Golf: Tantallon in the hunt for Winter title

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TANTALLON stepped up their bid for a first East Lothian Winter League golf title triumph in more than a decade after winning a top-of-the-table clash at Longniddry.

The visitors were soaring after Simon Holt holed his second for an eagle at the 413-yard second while their winners on the day also included former Hibs player Neil Orr.

Tantallon have been champions five times but not since 2000, when they claimed the crown for the third time in four years. With five wins from six games, they are now two points clear in the title race heading into the Festive break.

Holt’s early fireworks enabled him and playing partner Stuart O’Connell, the Tantallon skipper, to establish a lead which they didn’t relinquish against Chris Wood and Michael Bacigalupo in the second match.

Myles Cunningham and Niall Glen won at the top of the order for Longniddry, as did Luke Fisher and David Porteous in the third match.

But, after Orr and Roddy Stevenson had secured a 4 and 3 success in the anchor match, it was left to youngsters Chris Low and Stuart Wimberley to clinch Tantallon’s triumph as they beat Nick Aiken and Graham Clarke on the 17th.

Gullane’s trip to Musselburgh was called off due to snow, while Haddington’s slump continued as they were held at home by bottom club Glen.

In Division 2, Royal Musselburgh cemented their position at the top after a hard-earned 3-2 win at Musselburgh Old.

North Berwick kept themselves in the promotion race with a home win over 2009 Craigielaw, while Gifford are up to fourth after a win at Whitekirk. Dunbar also won on the road, at Kilspindie, to stay second and will face a crunch clash at North Berwick when the league action resumes in January.

But, before the clubs go into cold storage, there’s a new challenge looming this weekend in the first round of the new East Lothian Clubs Winter Cup.

Pick of the ties is Haddington at home to Tantallon, while it’s Gullane v Longniddry in another all-Division 1 clash.