Locals are into last 16

THE Banbridge Ulster Fourball team, captained by Merton McDowell, moved triumphantly into the final 16 of the competition after an emphatic win over Cushendall.

The first leg was played at home last Saturday and Merton’s team, to a man, played brilliantly.

Gerry Blevins and Will Dickson set the tone in the opening game when they won

7 and 5.

Billy Clarke and Robert Haire battled bravely but lost by one hole.

Darren Barker and Philip Strong were in top form, winning by 3 and 2.

Robert Clydesdale and James Bryson gelled perfectly and won by 4 and 2.

Sean McGreevey and John Poots finished the leg off in style with a 3 and 2 win.

So, at the end of the first leg, Banbridge led 4 – 1.

That was an impressive result but Merton knew that the away leg could be a different story.

But his men had done their homework. Everyone had played a practice round over the beautiful but testing Cushendall course. They were ready for the challenge.

The second leg was played at Cushendall last Sunday. Banbridge needed one and a half points for outright victory.

Sean McGreevey and John Poots went out first and the experienced pairing won

2 and 1.

Dominic Quinn came in to partner his old friend, James Bryson. They are a formidable partnership and they won 3 and 2.

Will Dickson and Gerry Blevins continued where they left off in the first leg and they eased to a 6 and 5 win.

That was the match over. The other two games were called in.

Darren Barker and Robert Clydesdale were 2 up after 14 holes. Billy Clarke and Robert Haire were 5 up after 12 holes.

The win could hardly have been more emphatic.

Banbridge will now play either Mannan Castle or Enniskillen in the last sixteen.

There are exciting days ahead, that’s for sure.