess and Andy Stevenson.