The Winter League reaches crucial point

Shane Crossan, Dougie Stevenson, Philip Strong and John Convery. Shane and John are key members of Dougie's team 3, who are joint leaders of the winter league after four rounds. Philip's team 2 caused a shock in round four by beating the league leaders.
Shane Crossan, Dougie Stevenson, Philip Strong and John Convery. Shane and John are key members of Dougie's team 3, who are joint leaders of the winter league after four rounds. Philip's team 2 caused a shock in round four by beating the league leaders.

THE winter league, sponsored by Banbridge Hire Company, has reached a crucial point.

Four teams share the lead with only three rounds left to play. John Hanna, Dougie Stevenson, Trevor Mulholland and Trevor Woods will all be encouraging their teams for one great final effort.

John Cowan, the highest scorer in round four of the winter league with 38 points.

John Cowan, the highest scorer in round four of the winter league with 38 points.

John Cowan was the top individual scorer in round 4 with 38 points. Despite that score, John’s team was beaten.

A silly mistake here or there could prove very costly. What do you think of this one?

Two players in round 4 were disqualified for the most bizarre reason. They had their names on their cards, their handicaps, the date and two signatures. What did they leave out? Would you believe it, they left out their scores. Whatever next!

THE LEAGUE TABLE. (four rounds played, three to go.)

Team 1 (Trevor Woods) 9 points (3 wins 1 defeat.).

Team 3 (Dougie Stevenson) 9 points (3 wins, 1 defeat.).

Team 4 (John Hanna) 9 points (3 wins, 1 defeat.).

Team 6 (Trevor Mulholland) 9 points (3 wins, 1 defeat.).

Team 2 (Philip Strong) 3 points (1 win, 3 defeats.).

Team 5 (John McDowell) 3 points (1 win, 3 defeats.).

Team 7 (Merton McDowell) 3 points (1 win, 3 defeats.).

Team 8 (Sam Wilkinson) 3 points (1 win, 3 defeats.).

It is all boiling up to an exciting climax. The four most fancied teams before the off are level with 9 points each. Who will cope with the tension best? There is certain to be some smiles and some tears.

JOHN COWAN TOPS THE INDIVIDUAL SCORES. John Cowan won the high section in round four of the Banbridge Hire Shop Winter League with a marvellous score of 38 points. John now shares the honour of being the top winter league scorer with Paddy Malcolmson.

Seamus McGrath was runner-up in the high section with 36 points.

P.J. Johnston won the low section with 36 points and Cathal McNiff was the runner-up with 35 points.

THE FAMOUS FIVE OF THE WINTER LEAGUE: Who is going to be the star player of the Banbridge Hire Winter League?

We had the Top Ten contenders after round three. It’s now been reduced to the Famous Five.

These five players have all scored 30 points or better in all four rounds completed.

So, take a bow, Gerry Blevins of team 1, Bertie Shaw of team 3, Brian Boyd of

team 5, Kieran McGreevey of team 6 and Sam Wilkinson of team 8.

They have three rounds to play and we wish them good luck.

TEAM 1 VERSUS TEAM 5: Even with 3 players missing and 1 disqualified, team 1 still managed to beat team 5 by 304 points to 287.

Team 1’s captain, Trevor Woods, scored a tidy 29 points but he was pleased to see that 5 of his team scored better.

Cathal McNiff, despite a double bogey at the first hole, scored a brilliant 35 points. Gerry Blevins maintains his hot streak with 34 points. Neville Kerr had 33points, his best score so far. Kyle Buchanan hit form with 33 points and Dermot Dawson made a crucial contribution with 31 points.

Team 5, captained by John McDowell, have the worst record of any team for no returns, 17 so far. This puts them at a big disadvantage.

In round 5, Paul Downey scored 35 points Brian Boyd had 34 points, Ian Young added 32 points, Stephen Orr got to 30 points and so too did Nigel Bryson.

One of the players on team 5 was actually disqualified because he had no scores on his card. Can you believe it?

Team 1 are now joint leaders and, in round 5, they play another of the leading teams, Trevor Mulholland’s team 6. Now that is going to be an epic encounter.

TEAM 2 VERSUS TEAM 6: Team 2, captained by Philip Strong, threw the winter league wide open when they defeated the leaders, team 6, by 308 points to 303.

Philip’s team 2 deserve this win because they have they have the most enthusiastic team. After 4 rounds, they have only had 5 no returns, the best record in the winter league by far.

Team 2 had 7 scores in the 30’s. These came from Alex Clarke 35, Paul Cochrane 33, Philip Strong himself 33, Graham Shannon 31, John Canning 31, William Malcolmson 30 and David Cherry 30.

This result was a bitter blow for Trevor Mulholland and his team 6. They got the match off to a superb start when John Cowan came in with the best score of round four, 38 points. Then Seamus McGrath added a brilliant 36 points, followed by Seamus McGreevey on 35 points and Neil Comiskey on 33 points.

After the 4 top cards were counted, Trevor’s team 6 led by 10 points. But the advantage slipped away when they failed to register another score in the 30’s. That was a major slip up.

And it won’t be easy for them to recover as they face high-flying team 1 in the next round.

TEAM 3 VERSUS TEAM 8: Team 3, captained by Dougie Stevenson, were my tip to win this year’s winter league. They are now in a strong position to do just that. After a fourth round win over team 8, they share the top spot with 9 points overall.

Dougie didn’t have a brilliant round himself but he was well pleased with the rest of his team.

Ian Boyce 32, Josh Lockhart 32, Aidan Lavery 31, Kerry McCluskey 30, Bertie Shaw 30, Shane Crossan 29, John Convery 29, Verdun Bond 28, Kenny Baines 27 and Dennis Watt 26 all added up to a winning total of 294 points.

Sam Wilkinson is the star player for team 8. His 34 points was the best score from the team. Philip McCourt 31, Sean McGreevey 30, Mark Hodgen 30 and Colin Dodds 30 all scored well but their team total of 290 points came up short by a mere 4 points.

Incidentally, Sam Wilkinson is the top points scorer in the winter league so far. After 4 rounds, Sam has amassed a total of 136 points. That’s one more than Gerry Blevins of team 1.

TEAM 4 VERSUS TEAM 7: Team 4, captained by John Hanna, won their third match in a row when they defeated Merton McDowell’s team 7 by 313 points to 305. This was the best team performance of round 4. John’s team 4 are now joint leaders in the winter league and they are feeling very confident.

P.J. Johnston was their top scorer with 36 points, followed by Matthew Mallon 35, Mel Hamill 33, Albert Morrison 31, Colin McKinney 31, Kenny Arlow 30, Mark McCullough 30, Derek Mathers 30, Neil Cherry 29 and Patrick McAleenan 28.

Eight scores in the 30’s is very impressive indeed.

Merton McDowell’s team 7 scored 305 points and that was better than 5 of the other teams. But, as luck would have it, they weren’t drawn against any of those five.

Brendan Berry scored 36 points for team 7. That was a great round.

Albert Porter, Derek Hanna and Mervyn Waddell all score 32 points. Merton McDowell himself added a tidy 30 points. With scores like that, it was disappointing to get beaten.