Saturday presented the last opportunity to pick up one of the season’s trophies and Cahal McEvoy, who has been knocking on the door all summer, reaped the Harvest Tankard in some style with 44pts off 22.
Frustration has been the name of the game for him as he has watched his dreams of potentially winning scores dissipate over the closing holes on a number of occasions, but there were no such late slips as he came out on top by three clear points.
Cahal has just taken the game up seriously this year and is a graduate of the Sean McEvoy (big brother) and Martin Rea school of golf, so this might go a little way to explaining why success has been rather slow in coming.
Alan Woods has watched his handicap rise relentlessly since mid-May so he will be more than a little pleased that his 41pts, off 15, both gave him the runners-up prize and brought about a dramatic reduction in handicap.
A birdie at the 10th was just the start to the back 9 he wanted although a run of six consecutive closing bogeys was not the finish he might have wished for.
After having developed a strong habit of not winning prizes over the past few months, Michael Purdy appears to have reversed the trend and will be hoping to develop a strong habit of winning prizes before the New Year. He certainly seems to have begun that process as he lifted his second prize in just two weeks by taking third with 40pts off 13. Birdies at 2, 3 and 12 were the highlights of his round, but an NR at the 11th showed that old habits die hard.
The second half of the season has been kind to vice captain Ian Cousins and he took fourth with 39pts off 10.
A birdie at the difficult 6th was his first at that hole in almost two years, but it was his strong back 9 of just 38 shots which claimed the prize over Ian Harrison who was on a on a similar total.
Ian had the consolation of taking the low section off 12. Rarely far from contention, his birdies at 2 and 10 put him into a very strong position, but 11 bogeys were to prove too big a weight to carry.
Malachi McConville and Nigel McKerr came close with 38pts, Nigel in fact being similarly denied for the second week in a row.
Four players returned 38pts to fight it out for the middle section with Neil Dillon, off 16, coming out on top on the back 9. Neil is on a really hot streak at the moment and he will be disappointed with his failure to score at both the 9th and 13th holes.
Aodhan Scullion, John Wells and Nevan Lavery were the unlucky trio to miss out with Nevan being particularly disappointed at three closing double bogeys which provided a very negative finish to an otherwise positive round.
The high section went to David O’Neill with 38pts off 23. David began the season getting into the shake-up and has maintained that kind of form throughout. But for double bogeys at the 3rd and 15th he would have had even more reason to celebrate. John Menary and Paul O’Shea had 36pts to just miss out on reward.
The gross prize recently seems to be the property of Peter Cummins and he picked up his fourth in a row with a level par round for 36pts. He has in fact won 6 gross prizes in his last 7 competitions and his handicap now stands at 1.9 after starting the season at 4.1. He has played the 4th hole in 23 under par for the season which must be something of a record on its own.
Bridge results are as follows: 1, G Turkington and E O’Neill; 2, T Rae and H Brangam; 3, S O’Neill and M Patterson.