Delight as Banbridge beat Dundalk in the Carlingford Cup

The Banbridge Carlingford Cup team show off their trophy back at the clubhouse.
The Banbridge Carlingford Cup team show off their trophy back at the clubhouse.

The Carlingford Cup final, between Banbridge and Dundalk, was played over two days last weekend.

The first leg was played at Dundalk on Saturday and it was always going to be very close.

Cathal O’Neill, the Banbridge team captain, was hoping to get around 15 points out of the 32 on offer. He surpassed his expectations.

After the four singles games, worth 4 points each, the scores were level.

Conor Mulholland halved his game for 2 points. Matthew Mallon did likewise for another 2 points. Jamie Thompson lost 5 and 4 and got no points. Josh Crory won 7 and 6 to take all 4 points.

The Foursomes games are crucial in the Carlingford Cup as they are worth double points. This is where Banbridge came good.

Neil Madeley and Peter Hillen won 5 and 4 and got 7 points. That was superb.

Paul McAleavey and Luke Crory lost 4 and 3 but managed to pick up 2 very valuable points.

So, the score, at the finish of the first leg, was Dundalk 15 Banbridge 17.

From a Banbridge point of view, that was just perfect. Cathal and his vice-captain, Brendan Meade, were just delighted. But, like Paul McGinley in the Ryder Cup, they warned their players against complacency.

The second leg was played last Sunday over the Huntly Road Links.

The winning score was 33 points, so Banbridge needed a further 16 points.

They increased their lead by winning 3 of the 4 singles matches.

Josh Crory beat Oisin Murray 3 and 1 and got all 4 points. Matthew Mallon beat Sean Murray 6 and 4 and he too got the maximum 4 points. Jamie Thompson lost 4 and 3 against Phelm Joyce and he got no points. Roy Sipson beat Stephen Keenan 4 and 2 and he got 3 points.

Banbridge supporters were getting excited and rightly so.

Dundalk needed to get 12 points from the foursomes and that was a big ask.

True, they won the first foursomes and picked up 8 points. Pat Magennis and Charlie Monaghan beat Peter Hillen and Neil Madeley 2 up.

Not to panic! Banbridge were going well in the second foursomes. Very well, in fact. Paul McAleavey and Luke Crory beat Martin Crosby and Ollie English by 4 and 3 and they got all 8 points. It was all over. Banbridge had won the Carlingford Cup by the score of 36 to 28.

Everyone was delighted, especially Cathal O’Neill, Brendan Meade and the club captain, Noel McSherry.

It was a long campaign but it all turned out perfectly in the end. It was a glorious finale to an action-packed season.