Shocks galore in the Haughton Smyth as match play season begins

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The first round of the Haughton Smyth Cup has almost been completed and already there have been a number of major shocks.

Paul Wylie beat Joe Glass two and one.

Kerry McCluskey beat James Wilson two and one.

Adam McGregor beat Andrew Quinn at the 20th hole.

Paul McAleavey beat Jonathan Shannon three and one.

Connor Mullholland beat Dominic Quinn seven and six.

John Bell beat Kieran Magennis one up.

Mark McCoy beat Eugene Weir three and one.

Matthew Mallon and Colin Wilton have still to play.

The defeats of Joe Glass, Andrew Quinn, Kieran Magennis and Eugene Weir have to go down as shocks. There could be many more of those to come as the competition progresses.

THE MATCHPLAY CHAMPIONSHIP AND PRESIDENT’S PRIZE ALL SET

The draw has been made for both the Matchplay Championship and the President’s Prize.

As always, there are plenty of interesting matches and it would be a fool who would try and predict the eventual winners. So, here goes.

In the matchplay, the last 16, I predict, will be Malcolm Russell, Garreth Moody, Gavin Greer, Glen Buchanan, Cathal O’Neill, Malcolm Hanna, John McDowell, Declan Dooher, Verdon Bond, Garreth Matthews, Robin Bond, Neil Clydesdale, Kieran Magennis, Kevin McKay, Neville Kerr and William Malcolmson.

If I get 10 of those correct, I will be happy.

Now for the President’s Prize Fourball Championship.

These, in my opinion, are the top 16 pairings in the draw: Barry Casey and Carson Clegg, Colin Smylie and John Russell, Jim Mallon and Ken Stevenson, Wallace Henry and Joe Whiteside, Verdon Bond and Seamus McGrath, Mel Hylands and John Crothers, Hugo Downey and Luke Crory, Joe Glass and Joe Thompson, Harry and Jonathan Shannon, Tom Mulholland and Terry Malcolmson, Martin McAleenan and Colin Wilton, Eugene Weir and Conor Campbell, Dominic and Andrew Quinn, Cecil Wilson and Cathal McNiff, Kevin McKay and Brian Grimes, Shane Rooney and Tom Gillespie.

There are some seriously strong partnerships among that lot.

Let battle commence.