Norman Nicholl (11) and Joel McNeilly (6) won the Heron Trophy Four Ball Better Ball played at Galgorm Castle Golf Club by the convincing margin of five clear points.
Turning for home they held a three point lead over David Martin (10) and Graham Simms (14) with three teams – Jack Douglas (20)/Sean McCormick (5); Tony Dodds (26)/Gareth Elliot (19) and John McFarland (20)/Colin Orr (17) – a close up one point further behind.
The Ian Manson (22)/Neil Candlish (7) and Daniel Reilly (3)/Owen Smith (5) pairings were another point behind.
One and three points respectively further down came James Mairs (9) and David McIlroy (16) and Alan Featherstone (21) and his playing partner Ricki Simpson (8).
Through the Maple Nicholl and McNeilly had increased their lead over Martin and Simms with a run of two pars, a birdie and a par to par, bogey and two pars.
Dodds and Elliot joined Martin and Simms after recovering with two pars from a double bogey at eleven. Manson and Candlish and Reilly and Smith were another point behind.
After recovering from a double bogey at the Fort, Douglas and McCormick were a further point away.
They were a point ahead of the Featherstone/Simpson; Mairs/McIlroy and McFarland/Orr combinations.
With two to play Nicholl and McNeilly appeared fairly safe out in front by four points, leaving the chasing teams to play for the remaining places.
Dodds and Elliot were four points behind the leaders approaching the seventeenth tee, and a point ahead of Reilly and Smith who were quietly moving forward with two birdies and a par.
They in turn were a point ahead of Manson and Candlish. Finally another point behind but very much in contention for a placing came Douglas and McCormick; Featherstone/Simpson; Mairs/McIlroy; McFarland/Orr and a retreating Martin and Simms after failing to score at the Devils Elbow.
Nicholl and McNeilly finished bogey, par to win by five points, leaving the other eight pairings to play for the places.
Manson and Candlish with a bogey and a par drew level with Reilly and Smith (two pars) and with a better back six Manson and Candlish took second place with third place going to Reilly and Smith.
This left six teams playing for the remaining two placings. Dodds and Elliot came home bogey, ‘ding’; Douglas and McCormick drew level with a par, birdie finish and with a better back six Douglas and McCormick claimed fourth place with the final placing going to Dodds and Elliot.
Featherstone and Simpson (two bogeys); Mairs and McIlroy (bogey, par); McFarland/Orr (bogey/par) and Martin/Simms (par/bogey) finished together a point out of the placings.
Twos were recorded by – J.McFarland (x2); D.McCarroll; S.Henry; H.Moore; G.McWilliams; G.Crabbe; R.Young; R.Simpson; N.Nicholl; D.Stirling; D.Reilly; D.Stewart; S.McCormick and O.Smith.
HOLE IN ONE
Congratulations to David Stirling jnr. who holed his tee shot at the par three seventh.
The ball rolled slowly up the hill and appeared to stop on the lip before toppling into the hole thus ending a few anxious and exciting seconds.