The seaside town of Portstewart has scooped the annual Town Most Up Its Own Hole award with an extra-time win over local rivals Portrush.
Due to the Covid-19 restrictions the final was held behind closed doors for the first time, but the absence of a crowd did nothing to diminish the drama of the occasion.
Portrush took an early lead by being completely up its own hole about getting a lick of paint before it hosted The Open golf championship last year, but Portstewart fought back by pointing at their beach and going on about how many lecturers from the Poly live in the town.
Portrush went ahead again due to its close proximity to The Giant’s Causeway, which itself was recently crowned the world’s most disappointing tourist attraction, but the Portstewart team drove the judges to Morelli’s and bought them all an ice-cream to equalise.
The final then went to extra-time, with Portrush hitting the bar through having quite a nice train station. However, their north-coast rivals eventually found a winner when someone remembered that Sarah Travers off the news lives there, sending the artificial crowd noise into delirium.
Speaking after the event, Portstewart manager Conrad O’Maoldhomhnaigh-MacDonald-Smitherson said his team were delighted at finally winning the competition.
“For too long this award has been the preserve of the Old Firm “up their own hole” towns of County Down,” he told journalists from across the globe. “We’ll all be heading down to our boutique hotel to drink champagne long into the evening, in a socially distanced manner of course.”
We asked Mr O’Maoldhomhnaigh-MacDonald-Smitherson if he’d admit that neither Portrush or Portstewart were as nice as Newcastle, but he said he had to pick his daughter up from ballet.
The previous winners of the award are Hillsborough (2015), Bangor (2016), Holywood (2017), Ballyhackamore (2018) and Hillsborough again (2019). Hillsborough will probably win it next year, if we remember.