THE Banbridge Ulster Fourball team, captained by Merton McDowell, played the first leg of their quarter-final match against Mannan Castle last Sunday.
Banbridge had the advantage of playing the first leg over their home course but they knew that they had to win by a big margin because the away leg would be very difficult.
All the five games were tight and the advantage swung one way and then the other.
It was nerve-wrecking to watch but it all turned out very well in the end.
Gerry Blevins and Will Dickson were three up with four to play but proceeded to lose three holes in a row. Gerry got a brilliant par at the last, putting over the mound, and secured the win for himself and Will by one up.
Dominic Quinn and James Bryson didn’t get it easy either. They had to pull out all the stops to win 2 and 1. Dominic holed out from the bunker at the 12th hole. That was the shot of the day.
Robert Clydesdale and Robert Haire got a half match and they were well pleased, as they could so easily have lost.
Billy Clarke and John Poots turned all square but then played some lovely golf to win 4 and 3.
Darren Barker and Philip Strong had to battle very hard to keep ahead in the fifth and final game. They managed to do so and won 2 and 1.
The Banbridge supporters and especially Merton were delighted because, at one stage, this score did not seem possible.
Banbridge will travel to Mannan Castle next Sunday with a 4.5 to 0.5 lead. They need to win one game out of the five in order to progress. Surely they can do it. Fingers crossed!