Summer League: Newbattle achieve first home quarter-final
Newbattle have achieved a first in the Edinburgh Summer League after securing a home tie in the quarter-finals.
It’s just reward for a strong performance by the Eskbank club’s players in the group stage, which is close to being completed.
Newbattle won nine out of their ten games to top Section A and will now entertain either Mortonhall, Glencorse or Turnhouse in the last eight.
“This is just the fourth occasion in the past 20 years that Newbattle have qualified from the group stage,” said team manager Greg Thorburn.
“As a result of winning our group, which included one of last years finalists, this will be our first home quarter-final tie in that time, so we very much look forward to hosting that match.”
Mortonhall, the defending champions, currently top Section C but there are still matches to be played and Glencorse and Turnhouse are also in the mix to progress.
“We are delighted to have qualified first or second and look forward to our quarter-final match,” said Mortonhall team manager Ian Dickson.
As runners-up in Section A to Newbattle, Kingsknowe will be the visitors to either Mortonhall or Turnhouse, with second place the best Glencorse can do.
“It’s been a few years since we’ve progressed to the knock-out stages so we are obviously delighted to be there,” said Kingsknowe team manager Steve McCulloch.
“We took a decision a couple of years ago to expand our squad of players, in particular bringing in some younger players that just lacked experience at this level and I think we are starting to see the benefits. “
Section B winners Bruntsfield Links will be at home to either Broomieknowe or Duddingston.
“After a poor start, losing our first and drawing the next two, at best we thought we could possibly get the runner-up spot in Section B,” said Bruntsfield Links manager Derek Miller. “To finish top is an added bonus as the later results went our way.
“It has been a great team effort so far with 15 players being involved in the 10 matches which in a campaign like this, you need.
“At one point, the top two for the MVP were Stuart McLaren and Ross Brydon, but, unfortunately for Ross, his last two matches haven’t gone his way.”
In the remaining last-eight tie, Section D winners Musselburgh will entertain Craigielaw in an all-East Lothian affair.
“We are looking forward to it, having a 100 per record at home dating back to July 8, 2016 – 12 matches,” said Calum Burgess. “The last home game we dropped points to was a draw to Craigielaw.”