The last week of the Winter League was completed on Saturday at Lurgan and although they may have left it late to make their mark, a number of players came to the fore to lift their first prizes of the of the winter.
Barrai McConville may be looking at his recent scores and wondering how he ever got 34 points, off 10, to take first prize.
He can attribute his success to a trio of birdies at 11, 12 and 15, which are successive holes on the shortened 14 hole course, and that little spell of magic may well have signalled that the corner has been turned.
The very consistent Maurice Turnbull took the runners-up prize to add to the one he won just three days previously in the Wednesday Sweep. He also had 34 points but could not match Barry’s blistering back 7 holes.
Three birdies and three bogeys resulted in a level par round and the gross prize for the youthful veteran Shane Magee with 28 gross points. Shane’s winter successes have been confined to the afternoon quizzes so he will be pleased to at last taste success on the course.
The low section went to the fluid swinging William McMillan with 31 points off 7. A double bogey at 6 may have disappointed him but he opened and closed the back 7 with birdies to gain his well deserved reward.
Timmy Cummins came 2nd in the section with 29 points off 2, a birdie at 10 being his only score in red figures. Paul Bleakes took the middle section with 33 points off 10. He had 9 pars and 5 bogeys in an error free round which will have left him looking forward to the season.
The runners-up spot went to last year’s winter star Stephen Hewitt who also had 33 points, off 12. Ian Harrison, 11, and Eddie Girvan, 12, had 33 points but missed out over the last 7 holes.
Ian will recall an NR at 17 with some regret, while Eddie can add his close call to a string of close calls throughout the winter.
The high section went to Robin Whyte with 33 points off 14, his first success of the League, while John McCallion continued on his merry prize winning ways by taking 2nd place with 33 points off 16. Just out of the prizes were Martin King with 33 points off 15 and winter specialist Bill Leslie with 32 points off 14.
Well done Paul Mulgrew on winning this year’s Winter League. Paul played consistently well and with everyone’s best four cards from five counting he won it by a massive nine points from second placed Roy Hanna Jnr. Paul finished with 135 points and Roy had 126 points.