Imrie steps in to keep Glen on course
There was drama in Division 2 on Sunday as Haddington travelled to the Glen, with the hosts eventually turning in a somewhat unexpected victory.
The early signs looked good for the visitors who arrived fresh from their opening win away at Craigielaw to the news that their hosts were unable to field a full side. Glen skipper Innes Christie had struggled all week to get a team together due to holidays, county matches and injury, and by Saturday night had resigned himself to conceding one of the ties. To make matters worse an early morning call off on Sunday left him with just seven players, and it was only thanks to the last minute availability of rookie junior member Lachlan Imrie that the home side avoided teeing off two points in arrears.
But this clash between last season’s relegated clubs was always going to be a key fixture for the Glen, their second consecutive home tie providing the opportunity to top the table before taking their campaign on the road for their next three assignments.
So despite his selection woes Christie was delighted to see his top three pairs guts it out for eighteen holes to deliver the result he was looking for. The experienced Gary Reid and Gordon Burns provided the perfect opening for the hosts, seeing off the challenge from Stuart Hamilton and former Lothians champion David Warner, and with match 2 also going the Glen’s way there was real hope for the home team.
But match 4 saw the two captains square up to each other and it was Neil Bain, paired with James Patterson, who prevailed for the visitors on the sixteenth green. So that left everything in the balance as the one remaining match boarded the final tee with the home team one up – not a moment for the faint hearted amongst the home support with both David Lyall and the aforementioned Imrie both making their league debut. And when Lyall left his approach just off the green the assembled gallery might well have worried that the up and down required for victory could prove too heavy a burden for young Lachlan. However the youngster certainly wasn’t thinking that way and coolly rolled the ball straight into the hole for a winning birdie, and two valuable league points for his team.
There was no such excitement up the coast at Musselburgh Links where Dunbar arrived with a strong looking team to open their campaign. And it was one way traffic for much of the day as the visitors ran up big wins in the first and last matches. In between there was little to encourage the home side with the Dunbar pairs always looking to be in control, and in the end only home skipper Scott McFarlane and Graham Ross were able to salvage the half point that prevented a whitewash.
It’s four weeks before McFarlane’s team will be in action again but already they find themselves propping up the table and looking at a long hard season ahead.
For Dunbar it was the start they were looking for, and they now look forward to their first home fixture in a fortnight’s time against early leaders Glen.
But before then Whitekirk and Kilspindie will look to make their impact on the promotion spots. Both are in action this coming Sunday, at home against Craigielaw and Gifford respectively.