THE competitive father and son pairing of Francis and Patrick Duffy topped the Winter League qualifiers after last weekend’s final qualifying round.
Sponsored by the North-West club’s competitions’ convenor, John O’Donnell, the sixth round proved to be hugely significant for some pairs squeezing into the matchplay stages thanks to their final returns.
For others, it was a case of what might have been, their final day effort failing to match their expectation and, unfortunately fall at the final fence.
With 24 qualifying spots available for the 40 teams which took part - and the top eight qualifiers securing a bye into the first round of the matchplay - every point gained was significant.
However, the Duffys were always well placed to finish in the top eight and while their final score of 176 points had been matched by the second placed qualifiers, Joe McColgan and David McLaughlin, the Duffys survived the break of tie to take top honours.
The remain six qualifiers to receive a bye in the first round were - 3, Stuart McGinlay & Eamonn Quigley, 172; 4, Phlip Doherty & Gino Del Pinto, 171; 5, Colin Starrett & Jason Spence, 170; 6, Eugene O’Connell & Plunkett Duffy, 170; 7, Stephen MacLochlainn & David Robb, 167 and 8, Eddie John Grant & Andrew McDemott, 166.
FIRST ROUND MATCHPLAY THIS SUNDAY
Meanwhile, the first round draw, which will be played this Sunday, resulted inthe following eight matches - 10.00 a.m., Garret Mallon & David McGeough v. Leo McGowan & Joe Rahim; 10.08, John Spence & Damien Griffin v. Sean McLaughlin & Cathal Begley; 10.16, Michael McLaughlin & Seph McGrory v. Sean Bridge & Mark Davis; 10.24, Raymond Gallagher & Ray Gallagher v. P. J. McCarron & Neil Harkin; 10.32, Colin Barlow & Paul O’Hea v. Gary and Aiden McLaughlin; 10.40, Jackie Boyce & Derek McDowell v. Justin and Ronan MacLochlainn; 10.48, John McCarron & Andrew Kemmy v. Kevin O’Donnell & Jamie Friel and 10.56, Hugh Duffy & Shaun Watson v. Kieran Toner & Karol Friel.
Meanwhile, in last Saturday’s Christmas Fayre competition, Declan Rennick secured his Festive dinner with a splendid score of 37 points in very tough conditions.
In fact, the difficult opening hole at Lisfannon threatened to claim another victim when Declan failed to score and while having assembled a modest 16 points on the way out, his chances looked as bleak as the weather.
But Declan clicked into gear and recorded 17 points over the final six, 10 of them on the last three holes, for an overall winning total of 37 points.
In second place, making a welcome return to playing golf was four handicapper Charlie Doherty whose 74 shots equated to a solid 36 points.
C.S.S. 34 pts.
In the popular Tuesday Open “Meal Deal” of the previous week, the poor conditions did not deter a large turnout for the popular weekly singles stableford.
Indeed, with over 50 cards taken out, which included an influx of 24 visitors, the winning score was returned by a member from Portsalon, Patrick Shields.
Having built a platform with a steady 18 points on the front nine, Patrick added a superb score of 21 points on the way home for a winning total of 39 and a one point cushion on the chasing pack.
He was followed home by Ronan McKinney (16), who took the runners-up spot.
Jimmy in top form at
After an excellent front nine yielded 24 points, Jimmy Hegarty (21) went on to finish the job with a grand total of 43 in Greencastle’s Open Stableford last Saturday.
He played the last four holes of the outward half in one under par and although the fireworks dried up a little during the inward holes, Jimmy enjoyed a two points cushion on the chasing pack.
Declan Carlin (19) was the player with the next best score of 41 points, closely followed by Shaun Gillespie (12) on 40 points.
Tommy McBride showed that he has lost none of his skill when taking the gross prize after a one over par effort.
The ‘nines’ were claimed by Barry Nicholas and Oliver Drummond.
Meanwhile, in the ladies competition, Frances Harkin (19) enjoyed a comfortable win with 39 points, four points clear of her nearest challenger.
And last Sunday’s Singles Stableford was hotly contested with both Neil Guckian (6) and Charlie Glenn (11) returning the top score of 43 points. The break of tie fell in favour of Charlie.
And another good score of 41 points was returned by Gerard Ferguson who took third place.
Bernard (Bee) Kelly won the gross prize with 33 points and the ‘nines’ were claimed by Martin Harvey (back nine with 22 points) and Danny McGonigle (front nine) with 21 points having survived a break of tie.
This weekend’s competitions include a Ladies & Gents Singles tomorrow and a Singles Stableford on Sunday.