County Armagh Golf Club will enjoy a thrilling climax to the competition season when their top golfers contest the final of the prestigious Senior Cowdy Cup competition.
The team, captained by John White, take on Lurgan Golf Club in the showpiece contest to be played out at each of their respective courses over the next two weeks.
The County Armagh team travel to Lurgan this Sunday (Sept 25) in the first leg, with the second leg scheduled for Sunday 9 October on the city course when the coveted trophy will be presented.
“I expect it to be a tough battle, but am cautiously optimistic of a good result,” declared the County Armagh team captain.
“Lurgan have a young team some of whom won the Ulster section of the Junior Cup and were narrowly beaten in the All-Ireland finals at Castlerock. But I have an excellent mix of talented youth and experienced players in my own team who I am confident can win this competition,” he added.
Having defeated contenders Slieve Russell GC, Downpatrick GC and, in the semi-final, competition favourites, Tandragee GC, County Armagh have certainly earned their place in the final.
A 37-27 points victory over Tandragee was undoubtedly the highlight of their cup run and especially considering it was tied 16 points each at the half-way stage.
“We lost the top matches on a windy night at Tandragee,” explained captain John. “But our young players thankfully came through at the back of the field to level the score in that first leg.
“Early in the second leg it also looked very bleak for us when we had secured only 3.5 points out of eight after nine holes. But crucial matches went our way in the end. Conor McGurgan finished with a birdie at the 17th hole to win 2 &1 against Tandragee’s No.1 Paul Topley. Neil Cromwell, although two down with four to play, took his match win on the 18th hole. And Jarlath McReynolds, John Maguire, Stewart Stevenson and Philip Russell all recorded good wins for us to secure the home leg 21-11.”
Looking to the final, John, who played in the County Armagh Senior Cowdy Cup winning teams of 1977, 1980 and 1988, modestly insists he is cautiously optimistic.
“If we can get off to a good start, although it’s away from home, it’ll be down to the performance on our own course and it would be very nice to win it in front of our home crowd,” he declared.
Whatever the outcome, supporters for both the away leg this Sunday and especially the home leg on Sunday 9 October, can expect to enjoy an exciting finale to the golfing season.