Golf: East romp home to Winter title

EAST are the Fife & Lothians Golf Associations' Winter League champions for the fourth time in five seasons after wrapping up the title in style at Longniddry.

They crushed West 9…-… to prevent Fife from having any chance of catching them in their scheduled final game against the same opponents.

"Prior to the game, West convenor Jimmy Lamond was congratulated on sending out a very strong team, despite the season's run of results for his side," said East team manager Tom Gowan.

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"But, later in the day, Jimmy was non-contactable - rumour has it he was the worse for wear after sitting down with a bottle to try to erase the memories of the day!"

The match actually hadn't started too badly for the long-serving West manager when Steven Armstrong was only denied victory in the top match by a hole-winning 4 at the last from Mark Hillson.

But it was downhill all the way thereafter despite the fact they looked set to suffer a narrow defeat at worst by the time all the matches had gone through the turn.

Three more went the distance and they all ended in East's favour thanks to the efforts of Stephen Simants, Keith Nicholson and young Calum Hill.

Other wins for the home side came from Stephen Neilson, Ben McLeod, Danny Kay, Scott Cunningham, Niall Glen and Ross Noon.

The win, fourth of the campaign, took East on to an uncatchable nine points from six games, meaning there is now no need for West to entertain Silverknowes this weekend.

"The weather was not very kind this season, with three of our games requiring to be rescheduled - and one of these twice," said Gowan.

"A debt is due to Mid, who secured a narrow win over Fife. Thus East, despite a draw and a narrow loss against Fife, secured the title overall. Winning 40 points from a possible 60 was a highly commendable success rate and reflects well on the East players taking part."

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Three players - McLeod, Neilson and Simants - played in all six matches, with the first mentioned securing a maximum six wins.

"Six other players played four or five matches, thus the core of the team was consistent," noted the team manager. The age composition of the East team is generally younger than some other teams, and this possibly reflects the attraction of East Lothian courses to the lower handicap golfers.

"Certainly, there are many players in East Lothian clubs with a plus handicap so there is always a choice available, even when some prefer to opt out of participation."

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