Shock defeat in the Sam Rutherford Cup for locals

THE Banbridge Sam Rutherford Cup team, captained by P.J. Johnston, looked all set for glory this season.

They defeated Spa in round one and County Armagh in round two. That put them into the quarterfinal against Mourne.

The first leg was played last Friday over the world famous Royal County Down links.

The Banbridge team played really well and kept the deficit down to only eight holes. Under the greensomes format, this was a very creditable result.

Shane McCrory and Chris McAvoy lost by three holes

Mark McCoy and Scott Nelson lost by two holes.

Conor Mulholland and Michael Young lost by three holes.

Ronnie Halliday and John McDowell finished all square.

The second leg was played last Sunday over the equally famous Huntly Road links.

P.J. was forced into making a few team changes but he was still extremely confident of turning the score around.

Ian and Michael Young went out first against Paul O’Kane and Michael McLaughlin and they won two up. The deficit was now six holes.

Conor Mulholland and Neil Comiskey overpowered Kenny McGaw and Pat Jennings, winning by seven holes up. Banbridge were now one hole up overall.

Banbridge had two very strong pairings in games three and four and everyone was predicting a home win. But golf is a strange game and results don’t always go the way you would think.

Shane McCrory and Conor Campbell met Brendan Brown and Raymond Murphy and they lost by three holes. Shane said that the Mourne men chipped and putted like demons. Banbridge were now two holes down.

The final game would decide it all. John McDowell and Ronnie Halliday, the stars of the first leg, were up against Oliver Brogan and Ciaran McKibben.

Once again, the decisive shots were played on and around the greens. In this area, the Mourne men were exceptionally good and they ran out winners by three holes up.

So, in the final analysis, Banbridge lost by five holes. It was disappointing as the chance of victory was there but it wasn’t taken.

Mourne now go forward to play Tandragee in the semi-final and we wish them good luck.