Duddingston survive Dispatch Trophy drama to progress to last four at Braids
On a glorious night high above the Capital, the record Edinburgh Summer League winners and current champions looked to be on course for a stress-free passage when they were four up over the double foursome with just five holes to play against fellow newcomers Dalmahoy.
Playing in the back match alongside Gary Thomson, Connor Scott drove the green at the 308-yard 16th only for the Duddingston duo to three putt and lose that hole to a birdie.
In that match, Dalmahoy’s Chris Laird and James Devlin then won the short 17th with a par just as Stuart Middleton produced a contender for shot of the week - he had little green to work with but judged his lofted chip to perfection - to finish three up alongside Richard Fyvie in the front match against Jamie Duguid and Allyn Dick.
That meant it was all still to play for in the back match and, after Scott’s drive on this occasion ended up in a terrible spot in the dreaded ‘Graves’, a tie that looked over was suddenly heading into extra holes.
Helped by Duguid and Thomson both driving the green at the first, Duddingston went through and will now face Murrayfield in Saturday morning’s semi-finals.
“It’s what sets this tournament apart on this course,” said Dick, a five-time winner with Carrickvale. “On a calm night, we are looking home and dry, but then you get the odd bad bounce and back swing. Thursday night is the one you desperately don’t want to lose and we are delighted to get through.”
Duguid has already won the Lothians Team Tournament this year with Dunbar. It’s a stroke-play event, but the 24-year-old he declared: “In a lot of ways it’s still the same as every shot counts.”
Murrayfield, who first played in the event in 2017, secured a first medal after beating Merchants thanks to 19-year-old debutant Archie Wyatt holing a five-foot birdie putt on the 18th green. “It was pretty straightforward,” he said, smiling. “All it needed was a good stroke on it and luckily I managed to do that.”
Wyatt and 24-year-old Stuart Thurlow finished six up at the back to wipe out the five-hole defeat suffered by Australian Lloyd Dunlop and South African Grant Edkins against the experienced Andrew Helm and Richard Craig at the front.
“It feels good,” said Murrayfield team manager Stevie Anderson of being in the last four. “We are getting a step closer almost every time and that’s what we are looking for.”
Holders Heriot’s Quad will face Heriot’s in the other semi-final after hard-fought wins over Bank of Scotland and Bass Rock respectively.
The back Heriot’s Quad pairing of John Archibald and Scott Johnston were three down at one point before digging in to finish two up on Willie Edgar and Neil Sutherland.
“I think I hit the bloody 13th green for the first time and I hit a 3-wood out of my boots,” said a smiling Archibald, who wore red trousers in respect of Ian Taylor, a Bank of Scotland legend in the event.
Dave Campbell, who is partnering Innes Christie in the front Heriot’s Quad pairing, said of the tasty last-four clash: “It is absolutely brilliant!”
Also relishing it are a younger Heriot’s quartet comprising of Sam Hall, Steven Sinclair, Stuart Langlands and Scott Dickson. “We are looking forward to it,” said a delighted Dickson.
Duddingston (Jamie Duguid and Allyn Dick 0; Gary Thomson and Connor Scott 0); Dalmahoy (Stuart Middleton and Richard Fyvie 0; Chris Laird and James Devlin 0).
Duddingston won at 19th
Merchants (Andrew Helm and Richard Craig 5; Adam George and John Hunter 0); Murrayfield (Lloyd Dunlop and Grant Edkins 0; Stuart Thurlow and Archie Wyatt 6).
Murrayfield won by one hole
Heriot’s Quad (Innes Christie and Dave Campbell 2; John Archibald and Scott Johnston 2); Bank of Scotland (Calum Burgess and Andy Stevenson 0; Willie Edgar and Neil Sutherland 0).
Heriot’s Quad won 4&3
Heriot’s (Sam Hall and Steven Sinclair 2; Stuart Langlands and Scott Dickson 1); Bass Rock (Justin Ross and Andy Hall 0; Duncan Forbes and Gareth Pugh 0).
Heriot’s won 3&2