Disbelief as Banbridge lose Carlingford Cup semi

THE semi-final second leg of the Carlingford Cup was played at Warrenpoint last Sunday.

After the first leg Banbridge led 25.5 to 6.5 so they only needed seven points for victory and a place in the final.

Don’t read on if you are of a delicate disposition and don’t like sad endings.

There were 32 points up for grabs and Banbridge needed only seven. It seemed a foregone conclusion. But golf, as we all know, can be very unpredictable, to say the least.

Here we go with the sad news.

Shane Bell, in the first of the singles, played a blinder and won all four points. So Banbridge now needed 3 points from 28. Some were saying, “Get the dinner ready; the match will soon be over”. But, hold on, Warrenpoint haven’t surrendered just yet.

Declan Barry had a day to forget and he got no points.

The occasion seemed to get to Paul Downey and he got off to a bad start and never recovered. Paul got no points.

Peter Hillen, who knows the Warrenpoint course like the back of his hand, was rather unlucky. One up after seven holes, he lost eight and nine and the point for the first nine. Peter, all credit to him, won 17 and 18 to get a half point for the second nine.

The two foursomes matches were worth 16 points. Banbridge needed two and a half points.

Seamus Rooney and Neil Comiskey won the first nine one up but lost the match. They got two points.

Malcolm Russell and Mark McCoy played quite well but were up against a very strong pairing. They lost all eight points.

So, amazingly enough, the final score was Warrenpoint 32 Banbridge 32. It was a tie so the final foursomes pairings set out on tie holes.

The pressure was on Mark McCoy and Malcolm Russell. The first hole was halved in par 5’s. On the par three second, Mark sank a 21-footer from the edge of the green leaving the Warrenpoint player with an 18-footer for a half.

Would you believe it, the Point man holed it and it was off to the third tie hole. Banbridge bogeyed the hole and lost the match.

I’m reading over this and still can’t believe it. But that’s golf for you. Strange things happen all the time and this was one for the record books.