Having previously got his hands on the trophy in 2013, Neil Cromwell produced a phenomenal gross 68 to claim glory in the Allen Cup once again on 14 July.
It is Neil's talented son, Adam, who's been creating more column inches this season but, in this stroke event sponsored by JR McMahon Menswear, Cromwell senior stepped back into the golfing limelight. The wily three-handicapper birdied the opening hole before rattling off eight consecutive pars to negotiate the front nine in just 33 blows. A solitary bogey would follow at the 10th, and then a dozen more homeward pars were pleasantly interspersed by birdies at the 12th and 15th that smoothed his path to a reunion with the familiar silverware.
Cromwell's magical nett 65 total was one fewer than tournament runner-up, Mark Stevenson. As he trudged to the 8th tee at eight over par, Mark's outing was going nowhere in particular. However, a stirring comeback of eight pars and three bogeys across the remaining 11 holes catapulted Stevenson to the upper echelons of the Saturday leaderboard, and his handicap's been trimmed from 15 to 14 as a consequence of this bouncebackability.
Neil Cromwell receives the Allen Cup from Brian Graham of JR McMahon Menswear, competition sponsors, and Club Captain, Colm Shannon.
Tom Calvert started and finished with scrappy sixes but, happily, was a mere three over par for the intervening 16 holes.
Tom's excellent gross 77 meant that he topped the category 1 pile with a nett 67. Also reaching that mark but losing out to Calvert on a break of tie was Paul Corvan. His scorecard was a veritable mixed bag featuring the chagrin caused by six dropped shots in the closing five holes, but also the earlier brilliance of three front-nine birdies.
Sean McAnenly would have wished for a more prosperous beginning to each half than a six and eight at the 1st and 10th respectively but, mercifully for him, those holes were mere aberrations in an otherwise terrific Allen Cup showing. Sean posted eight pars and two birdies on his way to sealing first prize in category 2 with a nett 66. That was one better than runner-up, Peter McBride, whose spirited response to back-to-back double bogeys at the 7th and 8th meant he was just four over par thereafter.
Meanwhile, steadiness was the order of the day in category 3, where Michael Grant's solid nett 70 prevailed ahead of Philip Dowey's courtesy of his superior back-nine display.
Neil Cromwell was presented with the Allen Cup by County Armagh Golf Club Captain, Colm Shannon, and Brian Graham from JR McMahon Menswear, competition sponsors. Also pictured are other prizewinners (L-R) Michael Grant, Tom Calvert, Mark Stevenson and Sean McAnenly.