Captain plays key role to reach final of Winter League matchplay contest

David McGrath, Peter Cairns (Lisburn captain), Rodney Osborne and Martin Lilley.
David McGrath, Peter Cairns (Lisburn captain), Rodney Osborne and Martin Lilley.

Lisburn captain, Peter Cairns, played a key role in the semi-final of the Winter League match-play competition last Saturday

Playing with David Megrath they reached the final with victory at the first tie hole.

The match was played over the back nine holes but due to the heavy overnight frost the temporary greens were in operation for the first time in a Saturday competition.

Judgement of distance proved a problem with the greens in ‘unusual’ positions. Putting on the temporary greens was very difficult. The ball seemed to have a mind of its own and care had to be taken with even the shortest putt. Luckily the weather remained dry for most of the day.

Peter and David were one ahead after two holes in their match against Martin Lilley and Rodney Osborne. Martin and Rodney won the next three and were still two ahead after 15.

The captain reduced the arrears by winning 16. The 17th was halved in four and the captain won the 18th with a par three. It was back to the 10th where he received a stroke and he left his third shot near the flag for victory.

The other semi-final was a more clear-cut affair. Colin Todd and John McMillan were never behind in their match against Stephen Stewart and Gavin Hawkins. They won the opening two holes but Stephen’s birdies at 12 and 13 levelled the match. Colin and John combined well to win the next three holes to win.

Michael McCaughan (10) had the best score in the Stableford competition. He was the only competitor to score birdie twos at both short holes. A ‘four pointer’ following a birdie four at 14 helped to give him a winning total of 24 points.

Bill Murphy (19) was second with 23 points. Four competitors finished with 22 points: Philip Sanaghan (12), Brian Sparkes (18), Mervyn Mawhinney (14) and Billy Hawthorne (23). Philip recovered from a ‘ding’ at 13 with birdies at 15 and 16 to claim third place on count-back.

Sunday Winter League: 1st Barry McQuillan 29pts, 2nd Wesley Haslett 26pts. 3rd Mark Jamieson 25 pts. Closest to flag at 4th Kenny Haslem. Closest to flag at 6th Alan Gilmore

Overall winners: 1st Brian Houston and Tommy Beattie 107 pts. 3rd Brian Rainey and Billy Gregge 106 pts.