Holders Heriot's Quad left 'knackered' after Braids battle goes full distance
Part of the reason for that was being taken the distance by Royal Burgess in tough conditions for the third round, but there was more to it than that.
“This is my second round of the day and also for Innes Christie and Dave Campbell as we all played in a Scottish Seniors’ event at Montrose this morning,” said Johnston.
With John Archibald restored to the side, Heriot’s Quad won the last hole in both matches to leave a Royal Burgess team that included former world junior champion Kenny Walker feeling gutted.
Bank of Scotland await the holders on Thursday night after they beat Colinton Mains, helped by Andy Stevenson holing a 30-footer for a 2 at the 13th then knocking in a 50-footer at the 16th.
On a windy night that also turned cold, Duddingston followed up weekend wins over Turnhouse and Silverknowes by coming through another tough tie against two-time victors Hailes.
The top Duddingston pairing of Jamie Duguid and Allyn Dick found themselves two down early on, partly due to eagle-3 at the fifth from opponents Alan Mackay and Andy Rowe.
They then had a “good run in the middle” before finishing just one up as the gutsy Hailes duo birdied both the 15th and 16th.
At the back, Ben Alexander and Connor Scott made “five or six” birdies as they finished three up on former pro Craig Gordon and Danny Crolla.
“I’m trying to forget the round as I played so badly,” quipped Alexander, The Renaissance Club champion, “but, thankfully, Connor was so good.”
Duddingston now take on fellow newcomers Dalmahoy, who have Stuart Middleton, a two-time winner with Edinburgh Thistle but playing for the first time in 30 years, and former pro Richard Fyvie on duty along with Chris Laird and James Devlin.
“To have been involved in the golf industry for 25 years, it’s great to be playing in this for the first time,” admitted Fyvie, who is now the club secretary at Liberton.
“I always used to wonder why a big event like this was played at the Braids, but I can now see for myself why it lends itself to a double foursome format and especially when it comes to those last four holes.”
Having mainly played for Watsonians, Andrew Helm and Richard Craig are now through to the last eight in a Merchants side that also includes Adam George and John Hunter.
“I’ve played in the Dispatch for at least 30 years,” reported Helm while Craig said he’d been a regular for 20 years after they progressed at the expense of Granton Golfing Society.
“It was nip and tuck and came down to a few putts,” said Helm of a 4&2 triumph over the Silverknowes side.
Having already knocked out Harrison’s top team, Murrayfield rubbed salt into the Braids club’s wounds by also beating its B team.
“We tried to beat them in both conditions,” joked Harrison stalwart Stuart More of being on the losing side in calm weather on Saturday, “but it didn’t work!”
Murrayfield bowed out in the quarter-finals 12 months ago and Stuart Thurlow, who is teaming up with Lloyd Dunlop, Harry Hawthorn and Archie Wyatt, admitted: “Hopefully we can go one step further this time.”
Helped by Sam Hall and Steven Sinclair making three up and downs on the back nine, Heriot’s progressed late in the day and now face Bass Rock after they recovered from losing the opening hole in both games to pip Watsonians.
Duddingston (Jamie Duguid and Allyn Dick 1; Ben Alexander and Connor Scott 3); Hailes (Alan Mackay and Andy Rowe 0; Craig Gordon and Danny Crolla 0).
Duddingston won 4&2
Dalmahoy (Stuart Middleton and Richard Fyvie 4; Chris Laird and James Devlin 0); Kilgour Wealth Management (Scott Whigham and Sean Roberts 0; Sean Marc and John Shepherd 1).
Merchants (Andrew Helm and Richard Craig 2; Adam George and John Hunter 2); Granton Golfing Society (John MacRae and Billy Cadona 0; Kenny Alexander and Alex Renton 0).
Merchants won 4&2
Harrison B (George Ackroyd and Ian Ashley 0; Justin White and Richard Thomas 1); Murrayfield (Lloyd Dunlop and Harry Hawthorn 4; Stuart Thurlow and Archie Wyatt 0).
Murrayfield won 3&2
Heriot’s Quad (Innes Christie and Dave Campbell 0; John Archibald and Scott Johnston 4); Royal Burgess (Graeme Boyd and Brian Tait 3; Kenny Walker and Duncan Johnston 0).Heriot’s Quad won by one hole
Bank of Scotland (Calum Burgess and Andy Stevenson 5; Willie Edgar and Neil Sutherland 0); Colinton Mains (Paul Stewart and Andrew Letton 0; Tom Corps and Ross Fergus 1).
Bank of Scotland won 4&3
Cramond (Jim Keggie and Calum McKinstry 0; Keith Tulloch and Steve Garioch 0); Heriot’s (Sam Hall and Steven Sinclair 4; Stuart Langlands and Scott Dickson 0).
Heriot’s won 4&2
Watsonians (Harry Carruthers and Jamie Gullan 0; Andrew Hogg and Greg Nicolson 0); Bass Rock (Justin Ross and Andy Hall 1; Duncan Forbes and Gareth Pugh 1).
Bass Rock won 2&1