LEAGUE champions Gullane made light work of their semi-final tie in the East Lothian Winter League Cup last Sunday, as they go in search of a second successive double.

The defending champions were drawn away to Gifford, confirmed as the surprise package of this year’s competition one week earlier when they dealt out a 4-1 defeat to Tantallon.

But this week’s match proved a challenge too far for Colin Thomson’s side and, even with the away draw, the league champions were too good for the second division hopefuls.

In fact, there was stout resistance from Gifford for much of the day, with Cunningham and Thomson, then Simpson and Cauldwell, taking their ties to the final hole.

But by that time, Stuart Roberts and Alan Smith had secured victory when they took the third tie on the 16th green following reasonably comfortable wins for the visitors in the top two.

The other semi-final was a much closer affair, with 2013 winners Musselburgh travelling to North Berwick, a team they had already beaten twice in the league this season. And indeed the visitors had the advantage early on, trailing in the top tie but comfortably leading the next three at the halfway stage, whilst tail gunners Ian Fyfe and Brian Henderson won the seventh and eighth holes to draw level.

But as the match turned for home there was resurgence in North Berwick’s fortunes. Adam Heslop and John Stewart secured an early point for the hosts with a decisive 6/5 win, whilst the home pairings fought back in ties 2 and 3.

In the end, Burgh youngsters Lewis Bain and Connor Good took the 18th hole to finally secure the second tie, which they had at one stage led by four holes, but there was no such resistance behind, where Weston Main and Kevin Messer claimed a 2/1 win for North Berwick, having trailed by three holes at the turn.

Musselburgh’s Myles Clapperton and Benn McLeod won on the 16th green to level the match, leaving the result hinging on one remaining tie.

And despite Fyfe and Henderson playing the better golf tee to green, it was North Berwick’s Chris Brown and Torquil McInroy that produced a winning display on the greens over the closing stretch.

The home pair established a two-hole advantage with birdies on 9 and 10, then holed significant putts to halve the 11th, 12th, 15th and 16th. In the end, the visitors failed to make par on the long 17th and Brown wasn’t asked to hole his short putt for the match.

So North Berwick will face Gullane in this year’s final at Musselburgh next Sunday (March 8), looking to improve on their last showing, when they lost to Musselburgh at Gullane two years ago.

But before then they must turn their attentions to the league, with their final match (a relegation decider with Dunbar) due to take place this Sunday.

North Berwick have home advantage, but the losers face the drop and a draw will favour Dunbar.

Already, Glen have been relegated from the top division, while fellow North Berwick club Tantallon have sealed the Second Divsion title.

For the second successive year, a final-day defeat saw Haddington miss out on going up to the top division, though their conquerors Craigielaw were also just pipped at the post by Longniddry, whose convincing win over Whitekirk saw them promoted.