Rugby men take to the fairways

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LURGAN Rugby Club held the 2012 McDowell Cup tournament at the Gortnamoney golf course near Moira last Saturday.

In the first group out Richard Shilladay set the pace with 10 points for his first nine. However Josh McKay soon passed that mark with 11 points and despite a ‘nearest the pin’ tee shot on the seventh, he needed two putts to make par. Also on 11 points were former winner John McConnell and Gary Taylor who went out of bounds on the first which may have cost him a vital point.

The McIlwaine three ball were next up which included three time winner Neil McIlwaine and his two sons Ben and Mark. However with Neil sitting on 10 points going into the final hole it took a birdie from eldest son Ben to beat his dad. As well as earning the bragging rights in the household Ben’s 12 point score was also good enough to win the 2011 McDowell cup, the event cancelled last year.

After some refreshments in the clubhouse the players returned to the course for the second round. This time scoring was higher as players got used to the speed of the well kept greens. Once again Josh McKay and Ben McIlwaine were shooting well but only managed 11 points. They were soon joined by Stephen Nolan, who was partnered by young Morgan Geddis for his second trip around the course.

Neil Ross from Lurgan College then posted a marvellous 14 points with a birdie and 4 pars on his second nine. Although not a club member Neil scooped the visitor’s prize for the highest score of the day.

The final two groups included Andrew Best and his sons Zach and Seby and two club stalwarts Jim Allen and Wilson Briggs. Andrew and Zach recorded 10 an 9 points respectively with Zach also requiring putts on the seventh despite being nearest the pin on the second nine. Briggs also had a respectable nine points to match the youngster, but the highest scoring member and winner of the 2012 McDowell cup was Jim Allen with 13 points.