Two father-and-son combinations are through to the quarter-finals in the 117th Dispatch Trophy after a dramatic night that concluded in near darkness at the Braids.
Steve and Ciaran McCulloch helped Kingsknowe club Hailes to get two representatives through to the last eight in the golfclubs4cash-sponsored event. And it was also a family affair as Keith and Michael Watt made it there as well with Turnhouse team BBT.
McCulloch Snr is in the Hailes A team defending the trophy along with Alan Mackay, Gary Malone and Mark Cairnie after the same quartet landed the club’s first success in the event in 40 years.
They beat Duddingston team Temple Golfing Society 2&1, with McCulloch sealing the victory by holing a three-foot putt at the last.
That saw him and Cairnie finish three up on John Shepherd and Neil Hamilton in the top match as Mackay and Malone ended one down on Temple substitutes Keith Millar and Stuart Smith.
The win sets up a tasty quarter-final tie for the holders against Carrickvale, four-times winners since 2007.
“It was a much tougher game tonight and it is only going to get harder from here on in, especially with Carrickvale having a great recent record in the event,” admitted Mackay.
In a nice touch, the Hailes A team stayed out on the course to then watch their B team join them in progressing with a dramatic last-hole win over Harrison B.
Stevie McNaughton, who was partnered by Scott Finlayson, rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt at the 18th to see the top match in that tie finish all square.
Behind, McCulloch Jnr then hit his drive to 20 feet, earning victory in tandem withn Alan Crabbe in the process as the hole was conceded after John Cafferty had put Harrison B’s tee shot in the gorse.
“Ciaran’s dad did’t think he could get up at the last with his drive, but I am glad he proved him wrong by producing a great shot under lots of pressure,” said Crabbe.
Hailes B now take on BBT after they scraped through in extra-time for the second match running, having already won at the 19th against Silverknowes 50s on Sunday.
Olly McCrone, who has clearly used a recent trip to Turkey to sharpen up his short game, kept his nerve to hole a testing three-footer at the last to keep their latest test alive against Third.
Partnering Neil Anderson, they then clinched the win as a par-3 proved good enough at the 20th.
“Keith and Mikey are playing in this together for the first time and have only been paired together due to Steven Armstrong and Andrew Young turning out for us in a Summer League match,” reported Anderson on the front BBT couple.
On a night that turned bitterly cold in an east wind, the opening two matches resulted in thumping wins for Harrison (13&12) and Barnton Hotel (8&7), with their last-eight clash looking as though it will be very tasty. The rest of the ties, though, all made it as far as the 18th, with one other – the last one on the course – also going to extra holes.
It ended in relief for Tim Pakenham as he made amends for losing a ball with his drive at the 19th by holing a match-winning birdie putt from 30 feet at the next as Scottish Universities beat host club Braids United.
Carrickvale, conquerors of Silverknowes on Sunday, survived a scare before progressing at the expense of this year’s newcomers, the Stephen Gallacher Foundation.
Six down overall at the turn, the Foundation quartet got themselves to one up with fives holes to play over the double foursome only to eventually succumb 2&1.
“It is a relief to win that one,” admitted Carrickvale’s Allyn Dick. Referring to Cameron Gallagher and Connor Wilson, the two 15-year-olds partnering Scott Knowles and Stuart Johnston, he added: “The boys played well and it is encouraging for the event to get youngsters like them involved.”
It was a night of mixed fortunes for Heriots. Their top team dug deep to get the better of Edinburgh Thistle but the same club’s Quad line-up suffered that hammering at the hands of Harrison.
It’s 16 years since Harrison claimed this trophy, but Dougie Waugh, Stuart Morre, Bryan Byers and Allan Stewart look to be men on a mission this week. They’ll need to on their A game, though, against an equally strong-looking Barnton Hotel team when the event continues tomorrow night.
Third round results
Harrison (D Waugh and S More 3; B Byars and A Stewart 10); Heriots Quad (I Christie and I Smith 0; J Liddel and G Munro 0).
Harrison won 13&12
Carrickvale B (J Cullerton and G Yorkston 0; C Healy and S Hermiston 0); Barnton Hotel (R Noon and S Hunter 6; B Hunter and B Alexander 2).
Barnton Hotel won 8&7
Carrickvale A (C Deerness and A Dick 1; C Elliot and P Cunningham 1); Stephen Gallacher Foundation (C Gallagher and S Knowles 0; C Wilson and S Johnston 0).
Carrickvale won 2&1
Temple Golfing Society (J Shepherd and N Hamilton 0; K Millar and S Smith 1); Hailes A (M Cairnie and S McCulloch 3; G Malone and A Mackay 0).
Hailes A won 2&1
Harrison B (J White and D Munro 0; C Bruce and J Cafferty 0); Hailes B (S Finlayson and S McNaughton 0; A Crabbe and C McCulloch 1).
Hailes B won by one hole
Third (D Marshall and K Messer 2; J Downie and S Marshall 0); BBT (K Watt and M Watt 0; N Anderson and O McCrone 2).
BBT won at 20th
Braids United (T Greer and M Robson 0; S Myles and I Grimwade 0); Scottish Universities (A Room and P Pritchett 0; T Pakenham and S Reid 0).
Scottish Universities won at 20th
Edinburgh Thistle (D Anderson and S Sumner 1; B Anderson and I Cropley 0); Heriots (J Archibald and R Smith 0; W Kerr and D Campbell 2).
Heriots won by one hole