Rory sinks winning putt as Banbridge beat Lurgan in B and D quarter-final

Banbridge's Rory Leonard. Pic by Presseye
Banbridge's Rory Leonard. Pic by Presseye

The second leg of the Belfast and District Cup quarter final between Banbridge and Lurgan was played last Tuesday evening.

The Banbridge team, captained by Connor Doran, had won the first leg at home by three games to two.

The second leg at Lurgan was always going to be close. It was predicted that it could be decided by tie holes and that’s exactly what happened.

Colin Wilton was out first against David Sutton and he lost 3 and 2.

Scott Nelson played Gareth Moore and he too lost, by 4 and 3.

Rory Madeley played Paul McCabrey and he also lost, this time by 3 and 2.

Stefan Greenberg played number four against Michael McSherry and Stefan lost by 4 and 3.

Lurgan had won the first four games and the match was tied at 4-all.

Connor Doran had taken a calculated risk by playing his top three at the tail end. But he didn’t expect his first four players to finish pointless.

The pressure was now on Jim Carvill, Connor himself and Rory Leonard. They could not afford another slip up.

Jim Carville beat Martin McAvoy 3 and 2 and picked up Banbridge’s first point.

Connor Doran beat Eamon Lynch 3 and 2 to set up a nail biting finale to the match.

Rory Leonard had to beat Gary Clarke to tie the match. Rory is the most experienced player on either team and he duly won 4 and 3.

So, after all that, the match was tied, 7 points each.

Rory Leonard and Gary Clarke had to play a tiebreaker. We have seen fantastic tiebreakers all week at Wimbledon and this one at Lurgan was just as exciting.

Hole number one was halved with two par fours.

At the second tie hole, both Rory and Gary hit top class iron shots onto the green of the par three hole. Gary putted first and his ball tantalisingly lipped the hole but did not drop. Rory was next and, from eight feet, he calmly rolled in his putt for a winning birdie.

The large contingent of Lurgan supporters couldn’t believe that their team had lost. There had to be a winner and, on the night, Banbridge just shaded it.

Banbridge will now meet old rivals, Shandon Park, in the semi-final. Banbridge lost to Shandon in last year’s semi-final. They will be hoping for a different result this year.

We wish them well.

Sunday Sweep: On Sunday 5 July the sweep was won by the ever consistent Alex Clarke(13) with a nett 31.5. Runner-up was N Robb(22) with a nett 33.

Monday Sweep: Monday 6 July saw John McKinstry(23) win with a very impressive score of 34 points over the 14 holes played.

Juvenile Competition: School is over and we can expect to see some quality golf from the Juvenile members of the club in the next couple of months.

The first competition was kindly sponsored by nnnn and the winning scores were:

White tees – 1st Neil Cherry (18) with a score of 40 points;

2nd Scott Nelson (5) also with 40 points.

Yellow tees – 1st B Stevenson (37) with 30 points;

2nd C Weir(34) with 28 points.