It’s all to play for in the Winter League at Banbridge Golf Club, with Sean McGreevey’s team 7 holding a narrow lead of one and a half points, with just one round to play.
As the winter league, sponsored by Bann Hire Company, comes to a finish, Team 7 deserve to be on top as they are the league’s most consistent performers, with 30 scores in the 30’s over the 5 rounds.
They have also the lowest number of “no returns”, only two. That is impressive.
Round five round-up:
Team one were tipped to finish last in the winter league and they look odds-on to do just that.
They scored 235 points in round 5, the second lowest team total.
Paul Faulkner had a very creditable 34 points. Peter Hillen had 33 and Dennis Lockhart had 32. That was the sum total of their scores in the 30’s.
It is just not good enough at this level.
Team two are now in third place on their own after an excellent performance in round 5.
Their team total was 252, second best and good enough for 6 points.
Cathal McAnarney led the way with the best individual score of the round, 36 points.
Neil Teggart and John Poots both had 33 points. Philip Strong had 32 points and Danny O’Boyle had 31.
A big score in the final round could lift Philip’s team into second place. As it stands, they are only one point behind Noel McSherry’s team 5.
The demise of team three is difficult to apprehend. They were the league leaders after the opening round but, since then, they have finished in last place on no less than three occasions. That has dropped them down to sixth place overall.
They finished last in round 5 with a team score of 232 points.
It wasn’t Paul McAleavey’s fault.
He was their top scorer with 33 points, good enough to win the low section.
Alex Clarke and Merton McDowell both had 32 points. John Hanna had 30 points.
The standard fell dramatically after that.
Team Four (Sean Quinn).
Team four have at last lived up to their potential. They were the top scorers in round five with 254 points.
Bill McCandless, Tom Fee, Darren Barker and Aidan Lavery all scored 34 points.
Robert Clydesdale had 32 while Sean Quinn and John Canning both had 29 points.
Their eighth counting score was a 28 pointer from Patrick McAleenan.
How this team must regret their dismal opening round, when they finished in last place. They are now in joint fourth place, still hopeful of a podium finish.
Team five made a valiant attempt in round five to regain the top spot in the winter league.
Their team total, thanks to 7 scores in the 30’s, was 247 points. But, lo and behold, the league leaders, team 7, scored 2 points more, 249. It could not have been much closer.
Jonathan McKinstrey, Nigel Dowds and Paddy Malcolmson all scored 32 points.
Robert Canning and Tom Mulholland both had 31 points.
Graham Shannon and Gary McCormick finished on 30 points.
Colin McKinney had 29.
What they needed was one big score in the 30’s but it didn’t happen. It could cost them the title.
Team Six (Gerry Blevins).
Team six scored 242 points in round five, which was only good enough for 3 team points. Gerry Blevins was distraught as he watched his team drop one place into joint fourth.
Cathal McNiff had a brilliant round, 35 points, and the best score in the middle section.
Ever-consistent Malcolm Russell had 32 points and Norman Robb had 31.
Kenny Arlow and Gerry Blevins both had 30 points.
Third place is still a possibility for team 6 but it is going to take a supreme effort in the final round.
Team seven, captained by Sean McGreevey, maintained their lead in the League when they scored 249 points from their 8 best cards. That was good enough for 5 team points.
They had 6 scores in the 30’s which was excellent.
Seamus McGrath led the way with 34 points, closely followed by Mel Hamill 33, Sydney Pepper 32, Mark McCullough 32, Kieran McGreevey 31 and Alan Close 30.
Verdon Bond counted with 29 points as did Sean McGreevey himself with 28.
One more good round and my tip for the title will emerge victorious. That will surprise some people.
How they stand
There are three team prizes and there five teams in contention.
The current position is as follows:
Team 7 (Sean McGreevey) 26 points.
Team 5 (Noel McSherry) 24.5 points.
Team 2 (Philip Strong) 23.5 points.
Team 6 (Gerry Blevins) 20.5 points.
Team 4 (Sean Quinn) 20.5 points.
Team 3 (Paul McAleavey) 14.5 points.
Team 1 (Dougie Stevenson) 10.5 points.