NORTH BERWICK are East Lothian Winter League champions for the first time after beating Musselburgh at home to clinch the Matthew Black Trophy.
The historic title triumph saw Chris Wood, who also helped Longniddry lift the crown last season, claim what is believed to be a unique distinction as the first player to win in consecutive years with different clubs.
Needing a draw to get themselves over the line, it all came down to the bottom tie and the visitors’ pairing of Andrew Millar and Craig Dewar arrived on the 16th tee two up on Chris Brown and Mike Gray, but, in a dramatic twist, Millar shanked out of bounds at that hole then Dewar bunkered his approach to the long 17th, where Gray struck a sublime 6-iron close to the hole.
Dewar’s tee shot was the better of the two at the last but, as nerves kicked in, Millar fluffed his pitch. The visiting duo then three-putted from long range, handing the points and the league title to North Berwick.
Along the road, Kilspindie took the Second Division title with a 3-2 win over Haddington, who had gone into the match lying second. Perhaps the decisive result came in the top tie, which saw John Hall and Bob Humble prevail against Andrew Doctor and Keith Nicholson.
In a mirror of Wood’s achievement in the top flight, Kilspindie’s success secured a double double for Hall, who won the Second Division with Royal Musselburgh last term.
Elsewhere, a home win for Longniddry over Tantallon secured a place in the top flight next season and, with a round to go, only one out of three can survive as Tantallon, Musselburgh and Royal Musselburgh battle to avoid the drop.