Golf: Ralston takes Lauder title

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John Ralston, the current Portobello club champion, produced some outstandingly consistent golf on his home course to win the Harry Lauder Trophy with a 5 & 3 victory over Duddingston’s John Semple last night.

Ralston reached the turn one up and birdied the tenth to win the first of three successive holes after which he was never threatened as he parred his way in to clinch what was his first victory in a competition dating back to 1924 and whose previous winners included Ronnie Shade, later a world amateur champion before turning professional.

Ralston, a member of Shotts as well as Portobello, also owed much to some extra distance from off the tee but it was a spirited performance against the one handicapper by Semple, who was playing above his current handicap of seven.

The victory adds lustre to an already notable season in which Ralston has already won through to the semi-finals of the prestigious Lothians’ champion of champions’ event.

In the Brand Cup restricted to members of the Portobello club Lochend head greenkeeper Mark Dunlop won 2& 1 against Gary Reilly who was runner-up for the second year in succession.