GOLF: Bann rocked by Des Gregg exit

Brian Mulholland, who helped Peter Hillen to a half point, along with team captain Sydney Pepper.
Brian Mulholland, who helped Peter Hillen to a half point, along with team captain Sydney Pepper.

This story comes with a warning - don’t read if you don’t like sad endings.

Banbridge are out of the Des Gregg Memorial Cup, beaten by the narrowest of margins by near neighbours Portadown.

This was the quarter-final and Banbridge had won the home leg by three and a half games to a half. And they were nine holes up.

The second leg was played at Portadown last Thursday.

The Banbridge team captain Sydney Pepper warned his team against complacency. But, in his heart of hearts, he must have been confident of victory.

Brian Mulholland and Peter Hillen, in the top match, got a half match against Raymond McKeag and Tony Benson.

This was a fantastic result when you consider that they were two down with three to play. Brian and Peter weren’t happy as they thought they should have won the last hole. That would have been match over, but it was not to be.

Sydney Pepper and Kenny Arlow lost by three holes against Will Barker and Geoff Allister. Sydney said that his own game was not so sharp but that Kenny played really well. Banbridge were still six holes up.

The whole picture changed after the next game.

Seamus McGrath and Fergie Cosgrove lost by five holes against Stanley Jelly and Lex Girvan. Portadown were now only one hole down.

And they had a match-winner in the fourth and final game. Colm McKeever is a magician with his numerous wood shots and he holed all the critical putts.

Colm partnered Dave Allen, himself no mean player, to a two and one win against Norman Doak and Tom Fee.

This game was level after 14 holes but then Colm won the 15th with a par and the 16th with a birdie. Colm and Dave held on to win their game and clinch the overall victory for Portadown by two holes.

The Banbridge team were shell-shocked. This was not what they expected. But they had to congratulate the Portadown team who pulled off a tremendous win. Let’s hope they can go on and win the cup.