The final round of the International League was celebrated at the Las Colinas Golf and Country club last Sunday. With all the inclement weather of the previous days we were a little worried that the umbrellas would be called upon for the first time this year.
We had a fine turnout of 96 players and with the atmosphere decidedly tense as both divisions were up for decision, the rocket was fired at 9am precisely. In the Poniente division the title was contested by two newcomers to the league, El Valle Golf Society and Sportsman Nomads Golf Society. This was a closely contested division and the final lived up to all expectations.
The two captains Mike Pearce and Mike Wyatt put out their strongest teams and El Valle came out on top with a three matches to one victory. Congratulations to El Valle and The Sportsman Nomads for a really entertaining match.
Before we get on to talking about the Levante section, we must congratulate the winners of the first Presidents’ Trophy. The Novices, lead by their Captain Kevin McBride who managed his selection to perfection. Congratulations Kevin on your much-merited victory.
The Plate final was won by the Sportsman Nomads Golf Society again under the guidance of Mike Wyatt, not a bad return Mike for the first year. Congratulations to the winning teams.
Well if the Poniente was tight the Levante section was even tighter still with three teams all fighting for the right to call themselves champions of The International League. The Celtic Tigers and holders had a one point lead over The Falcons and a two-point lead over Bonalba European Team. The Tigers were playing the Celt Nomads and no quarter was given or expected.
The Falcons and Bonalba European Team played each other, with the victor of this match hoping the Celt Nomads would do them a favour. You could not write the script, The Nomads pulled out one of their best performances all season and defeated the Tigers. Tension was palpable as the committee waited on the other match. The Falcons needed a victory to be crowned champions and Bonalba needed a victory to force a play-off with the Tigers. News was slowly filtering in and the match result was a tie. Now we had a play-off between The Tigers and The Falcons.
Hole 19 was beckoning for the four players. As luck or otherwise would have it it was down to two putts, John Fordham had the slightly easier if a little longer uphill attempt. It came up short but was conceded. Then Jim Hayes had the putt we all dream about, to win the title. A fine effort was made and the ball passed agonisingly close to the hole, but just kept going and going.
It left a very tricky return putt and unfortunately it too slipped past the lip and The Tigers held onto the title for another year. What excitement what tension. Logan could be heard, stating you could not write such a script and organise such a tense conclusion.
Well done to The Tigers and congratulations to The Falcons on an excellent effort. On behalf of the Federation I would like to Congratulate all teams in the two divisions for a superb year and we look forward to next year with two expanded divisions of 10 teams already entered for the first event at Alicante Golf on the 21st of January.