Mark shines like a ‘diamond’ to lift spoils at Lurgan

The original Diamond Jubilee Trophy at Lurgan was the only one of the club’s trophies to be destroyed during one of the many attacks on it during The Troubles.

At that time it was the custom to let the winners keep their trophy at home for the year but on one occasion when the club was fire bombed the Diamond Jubilee was the only trophy in the club and was destroyed. From the £175 salvage money received the new trophy was purchased.

Conditions were dreadful last Saturday for those who competed and they all deserve a prize for having done so. In the end Mark O’Neill came out on top of the 70 entrants with a very commendable 38pts. Consistency was the hallmark of his round and a birdie at the 16th set the seal on a well deserved victory.

Francis Tallon took second place with 36pts having the best last 6 of 8 players on a similar score. Third place went to the very consistent Joe Dowey Jnr with 36pts. He was 6 over after 9 and seemingly out of things, but a homeward 34 proved yet again what a strong competitor he is.

Peter Devlin found himself in the prizes for the second time in a week when he took fourth place and will point to back to back birdies at the 12th and 13th as the turning point of his round. Billy Hughes, Richard Dawson, Damian Murphy, Oliver Morton and Andrew Campbell were the unlucky 36 pointers who missed out,

Martin McAvoy took the gross with 32 to once again confirm his position as one of the club’s strongest competitors.

Lurgan overcome what seemed an impossible task to take their first Mid Ulster Seniors title on their home course. Leading by one point going into the penultimate round at Warrenpoint two weeks ago it seemed as if Greenore had done enough then to take a 12 point lead to Lurgan. But given home advantage and the tricky conditions the home lads rose valiantly to the challenge and in the end ran out winners by just two points.

Credit to joint team captains Ian Montgomery and Ed Richardson. Their enthusiasm and encouragement and team selection kept the whole panel alert throughout the 10 round event. Already both captains are planning a successful defence next year.

Results: Richard Budd and Des Gregg 40 pts; Peter Gordon and Ian Montgomery 40 pts; Adrian Thornbury and Eamon McCausland 40 pts; Dan Dempsey and Paddy Meehan 38 pts.