The 2014 Winter League, sponsored by Banbridge Hire Company, is over and my predictions proved correct.
Sean McGreevey’s Team Seven were the winners and Dougie Stevenson’s Team One picked up the Wooden Spoon.
Team Seven certainly deserved to win. They were the most consistent team, with 38 scores in the 30s.
They also were the most dedicated, with only two no returns over the six weeks of the competition.
They kept their nerve in the final round, shooting the best team total, 265 points, and that included eight scores in the 30s.
How they fared
It was a dismal inter league fLor Dougie Stevenson’s team.
They managed to get onto the bottom rung of the league ladder in round two and stayed there.
Their 246 team total in round six was their best effort. Joe Thompson and Peter Hillen both had 33 points. Paul Faulkner and Dennis Lockhart both had 32 points. Kerry McCluskey had 31 points. Eamon McAnarney and Alan McGowan both had 29 points. Tony Lunney had 27 points.
That was an excellent team performance. It’s just a shame that it came in the last round, not before.
Philip Strong’s Team Two needed a big team score in round six in order to secure a podium place. It didn’t happen. They scored 242 points and dropped down one place to fourth.
Danny O’Boyle hit the best score of round six, an electrifying 37 points.
Cathal McAnarney had 33, Neil Clydesdale 32 and Brian Mulholland 30.
The Winter League was a big disappointment for Paul McAleavey’s Team Three.
They led after round one and then worked their way down to sixth at the finish.
They had the lowest team total in each of the last three rounds.
Matthew Elliott was their top scorer in round six with 32 pts. Paul McAleavey had 31. Gary Hazley, Merton McDowell and Felix Duffy each had 30.
To their credit, everyone played in the final round. They hadn’t managed that before.
Sean Quinn’s team four underachieved in this year’s league.
They got off to a bad start and never really recovered. They had an outside chance of a podium finish and a share of the prize fund but they needed a big final score which was just beyond them. They managed 246 points but needed 257.
Robert Clydesdale was their best player in round six with 34 points. Tom Fee had 33. John Redpath 31. Aidan Lavery, Sean Quinn and Patrick McAleenan each had 30. It was good but not good enough.
Noel McSherry’s team five held onto second place after a solid final round.
They had a team total of 256 points thanks to Johnny McKinstrey 35, Graham Shannon 34, Paddy Malcolmson 33, Tom Mulholland 33, Ian Craven 32, Colin Kennedy 31and Nigel Dowds 30. That is pretty impressive scoring.
Noel McSherry has had a wonderful year as club captain. It would have been nice if he could have rounded it off with victory in the Winter League.
It wasn’t to be but I’m sure he’s well pleased with second.
Gerry Blevins has a sensational record in the Winter League. He was on the winning team in 2011, 2012 and 2013. And this year he captained Team Six into third place and a share of the prizes.
Team Six scored 261 points in round six and that was the second best team total, good enough for six points.
They had eight counting scores in the 30s, a feat only achieved by one other team, the champions, team seven.
Malcolm Russell, Joe Glass, Ashton Clydesdale, Norman Robb and Gerry Blevins himself all had 33 points.
Kenny Arlow, Colin McDonald and Albert Morrison each had 32 points.
With those scores, Gerry’s team deserve a prize.
What a finish it was for Team Seven!
Sean McGreevey’s team not only shot the best team score of the final round, 265 points, but they lifted the first place prizes in the three handicap sections.
Philip Mallon won the low section with 36, John Crothers won the middle section with 35 and Sean McGreevey won the high section, also with 35 points.
Add on Kieran McGreevey 33, Seamus McGrath 33, Mel Hamill 33, Alan Close 30 and Verdun Bond 30 and you have a championship winning team.
Sean’s team did it in style and they are worthy champions.
There will be big celebrations this coming Saturday night when all the presentations will be made.
Team 7 (Sean McGreevey) 33
Team 5 (Noel McSherry) 29.5
Team 6 (Gerry Blevins) 26.5
Team 2 (Philip Strong) 25.5
Team 4 (Sean Quinn) 24
Team 3 (Paul McAleavey) 15.5
Team 1 (Dougie Stevenson) 14