BANBRIDGE are out of the Ulster Fourball, beaten very narrowly last Sunday by Rossmore Golf Club.
You will recall that the scores were tied after the first leg at Banbridge, two and a half points each. That wasn’t a good score, as far as Banbridge was concerned.
But Merton McDowell, the Banbridge captain, knew that anything is possible in the Ulster Fourball and he wasn’t without hope.
He sent out a very strong pairing in the first game, Kenny Jones and Sean McGreevey. They did the business, as they say, and won by two holes up.
Equally strong in the second game were Dermot Magee and Aidan Lavery. They maintained their unbeaten record with a 2 and 1 win.
There were three games to go and Banbridge needed a half point for outright victory.
All three games went right down to the wire and the excitement was palpable.
Dominic Quinn and James Bryson came to the testing final hole at Rossmore all square but, sad to relate, they lost the hole and the match by one hole down.
Robert Clydesdale and Carson Clegg suffered a similar fate. They too were level with one hole to play. Surely one of them could halve the eighteenth. It was not to be. Banbridge lost that game, also by one hole down.
It all came down to the tenth and final game of the match. It featured the team captain, Merton McDowell, in partnership with the vastly experienced Gerry Blevins.
Rossmore had expected something like this to happen and they put out one of their best pairings at the tail end.
With one hole to play, Merton and Gerry still had a chance. They were one down after seventeen but a win at eighteen would be enough. There was no happy ending for Merton and his team. Rossmore had won the last three games and the match by five and a half to four and a half.
It was a terrific match between two evenly matched teams. All we can say is “Well done, Rossmore, and good luck in the next round.”
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