Murrayfield will be hoping for another “Bobby dazzler” when they take on Mortonhall tonight for a place in the quarter-finals of the 119th Dispatch Trophy at the Braids.
Bobby Gibson was hailed by his team-mates after Murrayfield beat Munro Heating in Sunday’s second round of the Golfclubs4cash-sponsored event. “That’s one of the best performances I’ve seen up here,” declared playing partner Ali Thurlow of Gibson’s glittering golf in a 6&4 win for the Capital club.
The man himself picked out hitting a 50-yard bunker shot to six feet at the tenth as the highlight of his performance, admitting: “That got us going.”
The back Murrayfield pairing of Lloyd Dunlop, an Australian who has quickly fallen in love with this historic event, and Stuart Macrae, also did their best work on the inward half.
“We were three down after nine having struggled early on,” revealed Macrae, “but pulled ourselves together and managed to hole a few putts on the back nine.”
At least one change and maybe even two are in the offing for Murrayfield for tonight’s tie, with Andrew Ni definitely coming into the team.
He’s just home from America, where he ended his first year at New Mexico Junior College with a strong performance in the NJCAA National Championship in Texas last week.
Mortonhall, the reigning Edinburgh Summer League champions, produced some sparkling golf to make a winning debut in this event against Stewart’s Melville on Sunday.
Steve Scott and Graeme Clark were four-under for the holes played at the back, having made birdies at the fourth, sixth with a chip in, seventh, 10th, 11th and 12th.
“Last year was a big year for the club, winning the Summer League for the first time in our 125th anniversary,” said Clark, “and now we are delighted to be representing the club in the Dispatch Trophy.”
Ian Dickson, who helped Caermount, lift the trophy in 2012, is partnering Duncan Hamilton up front in a strong-looking side.
The top tie in the last 16 sees six-time winners Silverknowes take on Carrickvale, victors on five occasions since 2007. Only once in the last 13 years has a final not involved one of these teams and the winners tonight will be aiming to extend that impressive run.
“We’ve had some really good tussles up here with Carrickvale and I am sure this will be another one,” said Silverknowes man Keith Reilly. “It is all about who plays the best golf on the day.”
Carrickvale’s Allyn Dick added: “We always enjoy coming up against the Silverknowes boys, both in this event and the Winter League, and I am confident we won’t be quite as scrappy as we were on Sunday.”
Supported as ever by George and Babs Alexander, the Carrickvale side shows one change from the winning 2016 line-up, with James Kerr in for Craig Elliot.
“I’ve got big boots to fill,” said Kerr. “It is a big ask replacing Craig, but it was great to see him up supporting us on Saturday and I’m enjoying my shot in the big team.”
The top half of the draw sees four East Lothian teams still standing, including Gullane, who will be up against their 2015 club championship runner-up tonight.
As has been the case for a number of years now, Gavin Hastings is playing for British Rugby Club of Paris and loving being part of this Edinburgh Leisure-run event.
“It’s the Braids and it’s foursomes – that’s why were are all here,” said Hastings before adding that Gullane would be a “different proposition” for his team than Sunday’s opponents.
That Gullane side includes two former gold medallists – Scott Walker (Scottish Life in 1991) and Stephen Marshall (Riccarton in 2005).
Tonight’s ties: 4.30pm Tantallon 1 v Lochend; 4.40pm Kilspindie v BBT; 4.50pm Gullane v British Rugby Club of Paris; 5.00pm Tantallon 2 v Bank of Scotland; 5.10pm Hailes B v Edinburgh Western; 5.20pm Mortonhall v Murrayfield; 5.30pm Harrison v Hailes; 5.40pm Silverknowes v Carrickvale.