Following the excitement of the quarter-final victory, Banbridge played the Rossmore Cup semi-final against their closest rivals, Tandragee GC.
To say Mel Hyland’s Banbridge team received a wake up call in the first leg is putting it mildly. Outplayed in all aspects of the game Banbridge found themselves 4 – 0 down after the away leg and a considerable number of holes adrift into the bargain, 15 to be exact. As one observer put it “Banbridge got themselves on the end of a juggernaut and Tandragee were driving it!” There was nothing Banbridge could do to stop the rout.
On the eve of the return leg Banbridge star player John McDowell scored 42 pts, had his handicap reduced to 10 and was off the team. What would Spook do now for a partner? No need to panic the experienced PJ Johnston stepped in seamlessly and provided the perfect foil for Spook’s flashes of brilliance.
Banbridge really did give everything in the second leg. With a tremendous up and down at the 18thfrom Joe Glass, Kenny Arlow and Joe won their match by 1 hole. In the next game Colin Kennedy played an even better pitch on the 18thand holed his put for John Crothers and Colin to also win their match by 1 hole. When John Doran and Eamon McAnerney won by 5/4 the match score was now 4 – 3 to Tandragee with one match remaining on the course.
Unfortunately, even though Spook Wilson and PJ Johnston were all square after 14 holes, having been down earlier in the match even a victory would not have gleaned enough holes to overcome Tandragee’s 15 hole advantage from the first leg.
Well done to Mel and his team on reaching the semi-final of the Rossmore Cup in 2015 and good luck to Tandragee GC in the final.
A field of 30 competitors played last week in the Thursday open.
Rory McNiff (19) had 40 pts and took third place, beaten on countback by the in form Robert Barnes (16) also with 40 pts.
Neil Clydesdale (5) had the best gross score on the day with 33 gross pts and the winner was Jonathan Ward (5) with 41 pts.