News and Announcements
The Competitions Committee met once again today (Tues 2nd March) to review the Season’s future in the light of the government’s continued position that golf in groups of four is not allowed. With no movement in the government’s position this week, and no further change likely before the end of March, the decision was taken to declare the season void.
This follows the plans set out as early as last September, and underlined again in November, that in the event the fixtures could not continue we would first drop back to a “half season” (in which each team would play each other team once only), with promotion and relegation restricted to one team, and if we failed to complete the “half season” the league was to be declared void with no promotion or relegation.
Sadly that is the position we now find ourselves in. The committee considered a possible extension into April, but recognised that all clubs in the County are now focused on the return to golf in the weeks and months ahead, and their first priority, quite understandably, will be to accommodate their own members.
The League is grateful for the support of all clubs throughout the very difficult 2020-21 season in arranging and then (frequently) rescheduling match fixtures. It is just unfortunate this effort was not quite enough to allow us to complete the competition.
We all hope to see the return of competitive golf before too long, and wish all league players the best for their summer golf season.
Royal Musselburgh consolidated their position on top of Division 1 with a home win against Tantallon on Sunday. The win sees them go three points clear of nearest challengers Craigielaw, and Royal also have a game in hand. And with trips to Longniddry and Haddington on their next two outings, Jamie Ramsay’s men will look to pick up a point or two on the road, and install themselves as favourites for a first league title in 17 years.
But besides Craigielaw – Tantallon, Gullane and Haddington all remain in contention, and will be ready to step up should the leaders falter..
Royal Musselburgh won at Craigielaw in the only match on Sunday to survive the bad weather and flooding. With matches postponed at Kilspindie and Haddington, the winner of the last surviving fixture was set to take over in top spot, and in the end it was the visitors that produced a dominant performance, running out 4-1 winners.
And Jamie Ramsay’s team know a win at home next Sunday will be enough to guarantee they will be top of the table at Christmas.
In a weekend of needle matches, it was Gullane that emerged on top of the pile in Division 1 when they came away from Haddington with a share of the spoils.
Both Haddington and Tantallon could have topped the table, should either team have delivered a win, but such is the keenness of competition this season that wins are not easy to come by. The ongoing Covid travel ban added another element as all teams had to limit team selections to Players who live in Level 2 (or lower) areas.
Tantallon came close on their trip to Craigielaw – at two matches apiece and with the decider going all the way to the final hole, this one could only be described as a tense finish. However the visitors’ veteran pairing of Allan MacCaskill and Alan Herd fell short in the end, and lost out by the narrowest of margins to Gordon McSorley and Ryan Yule.
Meanwhile Haddington found themselves in a similar scrap to the end in their home encounter against the leaders. Nobody could break the stalemate with George Blair and Mark White settling for a halved match with Greg Houlston and Robert Jack.
Royal Musselburgh came through their home match with Longniddry with a little more to spare. They won fairly comfortably at the top and the bottom of the order, however all three of the middle ties went to the final green before the home team emerged on top.
All of that leaves just two points separating the top five teams, and both Haddington and Royal Musselburgh have the chance to take over at the top next week with Gullane not in action.
Kilspindie got off the mark in style, with a win in Sunday’s wet & windy conditions away to early leaders Craigielaw. It was a rearguard action, and fine testament to Kilspindie’s resilience, that they were able to fight back following emphatic defeats in each of the top two ties, taking each of the final three on the sixteenth or seventeenth green.
Meanwhile Haddington completed a run of three opening home matches without defeat, as they beat leaders Tantallon to take over at the top. Next up for Bruce Calder’s team is another home tie, this time against their principle challengers Gullane.
Gullane returned to winning ways themselves with an emphatic 5-0 win on the road at Longniddry, despite all five ties being closely contested for most of the way round.