Great fightback seals Cup for Celtic

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IN what was a first for the Craigavon District Darts League, there were two trophies up for grabs last week as the top four teams in the league played for the Johnny O’Hanlon Memorial Cup in the Celtic club and the bottom four teams travelled to Drumgor to play for the Barry Kerr Memorial Cup.

The cup matches were a nine man team with each match a best of three games and straight from the start the Celtic club were at a disadvantage missing several key players only having eight men. Captain Gerard Crewe knew they were up against it in the first game against league runners-up Eire Og but even he was surprised at how the result turned out as his team ran out impressive 5-0 winners. Gordy Owens made a successful return to the team with a win over Noel Dunwoodie before Gerard Crewe secured a 2-0 win over Dermy McStay.

Anthony Crewe won the next game against Mark McLernon before Dessie Dunbar’s 2-0 win over Hugh Heaney put them only one match away from the final. Tommy McErlene’s game against Micky Dunwoodie went to the deciding leg, but it was Tommy who won it much to the delight of the hosts for their fifth win in the tie and end the tie early.

Their opponents were league champions Drumgor who got the better of the INF for the third time this season with a 5-3 win, with Eamon Duff, Marty Craig, Joe Duff, Stevie Duff and Clive Hanna all being victorious. Lee Culbert, Vincent Culbert and Terry Morrow won for the INF but to no avail.

The final started off great for Drumgor taking the first three games with Marty Craig beating Micky Cahoon 2-0, Shane Lennon getting a walkover win due to Celtic being a man down and when Pearce Richardson beat Martin haddock 2-0, Celtic must Have feared the worst.

It was Gerard Crewe though who restored the belief in the team when he lead from the front with a great 2-1 win over Eamon Duff. Gordy Owens pulled another one back with a win over Paul Donnelly and when Dessie Dunbar beat Clive Hanna 2-0 the momentum had swung Celtic’s way. Tommy McErlene put the winners in front for the first time with a 2-0 win over Joe Duff and it was left to Adrian Hutchinson to handle the pressure and lead Celtic to that magic number of 5 and become the first winners of the Johnny O’Hanon cup to make Gerard Crewe a very proud man.

The second trophy on offer on the night was the Barry Kerr Memorial Cup and all four teams taking part quietly fancied there chances of a bit of silverware.

As expected there were plenty of very tight matches with the Stables taking on the Premier and there was never more than one game in it.

The first six matches were shared, with the Premier going in front three times only for the Stables to bring it level each time. Keith Beale, Brian McCavigan and Dee McCready were all winners for the Premier with Gareth Bunting, Michael Lamb and Dee McConville all replying for the Stables.

Shane Tallon put the Stables in front for the first time with victory over Mo Campbell but Dee Blaney brought it to the deciding match with a win over Sam Toman. It was the Stables though who were to progress with a last match win for Chris Lewsley to put them into the final.

Their opponents were to be the Trojans who overcame a gallant Clann Eireann team 5-3 to reach their first ever final. Gareth Bunting got the Stables up and running with an impressive 2-0 win over Tony Rutherford Sr with legs of 16 and 17 darts before Rab Lewis levelled the score with a 2-0 win over Dee McConville. Shea Rutherford beat Sam Toman 2-1 but a 2-0 win for Neil McConville made the tie 2-2. Davy Vaughan’s win over Peter Morris put the Trojans 3-2 up but that was to be their last win of the night with Stables taking the next three games and the trophy.

Chris Lewsley beat Davy Vaughan sr 2-1 before Michael Lamb beat Andy Fairbarn. It was Shane Tallon though who hit double one to claim the last team trophy available this season and put a finish to what has been a very successful season for the Taghnevan men to add a second trophy to the Four A-Side Bunting Shield they picked up earlier in the season.