Dispatch Trophy 2019: Carrickvale call on history-makers for title assault
Carrickvale are bringing back the big guns in a bid to win the 120th Edinburgh Evening News Dispatch Trophy, which starts at the Braids on Saturday.
Darren Coyle and Craig Elliot, both members of the team that became history-makers by winning the popular tournament three years in a row, are returning to action in the golfclubs4cash-sponsored event.
Coyle hasn’t played in Carrickvale colours since 2011 while former Scottish Mid Amateur champion Elliot has been lured out of retirement after missing out 12 months ago.
“I am glad to be back at the Vale and really looking forward to a return to the Dispatch,” said Coyle. “I have missed being part of it. The last year I played in it was eight years ago and I felt felt like I’d lost an arm when I stopped being part of it.
“In my opinion, this is the best team tournament there is and to be part of another winning team would be great.
“I enjoyed a few successful years, including the famous treble from 2007-09, and it would be special ten years on from my last victory to have another gold medal.”
Carrickvale have lifted the magnificent trophy five times in the past 12 years and have been perennial semi-finalists in that time.
But, after failing to make it to the second weekend 12 months ago, they are aiming to get back to winning ways in an event being run for the fourth year in a row by Edinburgh Leisure.
Coyle and Elliot will be joining forces with Allyn Dick, who played in all five of those winning teams, and Craig Deerness, a victor in both 2013 and 2016.
“To be back in a team with two of the best players the Lothians has ever seen - Craig Elliot and Allyn Dick - is amazing,” added Coyle.
“Craig Deerness has also tasted Dispatch victory, so we have a lot of experience in this format and hopefully we can get a decent run.”
Lochend are first up for Carrickvale in Saturday’s opening round, with old rivals Silverknowes, as well as two Tantallon teams in the same half of the draw.
“There are very strong teams in each section of the draw, so every team is going to have to have their ‘A game’ with them each round,” continued Coyle.
Paul Cunningham, a member of the winning line up in 2016 along with Dick, Deerness and Elliot, is in a B side on this occasion along with James Kerr, Tony Finnegan and Josh Cullerton.
“We are really looking forward to this year’s Dispatch and, for me, it is the best week of the year,” said Carrickvale stalwart George Alexander.
“We have entered two teams this year to try and win the trophy back, which I know will be very difficult with so many great teams playing.
“Darren rejoined at the beginning of October, which was good news for the club. He played in our winter League campaign and won most of his matches and is a good addition to the team but, at the same time, I feel sorry for Paul Cunningham as he lost out.
“As for Craig, he is a massive player for us. Nothing ever bothers him on the course and is great to play with.
“At his peak, he was the most natural amateur golfer I have seen. It is a pity he was not as dedicated to game as Allyn as he could have won many more tournaments.”