Noel tops after keen battle at Lurgan

Meal deal open stableford competition at Foyle today.
Meal deal open stableford competition at Foyle today.

The second week of the Winter League at Lurgan Golf Club was completed on Saturday and it saw many long time winter specialists battling it out with each other.

Noel Stewart is no stranger to a winter podium and he climbed to the top step with 35 points off 12

A birdie at 2 and six bogeys elsewhere meant he was round in 5 over par for victory and surely just the opening salvo in another successful winter campaign.

Just one month ago George Kidd appeared to have the Claret Jug in his hands only for an inexplicable collapse over the last six holes to deny him. This wily old campaigner was never going to repeat that and his level par back 9, helped by birdies at 10 and 18, meant 34 points, off 11, and the runners-up spot.

George was involved in a number of close finishes at the end of the season and this great score would suggest he peaked just a few weeks too late.

The low section was won by the extremely consistent Laurence McGrady, 4, whose birdies at 1,5,9 and 18 helped him go round in 2 under par for 34 points. John Hartnett, 8, was the best of three players on 33 points and took second place in the section. Late birdies at 16 and 17 almost propelled him to the top but a double bogey at the last shattered his dream. Francis Tallon, 2, and Joe Dowey Jnr, 4, were the two players on 33 points to miss out.

The McCrory family continued their remarkably successful run when Raymond took the middle section with 34 points off 9. He was doing nicely but not expecting a prize until three birdies in the last four holes gave the sort of finish of which all golfers dream.

Fresh from his victory in the Seniors’ Open during the week, Tony Gallery was battling it out at the top again and his 33 points, off 9, were good enough for the runners-up spot. Also on 33 points but missing out on the back 9 were Neale McKinstry, 9, Michael McMahon, 9, Gerard Henderson, 9, and Nevan Lavery, 11.

The high section went to Michael Fleville, 17, with 34 points, a birdie at 8 greatly helping his round. Terry McCrory and Billy Leslie also had 34 points with Terry’s back 9 giving him the edge for second place.

Seven players returned sup-par scores with David Sutton’s 4 under giving him 32 gross points and the day’s gross prize.