The final of the Paddy Bardon Shield took place on Wednesday last. It was a blustery chilly evening but the spectators still arrived in numbers to view the climax to this hugely popular competition. Mick Buckley, Gary Middleton and Mick Heffernan were taking on Liz Bloem, Mick Flynn and Mick Scally in this year’s final.
The opening round saw both teams compete in an 18 hole scramble. Liz’s team had an advantage of 1 shot with the handicap and must have fancied their chances when they posted a very respectable 11 under par 43. However, little did they know that Mick Buckley’s team were on fire behind them. After missing birdies on 2 of the opening 4 holes they then birdied the last 14 holes in a row for an incredible 16 under par total – a record scramble score for this competition. This gave Mick’s team the opening point of the final and it meant that if Gary Middleton could win his singles match against Michael Flynn then the match would be over.
Gary started well and went 1 up on the 2nd hole. Both men were finding their range with the putter though and exchanged early birdies. A missed putt on the 6th by Mick gave Gary a 2 hole lead though, which he subsequently stretched to 3 with a birdie on 9. An uncharacteristic 4 on the 10th though brought the lead back to 2 but Gary once again restored this lead to 3 on the 11th. A super pitch to 12 again resulted in birdie and a 4 hole lead with 6 to go. It was going to be a long way back for Mick from there and when Gary made birdie again on 14 the game was up. Gary’s 5&4 victory meant that Mick Buckley’s team had won the shield.
Tea and goodies were served afterwards before the customary speeches and presentation. Sponsor Paddy Bardon was on hand to say a few words.He expressed his thanks to the club committee on the efficient way the club has continuously been run down through the years. He also thanked the many supporters for attending on such a cold evening and he asked that more people give back a little into what he called a “brilliant homely club”.
Mick Heffernan accepted the Shield on behalf of the winning team and he thanked his opponents on the night and his own team-mates. The atmosphere throughout the evening was jovial and fun which was the intention of this competition when it was first created many years ago.
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