Banbridge are out of the Ulster Cup, beaten in the second round by the narrowest of margins by Rosapenna.
The first leg was played at Banbridge last Saturday evening and team captain, Neil Diamond, was hoping to win at least 5 of the 7 games. That is regarded as the minimum requirement in the Ulster Cup.
Richard Coburn won 4 and 3.
Neville Kerr won 4 and 3.
John Gallagher won 3 and 2.
Joe Glass won 3 and 1.
Gary McCormick fought back from 4 down early on to get a half match.
Cecil Wilson lost 3 and 2.
And the saddest of stories came at the end. Alan Caughey was 4 up after 8 holes but was caught at the final green to lose by one hole.
Banbridge won the home leg by 4.5 to 2.5.
The experts thought that this was not good enough but Neil Diamond was upbeat. The Sandy Hills course at Rosapenna is a very difficult course but Neil was confident that his team would fight to the bitter end. How right he was.
The second leg was played on Sunday last and the result wasn’t known until the very last putt.
Richard Coburn lost 2 and 1.
Neville Kerr lost 3 and 1.
Joe Glass lost somewhere out in the middle of the sand dunes.
It was all Rosapenna at this stage but then the situation changed dramatically.
John Gallagher won 8 and 7.
Alan Caughey won 5 and 4.
There were two games to come in and Banbridge only needed a half in order to win the match holes up.
Gary McCormick fought like a tiger but lost on the final green.
Cecil Wilson was looking good coming up the 18th hole. He had a shortish putt to secure the winning half point. But golf, as we all know, can be very cruel at times. Cecil’s putt looked in all the way but veered a fraction at the last and slipped past the cup. Cecil lost by one hole and Rosapenna won the match by one point (7.5 – 6.5).
It was a terrific match. It’s just a pity there had to be a loser.
Neil Diamond is already looking forward to next year. That’s the spirit!