Jonathan and Scott lead Ronan Rafferty team to a great away display

Richard Huey, John Molloy, Michael Beattie and Brendan Kearney � Edward Byrne Photography INBL1425-278EB
Richard Huey, John Molloy, Michael Beattie and Brendan Kearney � Edward Byrne Photography INBL1425-278EB

In the first round of the Ronan Rafferty Cup, Banbridge were drawn against daunting opponents Warrenpoint but have given themselves a great chance of making it through to the second round.

The first leg was away in the Point and after it, Banbridge are just one point behind after a heroic performance.

Jonathan Brush and Scott Nelson were largely to thank for that as they got the maximum four points for winning the front nine, back nine and the match. Josh Crory drew a blank, Callum Barnes got one point, and Luke Crory got a half point.

That leaves the score at the halfway stage: Warrenpoint 10.5 Banbridge 9.5.

This was a brilliant performance from the young men of Banbridge and they must be confident of finishing the job when the home leg is played this week.

MUSA

The fourth round of the Mid-Ulster Senior Alliance was played at Banbridge.

This was an opportunity for the local team to score big and move dramatically up the league table.

That is exactly what they did, led by the man of the moment at the club.

In the lead up to winning the Captain’s Prize, Morris Phillips had a wonderful 44 points. Following that up well was Nornan Doak, who had 42, Ian Boyce with 40 and team captain Dougie Stevenson with 35.

That terrific team score of 161 points lifted Banbridge up into second place, only three points behind the leaders Tandragee.

The other members of the Banbridge team were Dennis Lockhart, Felix Duffy, Verdun Bond and P.J. Johnston.

The fifth round is at Ardglass on Wednesday 9 July.

Banbridge are now serious contenders for the title. Can they maintain the momentum? Let’s hope so.

What a week it was for Morris Phillips. His handicap was cut by two shots after his leading score in the MUSA and he still went out and won the Captain’s Prize three days later. Incredible!

ULSTER CUP

It was mission impossible for the Banbridge Ulster Cup team last Sunday.

Under the captaincy of Brendan Meade, the team had played brilliantly to reach the third round but they had come a cropper in the away leg against Newtownstewart, only gaining half a point from seven games.

The County Tyrone team came to Banbridge looking for only one point. All credit to the local men who did not go down without a fight.

Peter Hillen won one up, John Gallagher won 4 and 3 and Alan Caughey won 4 and 3. This was a great start and gave Bann hope but unfortunately it could not last.

Roy Sipson got a half match and Neil Comiskey also got a half match but that was it all over. Newtownstewart had won. John McDowell and Gary Hazley were called in.

This has been the best performance by a Banbridge Ulster Cup team since 2009 when they reached round four. Brendan and his team should hold their heads up high.