George two clear of field in Victory Cup

The Lurgan Ulster Four team which lost to Edenmore over two legs by one shot.
The Lurgan Ulster Four team which lost to Edenmore over two legs by one shot.

The Victory Cup was first competed for in 1919 after it was presented to the club by Mr J Johnston on the conclusion of the First World War.

During almost a century of competition some very notable winners have lifted the trophy and last Saturday George Forker added his name to the illustrious list.

Having found his way into the prizes at the end of March, George has been threatening a really good score ever since and his 41pts, off 15, delivered the anticipated win on Saturday. 12 pars, bogeys at the 3rd, 5th, 11th and 16th and NR’s at the 6th and 15th brought him home by two clear points.

A trio of players scored 39pts to battle it out for the runners-up spot with Chris Quinn taking the prize off a 14 handicap. Chris was 7 over par after 7 holes, but coming as he does from a noted family of long distance runners, he was well aware that such races are rarely won with a sprint start. He settled into a very impressive run and eventually lifted his prize thanks mainly to birdies at the 10th and 14th.

Third place went to the enthusiastic Martin Rea. He had talked in great detail about a birdie he had at the 1st the previous week despite finding himself in deep trouble off the tee. However, little was said on the four 6s, two 7s and one 8 which were on the same card and behind which must have been interesting stories too.

On Saturday he managed just 1 par in his first 6 holes, but 9 pars over the last 12 holes landed him in the prizes.

Last season saw John O’Neill’s handicap gradually rise as his twin brother Mark’s dramatically fell, threatening to reverse a long standing balance of power between the two. Worried by the thought of a repeat, John has burst out of the starting blocks this season and has bettered the standard scratch three times in his last five outings.

Helped by birdies at the 2nd, 10th and 17th, he took 4th place and will be particularly pleased that his handicap is at last going in the desired downward direction.

The McCann family could nearly put out a Senior Cup Team of their own, such is the quality of their up and coming stars.

This week it was Caolan who took the honours when he lifted the gross with 34 gross pts which included birdies at holes 5, 6, 14 and 18.

Colin Thompson will be slightly disappointed at being 3 over after 3 holes as he covered the rest of the course in level par. His 38pts gave him the low section due to a strong back 9 which included birdies at the 12th, 16th and 18th.

Raymond McCrory just missed out on the prizes on the back 9. It was a similar story for him last week when a 7 at the 6th denied him reward. A 4-5-6 start this week left him facing an uphill battle, but when he eventually eradicates these costly slips he will surely be in contention for majors.

The middle section went to Andrew Best with 38pts off 17. He had no fewer than three double bogeys in the first 6sixholes, but six nett birdies over the last 10 holes were just what the doctor ordered to revive his flagging fortunes.

Also on 38pts, but missing out on the back 9, were William Grogan and Dan McCool. This very experienced and capable duo will not have to wait long before they find their way into the prizes.

The high section served up a reminder of where it all began when Patriarch of the McCann Clan, Jim Snr, took the top prize with 38pts off 19. It’s not just his grandchildren who have seen the benefit of the tireless work he has put in over the years for the juvenile section, but many other local youths as well, and it is good that he can occasionally demonstrate he is quite an accomplished golfer himself.