North Berwick take over at the top
Kilspindie and North Berwick played out a closely contested match as the top two in Division 2 clashed at a cold and windy Kilspindie. The home team held a slender advantage over the front nine, but the visitors, keen to avenge the whitewash dealt out to them earlier in the season, fought back late on. It was the home team that put the first point on the board when Hall & Stirling completed their win on the 14th green, but the scores were soon level when Heslop & Buchan won the 13th, 15th and 16th to claim the top tie for the visitors.
At that point tie 3 was level, the home pair one up in tie 4 and the visitors one up at the back. But there was more drama to come when Henderson drove the green at the par 4 seventeenth, only to then 3 putt and miss an opportunity to take the lead. A hole later the home pair looked set to steal the win when their second shot finished less than 4 feet from the hole, but there was a final twist when visiting skipper Chris Wood holed from 15 feet for a birdie, before Porteous missed and the point went to the visitors.
While that was happening, North Berwick’s Turner holed a birdie putt on the 17th to level his tie, but Jerome and Hay hit back immediately with a winning birdie on the home hole to claim their point and keep the match alive. But by that time Brown and Johnston had moved ahead at the bottom of the order, and they went on to win the decisive point for North Berwick on the 17th green.
Meanwhile Winterfield and Musselburgh Old played out a match that went a little closer than perhaps expected – the visitors lying low in the league table and missing several players. However the home team prevailed 4-1 and in doing so moved up into the promotion spots.
These results set up a fabulous climax to the season, with each of the top three knowing their fate remains in their own hands. North Berwick can secure promotion with a win at home to Winterfield, and if they do that they will need a draw at Gifford to claim the title. But a Winterfield win at North Berwick will put the league newcomers on top of the pile and favourites for the title, opening the door for Kilspindie to return to second place if they can win at Thorntree. In fact, with their superior points difference now worth an extra league point, Kilspindie know that a win on 24th Feb would see them back in the promotion places no matter what the result is at North Berwick.
Haddington completed a good win at Gifford, although results elsewhere officially ended their faint chances of promotion, whilst Thorntree managed a draw away to the Glen.
Next week attention turns back to the 1st Division with Tantallon looking to avenge their recent Cup defeat to Longniddry, and keep up the pressure on leaders Gullane.