Kilspindie edge out Haddington in Cup thriller
There was a titanic struggle as promotion hopefuls Kilspindie and Haddington clashed on Sunday in the first round of this year’s Cup.
Kilspindie had home advantage, but trailed 2-1 by the time all five ties had completed 18 holes. The remaining two ties left the 18th green all square and headed in to extra time.
The hosts fielded a team packed with experience, but with the top tie still unresolved after two extra holes it was their youngest player Rob Paterson who levelled the match when he holed bravely for a winning birdie on the par 5 twentieth. The excitement by now had skipper Gordon Lynch's nerves in shreds, and his team’s hopes resting on the broad shoulders of veteran pairing Bob Humble and John Hall, still battling away against George Blair and David Warner. And it was Hall who finally broke the deadlock, holing a tricky downhill breaking putt for a winning birdie on the 23rd to take Kilspindie through by the narrowest of margins.
Dunbar’s miserable run of form continued with a 4-1 defeat at Castle Park. However this was a deserved win for the home team who held their nerve to convert a strong performance into victory with several ties very close as they entered the closing holes. And if anyone was looking for the heroes of Castle Park’s achievement, Ricky Thorburn and Chris Thomson would have to feature high on the list. The duo recovered from 4 down early on to claim a last green win over Danny Kay and Zander Culverwell, a pairing with a combined handicap 19 shots lower than their own !
Craigielaw were untroubled by their trip to Musselburgh Old whilst North Berwick, Gullane and Royal Musselburgh progressed against second division opponents, albeit that in all three matches there were moments when the scales could have tipped the other way.
And in the only 'all first division' clash it was Musselburgh who prevailed, their second victory in as many weeks against Longniddry.
Once again there was little to separate these teams in any one of the five ties, and it took Ian Fyfe and Craig Dewar 20 holes to secure their point at the top of the order against Ian Wilson and Michael Bacigalupo. But by the time that one was resolved, the visitors had edged the next three ties over Longniddry's closing stretch, and knew they were safely through to the next round.
The quarter finals take place on Sunday 3rd February, when Royal Musselburgh host Kilpsindie, Castle Park travel to Musselburgh and Gullane face a trip to Craigielaw. North Berwick will have to wait a week to find out if they are to face local rivals Tantallon for a third time this season – Andrew Doig’s outfit are due to host Thorntree in their 1st round match next Sunday.