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  • Writer's pictureLurgan GC

Belfast and District Cup Final

Lurgan v Cairndhu

First Leg at Cairndhu, Sunday 8 September, 3pm

Second Leg at Lurgan, Saturday 21 September, 3pm

Although the season is drawing to a close, things are certainly not winding down at the club as some big events reach their climax. One of the highlights will be the final of the Belfast and District Cup in which Lurgan face Cairndhu.

The B&D Cup is one of the major trophies of Ulster Golf and is currently competed for by 32 clubs which stretch north from Belfast to Cairndhu and Ballymena, west to Lurgan and Tandragee, and south to Banbridge and Ardglass. It was first played for in 1903 and Lurgan can boast of four victories (1986, ’87, ’92 and ’96), while Cairndhu have claimed it three times (2005, ’07 and ’16).

Although Lurgan made little impact upon the competition until the mid-1980s, the seeds of the success they subsequently enjoyed could be traced back to 1975 when a group of very young and talented players achieved prominence by reaching the Ulster final of the Fred Daly Trophy. Although they were narrowly beaten by Malone on the last green of the last match, the team of Tom Douglas, Roy Hanna Jnr, Peter Hanna, Ian McMurray, Michael Horan, Joe Dowey Jnr and Shane Magee were to fulfil their teenage promise and form the nucleus of successful senior teams about a decade later.

1984 Team Captain Billy Turkington successfully steered Lurgan to the final of the B&D, its first appearance in a major, senior GUI decider. This was probably the only occasion Lurgan included a father and son in the team for a final when Graham and Tom Douglas were on the side which teed off on a grey day in Carrickfergus. In the gathering gloom of the evening, Lurgan’s last man out, Paddy Meehan, watched his opponent hole from 9ft to lift the trophy for Carrickfergus.

1985 Once more Billy Turkington led the team to the final but again they were to finish gallant runners-up, this time to Shandon Park.

1986 Stung by two successive narrow defeats in finals, Billy needed the minimum of motivational skills as he led the team to its third final in a row, and when Gordon Best holed his putt on the 17th green at Shandon Park to claim victory for Lurgan, the celebrations were long and loud as the team and supporters enjoyed the club’s first major GUI senior success. The successful team included Roy Hanna Jnr, Stephen Guiseley, Tom Douglas, Ian McMurray, Michael Horan, Gordon Best and Paul Magee.

1987 Lurgan were to continue their remarkable run when the team reached the final for the fourth successive time and faced Shandon Park for the third time in a row, once more under the captaincy of Billy Turkington. They were to repeat their success of the previous year and establish Lurgan as a leading team in senior Ulster golf. The team was; Ian McMurray, Roy Hanna, Tom Douglas, Stephen Guiseley, Michael Horan, Timmy Cummins, Gordon Best and Paul Magee.

1992 By now Billy Hobbs had assumed the team captaincy and he led the team to its third B&D success when they defeated Tandragee in a tense and thrilling final. The team was; Timmy Cummins, Roy Hanna Jnr, Tom Douglas, Stephen Guiseley, Martin Drain, Shane Magee, Paul Magee and Michael Horan.

1995 Ivan Hanak was team captain and led Lurgan to its fourth B&D title when they beat Holywood in the final. The team included Timmy Cummins, Michael Horan, Paul McCabrey, Tom Douglas, Martin Drain, Stephen Guiseley, Paul Magee, John Lappin, Roy Hanna Jnr, Shane Magee.

This year Lurgan have defeated Dunmurry, Donaghadee, Ballymena and Banbridge on their way to the final and Team Captain, Tom Douglas, must have had some sleepless nights deciding who to play from a panel with a great wealth of talent. The panel reflects an enviable balance of youth and experience which Tom has used to great effect throughout the campaign.

The panel includes Eamon Lynch, David Sutton, Gareth Moore, Jim McKee, Colin Thompson, Andrew Cummins, James Horan, Peter Cummins, Nathan McCann, Caolan McCann, Michael McSherry, Ronan McCrory and Gary Clarke.

Having been a member of the team in each of its 6 finals, it would be fitting if Team Captain Tom Douglas could lead the team to victory and return the B&D Cup to the club after an absence of 24 years.

Everyone at the Club congratulates the team on reaching the final of such a prestigious event and offers them every best wish for the final.

They often say in football that the crowd is like an extra man and this is no less true in golf. A large and enthusiastic band of supporters can give the team that little bit extra and could prove decisive in a tight finish. If you can spare a few hours to watch entertaining, top class golf, your attendance would be most welcome.

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