Ryan through to grand final as he wins local Mary Peters heat

The competition last Saturday at Banbridge Golf Club was in aid of the Mary Peters Sports Trust charity. Over 200 players took part.

It was wonderful to see the golfers head out in short sleeved shirts with smiles on their faces. Gone, for the time being, were the wet suits, umbrellas and woolly hats. Can this good weather last? We certainly hope so. And the ball were actually bouncing on the fairways, something we haven’t seen for quite a long time.

The calculated standard scratch score was nett 68 or 37 points. This was equalled by 10 players and broken by 21.

The group on 37 points was headed by Paddy McCambridge (23) and he was joined by Philip Strong (21), Richard Coburn (18), Malcolm Hanna (12), John McCartan (27), Gareth Magee (8), Ruairi Gillen (10), Rory Madeley (4), Seamus McGrath (16) and Declan Barry (8).

Josh Lockhart (5), Cathal O’Neill (11), Derek Hanna (12), Andrew Briggs (11), Joe Whiteside (16), Dennis Watt (15), Gareth Matthews (12), Victor McNeill (19) and Philip Mallon (9) all finished with 38 points.

From this group, Derek Hanna won the prize for the best senior player. Good for him!

Hugh Dunne (13) is back to top form and he scored 39 points. So too did Paul McCullough (12), John Bell (5) and Jonathan Shannon (5).

A score of 40 points or better is something to be proud of.

Neville Kerr (10), Brian Grimes (15), Kerry McCluskey (9) and Trevor Savage (25) finished just outside the prizes with 40 points each.

Joshua Crory (8), a great prospect from all reports, was fourth with 41 points.

Carson Clegg (18) was third, also with 41 points. Carson had a great chance to win but double bogeys at 16 and 17 spoiled his happiness.

Brendan Meade (16), still on cloud nine after his win in the mixed foursomes the previous night, had a brilliant start to his round. With birdies at the first two holes, he must have fancied his chances of setting a new course record. He bogeyed the last two holes for 42 points and second place.

The round of the day came from Ryan Simpson (9), a key member of the Sam Rutherford Cup team.

Ryan started with a birdie at the first and the he eagled the second. This was a dream start. Ryan continued to play great golf and had birdies at 9, 11 and 12. His gross 72, only 3 over par, gave him 44 points and outright victory.

Ryan will represent the club in the Grand Final of the Mary Peters Trust competition later in the season. No better man for the job!

Finally, we must mention the winner of the best gross prize. Connor Doran, playing off a plus 2 handicap, went round in 68 gross. This is the best gross score returned so far this season. That’s something to boast about.

Banbridge win in the B&D

Belfast and District Cup matches between Banbridge and Donaghadee are always very close affairs and this season’s encounter was no exception.

Team captain. Paul Magee, was happy enough with a 5-2 lead after the first leg at home. He took his team to Donaghadee last Thursday in a confident mood.

The Donaghadee team may be young but they are very talented players.

Luke Woods lost 2 and 1 against John McBurney.

Rory Madeley lost 3 and 2 against Andy Clegg.

Colin Wilton lost 5 and 4 against Mark Rea.

There you have it! Three games played and all lost. The match was now tied at five points each.

Paul had allowed for this and he had placed his strongest players at the tail end. It was an inspired move, no doubt about it.

Connor Doran beat Alan Neill 6 and 4.

Rory Leonard beat Mark Weatherall 3 and 2.

That was brilliant but then came a shock. Jim Carvill, 2 up with three to play, knocked a ball out of bounds at 16 and then bogeyed 17 and 18. He lost all three holes and his game by one hole down.

The score was now 7-6 in favour of Banbridge with one game remaining.

Donaghadee saw their chance of taking the match to tie holes. Their seventh man, Neill Boyd, was 2 up with 5 to play against Jonathan Ward.

Jonathan really concentrated over those closing holes and he managed to win 17 and 18 to get a half match. Jonathan deserved all the applause.

Banbridge won the match by one point (7.5 – 6.5).

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