THE North-Western Alliance celebrated the official end of winter at Dunfanaghy on Saturday and the Alliance Captain, Michael McGeady,produced an explosive performance when claiming the highly competitive gross category.
The weather proved to be relatively benign with little wind and infrequent light showers.
The Dunfanaghy links, not surprisingly, has suffered like everywhere else due to the inclement weather which resulted in very little run on the ball.
However this softness meant that the ball could be thrown at the flag into greens that were receptive.
Scoring in the Gross Section was exceptional by any standards.
Alliance Captain, Michael McGeady, moved off in explosive fashion carding back-to-back birdies at the opening two holes and played the last three holes on the front nine in three under par - five birdies in the first nine with no dropped strokes to go out in 28 to the par of 33.
And right behind him was City of Derry’s Keelan Quigg who had returned five birdies but took a very ugly “6” at the par four 6th hole leaving him three behind the Lisfannon man.
And local professional, Seamus McMonagle, was toiling in their wake playing par golf to lie in third place on 33 after nine.
He was to record only one birdie on the way home but with no dropped strokes he returned an extremely good gross 67, one under par.
On his back nine, Keelan had three birdies and no dropped strokes which Michel matched as he finished with a score of 60 blows - a magnificent round of golf
Meanwhile, in the Nett Section, Alan Cheung, who had produced a winning score at Ballyliffin in October when he had finished just one point ahead of the field, this time enjoyed a two points cushion.
The Faughan Valley member compiled good ‘nines’ of 21 points for a winning 42 points, his only real blemish arriving at the 10th when he ran up a double bogey!
However, the surprise was that he beat a one handicapper into second place as, no doubt, Keelan Quigg saw his name on the nett side of the prize winners for quite some time.
There is just one more outing which will count in the “Golfer of the Season” and in the battle for the Gross winner, Michael McGeady is considered a hot favourite with 62 points, 10 points clear of second placed Brian McElhinney so with 10 points for a win, the title is Michael’s to lose.
However, the Nett Section it is not so clear-cut as there are five members still in with a chance of winning.
Odran McGettigan leads with 26 points, Eddie McHugh is on 25 and Maurice McGettigan lies third with 22. Alan Cheung and Clive Davison are the outsiders on 20 and 17 respectively.
The next Alliance outing takes place to Rosapenna this Saturday, March 8th, which will decide the golfer of the year placings.
North Western Alliance - Dunfanaghy, Saturday, March 1st - Nett Section - 1, Alan Cheung (18), Faughan Valley, 42 points; 2, Keelan Quigg (+1), City of Derry, 40; 3, break of tie, Maurice McGettigan (16), Strabane, 39; 4, Delwyn Montgomery (9), North-West, 39; 5, break of tie, Glenn Hinds (10), Faughan Valley, 38; 6, Eugene Corry (10), Newtownstewart, 38.
Gross Section - 1, Michael McGeady (+3), North West, 60; 2, Seamus McMonagle (scr.), Dunfanaghy, 67; 4, John G. McBride (scr.), Portsalon, 68; 4, Daniel Gallagher (2), Dunfanaghy, 69; 5, Brian McElhinney (+3), Foyle Golf Academy, 70; 6, break of tie, James Lindsay (1), North-West, 71.
“Twos” were carded by M. Houston, S. Quigg, G. Duffy, J. Harley, J. Coyle and M. Doherty.
The Alliance Captain’s Prize will be staged at North-West Golf Club, Lisfannon, on Saturday, March 22nd.
BUNCRANA MINI LEAGUE
The second round in the knockout stages of Buncrana’s Mini League took place last weekend and the best match of the weekend involved James Doherty & Billy McDaid against Mickey McCann & Jack Duffy.
The match was played in some very difficult weather conditions on Sunday morning and there was nothing between the pairings after the first nine. Indeed, it was the 14th hole before Mickey & Jack took a one hole lead and at the 16th hole this pair moved 2 up with 2 to play and they closed the match out with a half at the 17th.
The semi-finals of the qualifiers and the quarterfinals of the non-qualifiers sections will take place this weekend. The matches will be played over Saturday and Sunday and the full draw has been posted on the clubhouse noticeboard.
There will also be a confined stableford this weekend and members are also reminded that the annual subscriptions are now due and anyone who has not made their intention clear in regards to membership will not be able to participate in any competitions.
The results of the confined sweep played last weekend were - 1, Patrick Grant (13) 41 points; 2, Liam Henderson (24) 3.
The 2014 competition calendar will commence on St. Patrick’s weekend with the James Bradley Filling Station Fahan Open Stroke.
The next committee meeting will take place this Thursday, March 6th at 7:00 p.m. sharp and all committee members are expected to attend.
New members are now welcome to join the club and anyone interested should contact the clubhouse on 0749362279.
The “Find the Joker” Jackpot now stands at E535.
Lines cost E2 each and the Committee would appreciate it if members would buy a line or even help out with the sale of a card.