Banbridge Golf Club have got their hands on the blue Senior Cup pennant for only the second time in the club’s history.
The pennant is awarded to the winners of the Ulster section but team captain Paul McAleavey already has his eyes fixed on the big prize.
After their stunning 4-1 Ulster final victory over Donegal club Rosapenna, the skipper isn’t allowing much time for celebration. He’s targetting the club’s first Senior Cup green pennant and the main trophy that is presented to the winners of the All Ireland tournament.
“It’s been fantastic so far but the job’s only half done,” he said.
Bann are through to the finals against the champions of Leinster, Munster and Connacht, those taking place at Carton House from 17-20 September.
It took all of the Bann side’s experience to win on Sunday’s finals day at a windswept Royal Portrush. They eased past Dunmurry 5-0 in the morning’s semi-finals before their afternoon victory.
“The boys played absolutely fabulous golf in horrendous conditions,” said captain McAleavey.
“They clocked the wind-speeds at 35 miles per hour with 50 mph gusts. To make it worse, there was rain coming horizontally.
“There are parts of that course that are really exposed and around Calamity Corner, it was getting really hard to stand up.
“It’s certainly the worst conditions that I have ever encountered on a golf course.”
The team of Jim Carvill, Connor Doran, Stefan Greenberg, Colin Wilton and Rory Leonard coped with the conditions to dominate their morning matches while only Greenberg lost narrowly in the final.
“In the semi-final, the Dunmurry guys couldn’t really cope with the conditions but we thought Rosapenna would have been well used to that sort of weather in the afternoon,” said McAleavey.
“It was nip and tuck the whole way in the final but from about the 14th or 15th, all the matches turned our way.
“From a captain’s perspective, the afternoon was a bit harder to watch. In the morning, the boys all got up in their games early on and won from there.
“We had a great support, we probably had more than any of the other teams.”
There’s no rest for the team, including reserves Jonny Ward and Rory Madeley, who are also through to the semi-final of the B&D. They host Shandon Park in the first leg (tomorrow) Wednesday and play the return on Friday.