Watson will be made to fight for victory in the Battle Trophy
Craig Watson, the former British amateur champion, struck a blow last weekend for club players in their late forties with victory in the Craigmillar Park Open and will seek to follow up by winning this weekend’s SGU Order of Merit event, the Battle Trophy, writes Colin Farquharson.
The 48-year-old East Renfrewshire player, a career amateur, had to play only two rounds to win at the Edinburgh venue last weekend after high winds had made play impossible on Saturday. However, Watson is likely to have to play 72 holes at the Craighead Links and that might prove to be a bridge too far.
Glenbervie’s Graeme Robertson is holder of the Battle Trophy, the name of which name is inspired by the raised earthwork on the Craighead course known as Dane’s Dyke, which is a feature at the 11th, 14th, 15th and 16th holes.
There are three figures on the solid silver trophy which was commissioned and donate by a past club captain and has a value of £10,000: a Viking, representing man’s battle against man; an 18th century golfer, representing man’s battle against himself; and a Lifeboat man, signifying the battle with the elements.
Alexander Culverwell, who won the event in 2011 when the
Evan Oliphant, of Team Raleigh, and James McCallum (NFTO) will bid to repeat previous successes when they line up for tomorrow’s Drummond Trophy road race at Strathaven, writes Colin Renton. McCallum took the honours in the 2008 edition and Oliphant emulated that result two years later in an event that is widely regarded as the most lucrative on the domestic racing programme. They will be joined in a 70-strong field for the 89-mile contest by several competitors from south of the border. Also looking to make an impression will be a clutch of established Scottish internationals and Commonwealth Games aspirants including the current Scottish champion Gary Hand (KTM Road and Trail.com). competition was switched from 36 holes to four rounds and became an SGU Order of Merit counting event, is also in the field. He is joined by Bradley Neil, the Blairgowrie youngster and was runner-up in the South African Amateur Championship earlier this year.
Other likely contenders include Jack MacDonald (Kilmarnock Barassie and Stirling University), winner of the British Universities Championship over the Rafael Nadal lost 7-6, 6-4, to his fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in the quarter-finals of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters yesterday. Nadal won the title eight years in a row before his final defeat by Novak Djokovic last year.
Gordon Shepherd, Scotland women’s head coach, will give his new squad their first outing prior to the FIH Champions Challenge in test matches against Wales, 13 places below Scotland in the world rankings at No.29, at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre today and tomorrow, writes Craig Madden. “Wales will be a fair test; they are improving and will be competing at the Commonwealth Games,” said Shepherd. “I’m looking for the team to gel and for solid performances.”
The Scots have held the upper hand against Wales since the last Commonwealth Games in Delhi where the sides drew 1-1 but Scotland claimed seventh place by winning a penalty shoot-out. Shepherd’s charges have Craighead Links last year and Scott Borrowman (Dollar), a member of the Fife team which won the SGU Area Team Championship over Craighead Links last year. The latter also recently won in the Scottish Champion of Champions tournament at Leven and was joint third finish behind Watson in the Craigmillar Park Open. nKilmacolm’s Eilidh Briggs yesterday justified her plus-3 handicap with some brilliant since beaten Wales 1-0 in the 2011 European Nations Championships and then 6-0 and 3-0 in the Celtic Cups of the same year and 2012.
The third game on Monday is labelled as a development squad outing and will be an opportunity for those not selected for the Champions Challenge to stake a claim for Commonwealth Games consideration, particularly as Shepherd stated that door remained opened for those who “showed up well” in games during April and May. nTwo Scots, the Grove Menzieshill striker Ali Bell and Nikki Kidd who now plays for the English Premier League side Canterbury, have been omitted from the Great Britain training squad for the Road to Rio. It leaves three Scots in coach Jason Lee’s plans: the goalkeeper Amy Gibson who has yet to earn her first GB cap, Morag McLellan, the Milne Craig Clydesdale Western midfielder, and Reading’s Emily Maguire who won bronze in the 2012 London Olympics. Scots in the Great Britain men’s squad are the defender Dan Coultas and midfielder Chris Grassick, both of whom play their club hockey in England.
Cup giant killers Beauly will be hoping to add to their RBS MacTavish Cup scalps today but know they will face a Newtonmore side hurting from last weekend, writes Kenneth Stephen. The lower league outfit pulled off the upset of the campaign in the last round, defeating Premiership Lochaber.
Beauly’s task may have been made harder by Lovat ending Newtonmore’s unbeaten run last Saturday and moving clear at the summit of the Premiership. Good news for the Inverness-shire side is the return from suspension of their international full centre Conor Cormack who was sent off against Lochaber. play to win the Renfrewshire Women’s Championship for a third time at Cochrane Castle.
Briggs, the top seed and a Stirling University PE student, beat Iona Stephen 6 and 4. Out in 34 to her opponent’s 39, Briggs was four up at the turn, having birdied the fourth, fifth and eighth. She also won the nine with a par.
Stephen sank a long birdie putt at the 10th to get back to three down but Briggs won the 12th and 13th then finished with a birdie two at the 14th.