Hillen and Matthews’ wins not enough as Banbridge lose out

Brendan Meade, Captain of the Ulster Cup team, pictured with two team members, Alan Caughey and Malcolm Russell.
Brendan Meade, Captain of the Ulster Cup team, pictured with two team members, Alan Caughey and Malcolm Russell.

The Banbridge Ulster Cup team lost the first leg of their second round match at home to Cloverhill Golf Club from South Armagh.

Their opponents were formidable but Bann knew that would be the case as Cloverhill has reach the semi-finals last season.

They also knocked out one of the strongest teams in the competition, Scrabo, in round one this time around.

The Banbridge team was captained by Brendan Meade but was missing some key players in Roy Sipson, John Gallagher, John McDowell and Kevin McKay.

Despite this, the team still looked very capable. Captain Brendan was hoping for a 5-2 win at least and he almost got it.

Neil Diamond, who had won the club competition the previous day, got a half match.

Martin McAleenan lost by the narrowest of margins, one hole down.

Peter Hillen, ever consisten, won four and two.

Cathal O’Neill also got a half match.

After four games the score was 2-2.

With a bit of luck, it could have been 4-0 to Banbridge.

Alan Caughey then lost by four and two.

Jim Matthews won one up to again level the scores at 3-3.

Malcolm Hanna started brilliantly and built up a considerable lead.

Unfortunately, he suffered a muscular pain over the second nine and he found it very difficult to swing the club.

He battled manfully and in the end fell just short, losing narrowly one hole down.

That means the score is 4-3, in favour of Cloverhill.

The second leg will be played next Sunday and it will take a superhuman effort for Banrbidge to come through away from home.

One thing is for sure, win or lose, they will enjoy their visit to Cloverhill in the scenic area of Slieve Gullion.