Junior Cup team are the Ulster champions
BANBRIDGE Golf Club has something major to celebrate.
On Sunday, at Shandon Park Golf Club in glorious sunshine, Hugo Downey’s Junior Cup team won the Ulster final.
The two teams contesting the final were Banbridge and Portstewart and a large contingent of supporters from both clubs converged on Shandon Park. The atmosphere was electric as the match got underway approaching 2pm.
There are five games and, of course, the first team to win three are the victors.
Neil Madeley was sent out at number one against Chris Barber, reputedly Portstewart’s best player. Neil played steady golf throughout but he still went down by 3 and 2.
Luke Woods was next out against Neil Vallely. Luke got off to a flier and never let up. Luke won 4 and 3. This young man is a seriously good player.
Rory Madeley, the supreme match player, was paired against Paul Cooley. He too started well and he was three up at the turn. Rory doesn’t lose from this position and he won 4 and 3. The whole family circle was there and they must have been proud of both Rory and Neil.
Banbridge now led two games to one. They needed one more game for an outright victory.
Jonathan Burns, who started off with three birdies against Keith Walls, was one down after 13 holes and in some danger of losing.
So all the attention switched to Jonathan Shannon’s game against Dan Henry. Jonathan was in majestic form, hitting one superb shot after another. The Portstewart man tried his best but he could not stay in contention. Jonathan won 6 and 4 and it was all over.
Hugo Downey had done it again. He led Banbridge to All-Ireland success in 2007 and he is determined to do so again in 2010.
As Ulster champions, Banbridge will go to Castlebar Golf Club in County Mayo for the All-Ireland Finals. They will play one of the other provincial champions on Wednesday September 15 and, hopefully, the final on the following day.
Could we have a repeat of what happened at Enniscrone three years ago? Why not!
The Junior Cup team have done us proud and they are not finished yet. It’s going to be an exciting finale to the season.