Twelve months after enjoying the high of winning the Golfclubs4cash-sponsored event for the first time in 38 years, Heriot’s suffered the low of a first-round exit, though it couldn’t really be considered as a shock.
Harrison, after all, are currently the strongest of the Braids teams and they were always going to be tough opponents for last year’s victors.
In a match that was tight throughout on a day when a breeze gradually picked up to make things awkward in the glorious sunshine, Harrison eventually ran out 4&3 winners to set up a second-round clash with the Glen.
“The turning point in our match was definitely the 10th,” reported Dougie Waugh of him and Donny Munro finishing two up on John Archibald and Rory Smith.
“I overdrew my drive close to the fence but, after getting a drop, we made a birdie while our opponents three-putted.”
At the back, Scott Knowles and Alan Stewart were three up after four before also finishing two up against Dave Campbell and Steven Sinclair, who replaced Willem Kerr from last year’s winning team.
“After winning last year, it feels rubbish to go out in the first round,” admitted Archibald. “But it was always going to be a tough one against Harrison and we just didn’t hole anything out there.”
Harrison B also progressed in the Edinburgh Lesiure-run tournament at the expense of Liberton, with Brian Byars describing that success as a “good solid start” for a club seeking to claim this coveted prize for the first time since 2000.
Represented by a young team that included 15-year-old Sam Hall, the Glen proved too strong for a Lothians Seniors side that included Jean Macnab, just the second woman to play in the event in the modern era.
At the other end of the age ladder, Lothians Juniors enjoyed a winning debut and, in doing so, joined an equally fresh-faced Stephen Gallacher Foundation side in the last 32.
“I’ve really been looking forward to playing in the Dispatch Trophy,” admitted 14-year-old Ciaran Paterson after joining 15-year-olds Calum Robinson and Neil Canavan and 17-year-old Jake Edgcome to give Lothians Juniors a notable victory over Heriot’s Quad. “I like foursomes as it allows you to have a chat between every shot.”
Playing in the event for the third year in a row, the Stephen Gallacher Foundation quartet stood four down over the double foursome at the turn against Cramond.
But it was mission accomplished for Conor Wilson, Cameron Adam, Liam Currid and Conor Currie as they turned the tide on the back nine.
“It is great to get off to a winning start,” admitted scratch player Wilson, the only member of the team to have played in the event in the past.
They now face Tantallon 1 after the East Lothian side suffered a late wobble before beating RICS at the first extra hole.
RICS won the last five holes, including a chip-in eagle at the back from Mike Armstrong, over the double foursome to take that tie beyond normal time.
“We should have killed them off earlier, but we are through and that’s the main thing,” said a relived Gareth Pugh, who has John Stewart, Fraser Henderson and Fraser Symon alongside him in the Tantallon team.
Other first-round winners included Silverknowes, Carrickvale, Gullane and Stewart’s Melville.
With Graham Robertson back in their ranks for the first time in four years, Silverknowes proved too strong for Swanston while Carrickvale, five-time winners since 2007, had an equally comfortable passage against Harrison Generations.
Gullane and Stewart’s Melville came through tough tests against Watsonian and Dunbar respectively.
“It was 46 years ago that I first played in the Dispatch Trophy and my second game - a heavy defeat - was against Watsonian and I can’t remember playing them since then,” said Gullane’s Robert Jack.
Stewart’s Melville clinched their win in style as two-time Lothians champion Alan Anderson hit a tee shot to 10 feet at the 16th and Drew McIntosh rolled in the putt in the back match.
Also through to the second round are 2012 winners Caermount while Murrayfield, quarter-finalists last year at the first attempt, are off and running again after beating newcomers Kingsfield Golf Centre.
Late in the day, a Johnston Carmichael Wealth team made up of Steven Titterington, Gregor Munro, Neil Steven and David Watson marked its debut by beating Edinburgh Lesiure.
In the longest match of the day, Ian Lamb eventually clinched victory for Silverknowes 50+ against Silverknowes Generations bu chipping stiff at the third extra hole.
Stephen Gallacher Foundation (Cameron Adam and Conor Wilson 3; Liam Currid and Conor Currie 1); Cramond (Connor McWatt and Ian Doig 0; Craig Scott and Jimmy Keggie 0).
Stephen Gallacher Foundation won 4&3
Tantallon 1 (Jim Stewart and Gareth Pugh 0; Fraser Henderson and Fraser Symon 3); RICS (Stuart Agnew and Brian Tait 3; Mike Armstrong and Conor Scott 0).
Tantallon 1 won at 19th
Scottish Universities Golfing Society (Sandy Reid and Phil Pritchett 0; Laurie Main and Roddy Forgie 0); Lochend (Gary Cheyne and Graham Markey 4; Alan Thompson and Davie Graham 0).
Lochend won 4&2
Caermount (Iain Parrish and Gary Henshaw 7; Rob Ainsworth and Martin Hopley 1); Kilgour Private Clients (Josh Hunt and Paul Middleton 0; David Hunt and David Downing 0).
Caermount won 8&7
Dunbar Castle (Alex Loggie and Calum Yule 0; Stevie Doyle and Gavin Love 0); Kilspindie (Arron Hall and Chris Stirling 1; Davie Waters and Rob Green 3).
Kilspindie won 4&3
Silverknowes 50+ (Ian Lamb and Kevin Reilly 2; Ian Connolly and Davie Fraser 0); Silverknowes Generations (Jack Carlin and John McRae 0; Jack Wood and Steve Garioch 2).
Silverknowes 50+ won at 21st
Prestonfield (Scott Johnston and Duncan Johnston 0; Arran McHardy and Kenny Campbell 0); BBT (Neil Anderson and Andy Williamson 0; Mark Scoular and Scott McPherson 3).
BBT won 3&2
Liberton (David Liddle and David Rennie 0; Scott Dickson and Fraser Martin 0); Harrison B (Stuart More and Bryan Byers 5; Cammy Bruce and Ian Ashley 2).
Harrison B won 7&5
Royal Bank of Scotland (Michael Wilson and Stuart Cochrane 6; John Pow and Steve Jamieson 0); Braids United (Sandy Myles and Paul Gillen 0; Tom Greer and Martin Rutherford 2).
Royal Bank of Scotland won 4&3
Watsonian (Andrew Helm and Richard Craig 0; Rob Paterson and Greg Nicolson 0); Gullane (Stephen Marshall and Scott Walker 2; Robert Jack and Kenny Wright 4).
Gullane won 6&4
Stewart’s Melville (Ally Ritchie and Stuart McLaren 3; Drew McIntosh and Alan Anderson 2); Dunbar (Stuart Black and Greg Lynn 0; Jack McDonald and Jamie Duguid 0).
Stewart’s Melville won 5&4
Kingsfield Golf Centre (Nick Brookfield and Andrew Corr 0; Mark Irvine and Richard Drewett 0); Murrayfield (Ali Thurlow and Bobby Gibson 2; Lloyd Dunlop and Stuart MacRae 4).
Murrayfield won 6&5
Munro Heating (Troy O’Connor and Marc McAdam 4; Daniel Eardley and Clark Munro 2); Mount Vernon (Trevor Kelly and Steven Richardson 0; Gary Grey and William Motion 0).
Munro Heating won 6&4
LGA Juniors (Ciaran Paterson and Jake Edgecombe 3; Callum Robinson and Neil Canavan 4); Heriot’s Quad (Innes Christie and Findlay Hutchison 0; Ian Smith and John Liddel 0).
LGA Juniors won 7&5
Harrison A (Donny Munro and Dougie Waugh 2; Scott Knowles and Alan Stewart 2); George Heriot’s FP (John Archibald and Rory Smith 0; Steven Sinclair and David Campbell 0).
Harrison A won 4&3
LGA Seniors (Jean Macnab and Paul Gibson 0; Allan Shaw and Jani Balasubramaniam 0); The Glen (Sam Hall and Finlay Goodlad 9; Arran Darrie and Michael Hagan 5).
The Glen won 14&13
Hailes A beat Broomieknowe by a walkover
Edinburgh Thistle (Gareth Bridgeman and Donald Anderson 1; Barry Anderson and Ian Cropley 2); Hailes C (Steven Stewart and Gary Donaldson 0; Kieran McCulloch and Stevie Watson 0).
Edinburgh Thistle won 3&2
Swanston (Graeme Millar and Simon Hermiston 0; Andy Hunter and Alex McKenzie 0); Silverknowes (Tam Caldwell and Graham Robertson 6; Murray Paterson and Keith Reilly 4).
Silverknowes won 10&9
Johnston Carmichael Wealth (Steven Titterington and Gregor Munro 5; Neil Steven and David Watson 1); Edinburgh Leisure (Derek McLeod and Scott Findlay 0; Kenny Craigie and Mattie Harper 0).
Johnston Carmichael Wealth won 6&5
Harrison Generations (Graham Patterson and Simon Mogie 0; Ronnie Ackroyd and David Torrance 0); Carrickvale (Craig Deerness and Allyn Dick 6; James Kerr and Paul Cunningham 2).
Carrickvale won 8&7