THE North-Western Alliance returned to competitive action on Saturday last at Portsalon following their mid-winter break and they enjoyed a superb day at Portsalon.
The chilly, yet sunny and calm day, added to a course in excellent condition, set the scene for low scoring and saw the competitors enjoy what proved to be a splendid day.
Enda Kennedy, showing no ill effects from his attendance as a member of the All-Ireland winning Rosapenna Mmixed Foursomes team at the Champions Dinner in Carton House, was the first to show with a two under front nine of 35.
On the way out Enda dropped two strokes but recorded two birdies and an eagle to compensate
In pursuit were the usual suspects in the guise of Michael McGeady and Brian McElhinney both just one stroke behind.
But the fireworks were truly set alight on the back nine by McGeady who carded four birdies and one dropped shot to card a 32 (three under par) on his homeward run to finish with a 68 or four under for the day.
Enda had back-to-back birdies on the 11th and 12th. He dropped a shot on 15, got it back on 16 but then carded an ugly double bogey on the par five 17th which saw him relegated him to the runner-up spot.
Brian McElhinney birdied the 14th and was level par for the other holes when he replicated Edna’s score by also having a double bogey at the 17th. He finished third, one shot behind the Rosapenna player.
Meanwhile, in the Nett Section, Strabane’s Kieran Martin returned a superb score of 39 points - three under the Standard Scratch Score - but he just managed to win on a break of tie from Justin MacLochlainn (North-West) who had carded 21 points on the front nine (one under gross) and he also finished on level par for 39 points. Justin was not able to maintain the momentum of his front nine and Kieran, who had 20 points on the back nine, took the winning voucher on the break of a tie.
Ballyliffin’s Niall McLaughlin, who finished third, had a front nine to forget, a mere 15 points! However, a birdie at the 10th and he was off and running and he accumulated 23 points on his back nine which was level par for the last 10 holes - not bad for an 11 handicapper.
In the race for “Golfer of the Year,” Odhran McGettigan consolidated his leading place in the Nett Section. He is now on 27 points and is followed by Connor McGettigan on 20 and Maurice McGettigan on 19 - what chance of a McGettigan winning this section with just two counting outings to go?
In the gross table, Brian McElhinney remains clear on 52 points and Michael McGeady and Enda Kennedy are locked in second place on 46.
The next outing will take place at Rosapenna on Saturday, February 16th.
Full results from Portsalon - Saturday, February 2nd - Nett Section - 1, break of tie, Kieran Martin (12), Strabane, 39 points; 2, Justin MacLochlainn (4), North-West, 39; 3, break of tie, Niall McLaughlin (11), Ballyliffin, 38; 4, Eddie McHugh (13), Strabane, 38; 5, Connor McGettigan (14), Portsalon, 38; 6, Maurice McGettigan (16), Strabane, 37.
Gross Section - 1, Michael McGeady (+3), McCambridge-Duffy, 68; 2, Enda Kennedy (scr), Rosapenna, 71; 3, Brian McElhinney (+3), Foyle Golf Academy, 72; 4, Keelan Quigg (scr), City of Derry, 75; 5, break of tie, John P. Dolan (scr), Ballybofey & Stranorlar, 78; 6, Sean Quigg (1), City of Derry, 78.
The following players recorded “2’s” - N. McLaughlin, C. McGettigan, M. McGeady, E. Kennedy, C. Patton, S. McKeegan, M. McCauley, N. Craig, G. Irwin, M. McDermott, P. O’Doherty, M. Collum, J. Harley, E. McGlinchey ,K. Martin, S. McHugh and S. Quigg (x2).
Hot Stuff From Curry
George Curry (9) spreadeagled the field in Saturday’s competition at City of Derry, the event reduced to 12 holes.
Just two over par after four holes, George was two under par after eight holes thanks to a glittering run of four consecutive birdies. He recorded four pars to finish his round setting a very difficult target of 35 points for the remainder of the field.
Needless to state, no-one even came close but runner-up, James McGeady (16) returned 32 points, a score which would probably have won on another day.
New elected Council member, Dermot Hegarty (15) filled third spot with 31 points.
Meanwhile, results from last weekend’s Prehen Sunday Society outing were - played over 12 holes - 1, Eamon McCourt (8) 32 points; 2, break of tie, Kevin Green (14) 31; 3, Peter Deans (19) 32; 4, Dermot Hegarty (16) 29; 5, Jim O’Hagan (15) 29; 6, Martin Duddy (11) 29.
Despite the horrendous weather conditions at Lisfannon, last week’s Thursday Society Singles Stableford was staged with the competition limited to 11 holes.
Full results were - 1, John McGinley, 21 points; 2, Brian McCarroll, 19.
This week’s competition is another Singles Stableford event.