Golf: Gullane first name on new Winter Cup

GULLANE earned a place in the record books after beating Royal Musselburgh in the final to become the first winners of the East Lothian Winter Cup.

Royal Musselburgh had gone into the match, played at Longniddry, riding on the crest of a wave after securing their place back in the top flight as Second Division champions.

But they were outgunned 5-0 by an on-form Gullane team after Jeff Aitken’s side took control from the off.

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Scott Walker and Stuart Roberts, the top Gullane pairing, set the tone as they raced into a four-hole lead after just six holes against Darren Fee and Andrew Wallace.

Duncan Low and Stewart Menzies also got off to a flyer in the third match, as did Lawrie Main and Alan Smith at the bottom of the order, however, John Hall and Stuart Blair offered Royal Musselburgh a glimmer of hope as they clawed back the deficit in the anchor match to just one hole at the turn.

But an exquisite approach from Mike Corrie that secured a crucial half in birdies at the 11th for Gullane in the fourth match proved to be a key moment.

Walker and Roberts went on to win comfortably, as did Low and Menzies. And the win was secured as Murray Saunders and Keith Millar triumphed on the home green over Jamie Ramsay and Chris Mackie.

After winning 12 out 12 in the league and cup, it was perhaps a case of unlucky 13 for Royal Musselburgh.

But they have still had a good campaign and will already be relishing their return to the top flight next season.

“On the practice ground at Gullane on the morning prior to the final, our team were quietly confident but definitely up for the match as they wanted a trophy to end a disappointing season in the league,” said delighted captain Aitken.

The winning team included the current club champion (Menzies), and six other past champions (Roberts, Walker, Millar, Low, Main and Smith).

Gullane 5, Royal Musselburgh 0: Scott Walker and Stuart Roberts bt Darren Fee and Andrew Wallace 6 and 5; Murray Saunders and Keith Millar bt Jamie Ramsay and Chris Mackie one hole; Duncan Low and Stewart Menzies bt Chris Ratcliffe and Gordon Millar 7 and 6; Robert Jack and Mike Corrie bt Kenny Fee and Robert Cochrane 2 and 1; Lawrie Main and Alan Smith bt John Hall and Stuart Blair 2 and 1.