SILVERKNOWES got the new Edinburgh Summer League season off to a stunning start by inflicting a first home defeat on Royal Burgess in nearly seven years.
Bidding to win the Pollock (Scotrans) Ltd-sponsored event for the sixth straight season, the Barnton side went down 4.5-3.5 to their close neighbours.
Graham Robertson, Paul Heggie and youngster Murray Paterson recorded vital wins for the visitors, while Craig Scott, Iain Doig and Chris Milligan also played their part in a memorable victory with halves.
Milligan won the last with a pitch-and-putt birdie-3 to secure the victory and give his side a flying start. “We were delighted with the result, especially as we were without Tam Caldwell,” said Silverknowes stalwart Keith Reilly.
For Royal Burgess, John Fraser and Brian Tait both had to settle for halves despite being two up with two to play.
“It will be a long time until you see them not closing their match out from that position, but credit must go to their opponents for putting the pressure on them by making birdies at the last,” said team manager Richard Hughes.
“We could come up with excuses, but these things happen. It is the first time we have lost at home in the Summer League since June 2006.
“This is an exceptionally tough group and there will be many tricky games. On the night Silverknowes deserved their win.”
The other eye-catching results in the opening week came at Broomieknowe, where the home side hammered Kingsknowe 7-1 – the same score Bruntsfield Links won at the Merchants – and at Swanston New, where West Linton recorded a rare away whitewash in the event.
“A desperately disappointing start to our campaign,” admitted Kingsknowe team manager Bill Buchan. “Yet, although the final score is pretty emphatic, it was a horror hour that costs us.”
That was reference to the tide turning hugely in Broomieknowe’s favour after it looked too close to call with all the games well into the back nine.
In the event, halves chalked up by Allyn Dick and Graeme Fraser were all the visitors could muster.
Recent Stuart Cup winner Jamie McIntosh and former Lothians champion Kevin Hastings both delivered wins for Broomieknowe, as did Stuart Beck, Alan Bradley, Scott Reid and Sean Marc. West Linton, perennial qualifiers from the group phase, are off to a great start in their latest title bid after an 8-0 win at Swanston New.
The home side were missing Malcolm Campbell, Grant Skinner and James Muir but Swanston New club manager Colin McClung admitted: “We were hopeful of a better result than this.”
Mortonhall also picked up full points on the road at Lothianburn while other opening-week winners were Baberton, Duddingston and Ratho Park, who made home advantage count against Royal Musselburgh, Liberton and Craigmillar Park respectively
Ally Macphail won on his debut for Baberton, for whom seasoned campaigners Steven Marshall, Andy Laurence and Dougie Waugh also delivered points. “Ron Bradly secured a walkover win due to chaos caused by traffic on the bypass, meaning one of the away players was unable to get to the course,” reported Baberton team manager Jim Downie.
Duddingston lost the top three matches, all tight affairs, before wins by Mike Armstrong, John Shepherd, Neil Hamilton and Derrick Williams turned that one around.
Stuart Imrie was delighted with Ratho Park’s start after they lost not only Macphail but also Neil Sneddon after his switch to Turnhouse.
“Our squad was weakened a little over the winter but a couple of new guys joined the ranks, with John Kerr managing to win on his debut after recently moving from Deer Park,” said Imrie.
“It’s certainly good to get a win early in the season to give us some confidence for the rest of the campaign.”
The spoils were shared between Prestonfield and Dalmahoy as well as Murrayfield and Newbattle and Musselburgh and Turnhouse.
In the last glimmer of light at Prestonfield, Kenny Bisset conjured up a great up and down at the last to secure the home side’s point against last year’s beaten finalists.
Section A: Duddingston 4.5, Liberton 3.5; Prestonfield 4, Dalmahoy 4; Royal Burgess 3.5, Silverknowes 4.5
Section B: Ratho Park 6, Craigmillar Park 2; Merchants 1, Bruntsfield Links 7; Musselburgh 4, Turnhouse 4
Section C: Baberton 5.2, Royal Musselburgh 2.5; Broomieknowe 7, Kingsknowe 1
Section D: Lothianburn 3.5, Mortonhall 4.5; Murrayfield 4, Newbattle 4; Swanston New 0, West Linton 8
Duddingston 4.5, Liberton 3.5: G Thomson lost to A Blaney one hole; C Scott lost to D Rennie one hole; D Gilmore lost to R Munro 2 and 1; M Armstrong bt S Finlay 4 and 3; J Shepherd bt S Doyle 6 and 5; N Hamilton bt J Hunter 5 and 4; D Williams bt K Cantley 4 and 3; G Santana halved with D Kerr.
Prestonfield 4, Dalmahoy 4: S Johnston lost to M Naysmith 3 and 2; A McHardy bt C Cochrane 2 and 1; L Blyth lost to J Rooney 5 and 4; M Crombie lost to D Brown one hole; D Johnston bt C Laird 2 and 1; N Rutherford bt M Herries 3 and 2; K Bisset bt G Johnston one hole; R Myles lost to S Murray 3 and 2.
Royal Burgess 3.5, Silverknowes 4.5: V Varadharajan bt K Reilly one hole; S Gray lost to G Robertson 3 and 2; F Archibald lost to P Heggie one hole; J Yuille halved with C Scott; J Fraser halved with I Doig; D Ross lost to M Paterson 2 and 1; B Tait halved with C Milligan; F McCluskey bt E Paterson 2 and 1.
Ratho Park 6, Craigmillar Park 2: G Drummond bt P MacKay two holes; J Kerr bt J Robertson 2 and 1; S Imrie bt A Jenkinson 4 and 2; J Cullerton bt K Peacock 6 and 5; R Dobbie bt D Davies 4 and 2; G Binnie bt I Christie 5 and 3; C Tweedie lost to G Lewington one hole; D Campbell lost to A Robertson 2 and 1.
Merchants 1, Bruntsfield Links 7: R Craig lost to K MacKenzie two holes; A Helm lost to K Cattanach 2 and 1; A Ritchie won by a walkover; A Brown lost to S McLaren 3 and 2; M Leitch lost to M Kernaghan one hole; D Montgomery bt R Brydon 2 and 1; D Francis lost to D Wallace 4 and 3; P Francis lost to A Anderson 4 and 3.
Musselburgh 4, Turnhouse 4: C Burgess lost to S Armstrong 4 and 3; L Bain bt D Imrie 3 and 2; M Clapperton bt D Black 5 and 4; B Henderson lost to L McCathie 3 and 1; S Greig halved with T Cadger; T Cordery lost to N Sneddon 2 and 1; I Fyfe bt A Taylor 5 and 4; C Dewar halved with D Gillespie.
Baberton 5.2, Royal Musselburgh 2.5: D Waugh bt S Blair 2 and 1; A Macphail bt S Cunningham 2 and 1; K Messer halved v with K Fee; R Bradly w/o G Harvey; S Marshall bt J Ramsay 6 and 5; A Laurence bt D Fee 4 and 3; T Cannon lost to C Ratcliffe 4 and 3; S Scott lost to C Johnston one hole.
Broomieknowe 7, Kingsknowe 1: J McIntosh bt S McCulloch 8 and 7; K Smith halved with A Dick; K Hastings bt P Page 3 and 2; A Sim halved with G Fraser; XXXXX bt J White 4 and 3; A Bradley bt D Munro 2 and 1; S Beck bt A Mackay 4 and 3; S Marc bt M Carnie 3 and 2.
Lothianburn 3.5, Mortonhall 4.5: G Nisbet bt M Hopley 2 and 1; A McKenzie bt A Hogg 2 and 1; C Black bt M Fitheridge 3 and 2; N Sutherland lost to S Cochran 4 and 2; A Greenshields lost to D Hamilton 3 and 2; A Hunter lost to R Paterson 6 and 5; M Gow lost to C Timms 2 and 1; R Nisbet halved with G Clark
Murrayfield 4, Newbattle 4: K Cumming lost to lost to S Thorburn one hole; Scott Simpson lost to Stuart Simpson one hole; D Marshall lost to G Read 3 and 2; A Ni bt C Stables 2 and 1; A Daley bt F Jervis 5 and 4; M Horne bt D Murray one hole; S Stuart halved with J O’Malley; P Cranles halved with J Hunter.
Swanston New 0, West Linton 8: R Fergus lost to K Mail one hole; S Fergus lost to S Mackenzie 4 and 2; C McClung lost to S Smith 6 and 5; G Millar lost to S McQueen 5 and 4; J Stevenson lost to J McWilliams 3 and 2; J Bell lost to S O’Brien 3 and 2; C MacKinnon lost to C Taylor 5 and 4; B Humble lost to N Barr 5 and 3.