There was a keen battle for the Victory Cup at Lurgan on Saturday.
Two players returned 42 points after a keen tussle at the top with veteran Hugh McCloskey just edging young Eamon Lynch on the back 9.
Hugh has been winning trophies for a very long time and after his birdie at 2 on Saturday he found himself on a winning trail from which his experience would not let him be shaken.
This was the second time in four days that Eamon found himself in the prizes having taken the gross on Wednesday.
Although he took the runner up prize, his round of 68, helped by birdies at 4, 10, 15 and 17, was the only sub par round of the day and at the moment it would appear the sky’s the limit for him.
Third place went to Darryl McErlean with 40 points off 26. The middle part of his round was most impressive, especially his birdie at 10, but beginning and ending with NRs will have left him frustrated. His 40 points were scored over just 16 holes, so we are likely to be reading more of him in the near future.
The experienced Patrick McCorry came fourth with 40 points off 21, an NR at 8 and birdie at 12 representing the high and low of an otherwise steady round.
No less than five players returned 34 gross points apiece to contend for the day’s gross prize.
In the end it was Michael McSherry who took the award on the back 9 from Gary Clarke, Martin McAvoy, Damian Murphy and Philip Shaw in that order, although there is little doubt that quartet will not remain empty handed for long.
Willie McMillan, with 40 points off 10 and birdies at 6 and 15, took Division 1 from the continuously impressive Rodger McIlwaine on 39 points off 12.
Teeing off not long after dawn, Chris Quinn returned 40 points off 13 to take Division 3, and was left a very long day to reflect on his costly double bogeys at 6 and 16.
Sean Scullion had 38 points, off 14, to narrowly miss out, an NR at the short 8th dealing a fatal blow to his chances.
Paul McShea’s handicap continued on its downward slide when his 38 points, off 19, gave him Division 3 by the clear margin of three points.
The ladies played their Peggy Nelson qualifying event which required an adjustment to their usual weekly sections.
With a fantastic score of 42 points Joy Stevenson came out the clear winner by no less than three shots.
Joy is just back from a weekend in Dunfanaghy and obviously whatever coaching she received from friends, Katrina Bradford and Julie Jordan, did the trick to boost her golf.
Joy had a very tidy first ten holes and while the wheels started to wobble a bit from the 11th in she did well to steady the ship enough to hold on to a great score and to reduce her handicap to 29.
The gross went to a lady regularly featuring in the gross prizes Christine Hagan with 24 gross points. Christine had 8 pars and 8 bogeys and her card was just spoiled by two doubles at the 3rd and 14th but all the signs are positive that Christine has a good season ahead of her.
Susan McMorrow continued her good run of play to take section one with 35 points. Susan has been playing a major role in teams and her handicap is sure to tumble.
Unfortunately the last hole seems to be her downfall but it is only a matter of time before she masters it and completes some very promising scores.
Section two went to the intermediate team captain, Dee Farrell, with 35 points and we wish Dee and her team every success in their return match against Helen’s Bay on Thursday.
Section three was won by Pippy Clarke, with what would normally be a score good enough to win overall, 39 points. Pippy took a shot off her handicap and with two dings on her card all indications are that there will be a lot more good scores in the not too distance future.
The 9 hole competition was a very tightly contested affair with Pamela Morrow just beating good friend Liz Denver on the count back.
Pamela is one of the new members at Lurgan and is clearly demonstrating that she is getting to grips with the game and this week she wasn’t going to let Liz get the better of her and a run of pars at 6, 7, and 8 made sure her 18 points was good enough to win on the last few holes.