After the Winter League role of honour had been largely dominated by the club’s more senior members, it was the turn of youth to steal the limelight on Saturday when the top two prizes in the Noel McMurray Memorial Trophy went to a couple of the up and coming stars.
Peter Kennedy claimed first prize with 45 points off 16 and put down a marker he is very much one for the future. 12 pars and 5 bogeys reflected the consistency of his round, his only mini-disaster coming with a double bogey 7 at the relatively easy 4th.
Robert Lindsay took second place with 42 points off 14. Although he had birdies at the 4th, 9th and 12th holes, he will probably recall more readily his disastrous triple bogeys at the 7th and 15th.
Third place went to one other than John Hartnett who must be one of the club’s most regular prizewinners. He never looked like finding trouble at any time during his round which yielded a single birdie, at the 8th, and his 41 points were run up with consummate ease.
The gross prize went to Steven Kelly with 35 gross. Bogeys at the 2nd, 6th and 12th, and birdies at the 14th and 17th meant a round of 71, good enough to edge out David Sutton and Gary Clarke by a single point.
The low section went to Mark Headley with 40 points off 9. He had one birdie, which came at the 5th, and 6 bogeys in a very steady round of golf which will no doubt have filled him with much hope for the season ahead. He could not have afforded any more slip-ups as the very talented quintet of Michael McMahon, Marcel Shanks, Jimmy Toland, Andrew Carville and Nathan McCann were breathing down his neck with 39 points.
The middle section was equally competitive with four players tussling for the top prize with 39 points, George Forker eventually being declared the winner. An otherwise very competent round was spoiled by two consecutive holes, a double bogey at the 6th immediately followed by a no return. The unlucky ones to miss out were Ian Montgomery, John McComb and Seamus McKeown. Although John will reflect on three double bogeys and a triple bogey, his disappointment will be somewhat tempered by a pair of 2s on the way home.
Just one point behind came Wilson Collins.
The last few months have seen Kieran McCorry play some of his best golf and he continued to impress by lifting the high section with 40points off 20. He scored at every hole and will be pleased with his nett eagle at the very difficult 6th hole. Hugh O’Reilly scored 38 points to show that his spectacular form is still on track to deliver prizes, and Norris Thompson’s similar score suggests he too will continue to figure in the shake-ups.