The final Saturday of April heralded the first qualifying event on County Armagh Golf Club's 2019 fixture list. And the swirling and stiff gusts ensured that playing conditions on the 27th are likely to be among the toughest experienced on the Cathedral City course all season.

Scoring by the 130 April Medal contenders, then, was understandably conservative. However, a happy anomaly came in the form of Chris Lester, who returned a magnificent nett 63 to claim the maiden monthly accolade of this campaign.

County Armagh Golf Club Captain, Kenny Edgar, is pictured with April Medal category 1 and 2 winners, Joe Rooney and Bernard Grimley.

Chris has produced many eye-catching displays since joining CAGC a couple of years ago, but this gross 77 no doubt represents a career highlight.

The Killylea man reached the turn in a mere 37 blows, and five pars and a birdie were to follow immediately thereafter.

That meant the incredibly commanding status of just three-over-par with three holes to play and, although a few shots were haemorrhaged over that notoriously punishing closing stretch, a comfortable Medal triumph and a new handicap of 12 were Lester's.

Meanwhile, trailing the victor by a full four shots but with a marvellous showing of his own was Tom Fox, whose nett 67 secured the runner-up gong.

A seven-over-par front nine was unremarkable, but Tom turned on the afterburners on a wind-mocking homeward nine comprising two birdies, two bogeys and five pars.

In category 1, Joe Rooney and Jerome Leer both registered admirable nett 69s and were sorted into first and second spots respectively on a break of tie. Rooney's one-over-par final tally is perhaps worthy of particular praise, while only a concluding double bogey prevented Jerome from climbing even further up the Saturday leaderboard.

The same nett total landed the category 2 honours for Bernard Grimley, who was most productive during a superb front nine that he negotiated in 37 hits. Bernard's namesake Damian Grimley was more consistent across the piece, and his symmetrical outing of 44 strokes on each nine meant a solid nett 70 and second prize in this bracket.

Finally, Jarlath Hagan and Ciaran McCreesh led the way in category 3, with the former pipping the latter on account of his superior back nine. Jarlath's satisfying nett 70 included five pars, while McCreesh sauntered to an early birdie on Lady Anne's Walk.