The Winter League, sponsored by Banbridge Hire Company, is up and running.
The first round has been completed and two of the fancied teams are in first and second.
There are a further six rounds to go and there will be a lot of ups and downs before the finish.
Captained by Paul McAleavey, skipper of the Banbridge Senior Cup team who are Ulster Champions, Team Three are top.
Their eight best cards totalled 248 points, three ahead of Team Seven. That gave them top place and seven points.
Team Three, captained by Paul McAleavey, are strongly fancied to do well in this Winter League and they have certainly got off to a strong start.
Lyle Rea was their top scorer with 35 points, followed by Brian Parkes 33, Paul McAleavey 32, P.J. Johnston 31, Felix Duffy 31, Merton McDowell 30, Gary Hazley 28 and Stephen Teggart 28.
To have six scores in the 30s is very impressive. This team was tipped to finish second but they want top spot.
Team Seven, captained by Sean McGreevey, were the pre-tournament favourites for the Winter League and they have got off to a tremendous start.
Their eight best cards added up to 245 points, good enough for second place and six points.
Their captain, Sean McGreevey was top scorer with 35 points. There was a bonus prize for Sean as his score was the best in the middle section.
The other counting scores were Philip Mallon 33, Seamus McGrath 33, Mel Hamill 31, Alan McVey 30, Verdun Bond 28, Kieran McGreevey 28 and Sydney Pepper 27.
Team Six, captained by Gerry Blevins, had a strong opening round in the Winter League. Their eight counting cards totalled 238 points. That was the third best total and Gerry’s team got five points.
Ashton Clydesdale scored a marvellous 36 points over the 14 holes. This was the best score of the opening round and he, of course, won top prize in the high section.
Roland Harwood 32, Albert Morrison 30, Malcolm Russell 29, Joe Glass 29, Mel Hylands 28, Cathal McNiff 27 and Gerry Blevins himself 27 all contributed to the team total.
Noel McSherry is captain of Team Five and he would dearly love to win the Winter League at the conclusion of his year as club captain. After a steady opening round, Noel’s team are well placed.
They totalled 234 points, were placed fourth and got four points.
Robert Canning was their top player of the week with 32 points. The other counting scores came from Graham Shannon 30, Colin Kennedy 30, Trevor Mulholland 29, Gary McCormick 29, Paddy Malcolmson 29, Jonathan McKinstrey 28 and 27 from either Noel McSherry, Nigel Dowds or Colin McKinney.
Philip Strong captained the winners in last year’s winter league. He is the captain of Team Two and they haven’t got off to the best of starts.
Their eight best cards totalled 228 points, only good enough for fifth place and three points.
John Poots was the team’s top scorer in round one with 31 points. After John came Danny O’Boyle 30, Neil Clydesdale 29, Philip Strong 29, Aidan Doran 29, Cathal McAnarney 28, Neil Teggart 26 and Kenny Baines 26.
Two great scores from Joe Thompson and Peter Hillen were not enough to give Team One a good start.
Joe had 34 points and Peter had 33 and they both won individual prizes.
Dougie Stevenson captains Team One and they have a lot of ground to make up after totalling 225 points and that puts them in sixth place, worth two points.
After Joe and Peter, the counting scores came from Paul McCullough 29, Dennis Lockhart 28, Tony Lunney 26, Alan McGowan 26, Eamon McAnarney 25 and Dougie Stevenson 24.
The shock result was the demise of Team Four, captained by Bill McCandless. This star-studded team were expected to challenge. They still could but need a big improvement.
They lie in last place after scoring 221 points from 8 cards. That gives them one solitary point.
Captain Bill had their best score, 31. Then came Victor McNeill 30, John Redpath 29, John Parkes 29, Darren Barker 28, Tom Fee 26, Sean Quinn 26 and John Canning 22.