BANBRIDGE sent a juvenile team to the Ava Shield last week.
This very popular tournament is played annually over the Ava course at Clandeboye.
The Banbridge team of Thomas Magennis, Thomas Luke, Luke Crory, Gary McConville and Matthew Savage were second in the qualifying round and they were drawn against Cairndhu in the matchplay semi-final.
Banbridge got off to a great start in the semi-final.
Thomas Magennis won 1 up.
Thomas Luke won 2 and 1.
Two up after two games, Banbridge needed one more win to reach the final.
Luke Crory lost by one hole down.
Matthew Savage lost 2 and 1.
Everything rested on the young shoulders of Gary McConville in the final game.
Gary was two holes down with three to play. He won the 16th and then birdied the 17th to tie the match.
Gary was very unlucky to lose the final hole. His opponent was heading out of bounds when his ball hit a tree and ricocheted close to the green. From there he chipped into the hole for a most unlikely birdie and the win.
It was a disappointing ending for Banbridge but that’s golf for you.
It could very well be a different story next year.