Barton Shield – Dundalk reach Leinster Finals

Dundalk have reached the Leinster finals of the Barton Shield which will take place in July in Kilkenny when the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final will take place.
Over the weekend, Dundalk came through a tough qualifying section at Killeen Castle with included 11 clubs from the North East.
On Saturday Dundalk’s two foursomes pairings combined to top the strokeplay qualifying round. Young guns Eoin Murphy and Josh Mackin shot a four under par 68 while Caolan Rafferty and Richard Newell went round in 73. That left Dundalk on 141, two shots ahead of Laytown & Bettystown with Co Louth(145) and Co Meath (147)
In the semi-final on Sunday morning, Dundalk faced Co Meath in a match that went to sudden death. Murphy and Mackin won their match 1up but Rafferty and Aaron Grant lost by one hole. The two experienced players faced the sudden death play-off and, after halving the first two holes, they finally got the job done on the 21st.
In the final on Sunday afternoon Grant and Rafferty won 1up and it was left to 16-year-old Mackin to sink a slippery 3ft downhill putt to secure a half and send Dundalk to the finals in Kilkenny where they are set to face Portmarnock in the last eight.
It’s been a busy few weeks for Rafferty and Grant. Both took part in the Irish Amateur Open at Royal Co Down but missed the cut when it fell after 54 holes. The previous weekend Rafferty had been the leading Irishman at the prestigous Lytham Trophy in England where finished an impressive seventh.

Other news

Peter Rogers flew the flag for Dundalk over the weekend at the Irish Amateur Seniors Open in Co Tipperary and secured a top 20 finish in the 54 hole event.
The Provincial Towns Cup team continued their progress with a comprehensive win over Bellewstown while in the Fred Daly Trophy there was a 4-1 victory over Laytown & Bettystown and a 3.5 to 1.5 win over Donabate. Next up are Ardee this Friday. The U15 Inter-club team are due to face Seapoint in their next round after a 4-1 win over Co Louth. However, there was disappointment for the Newsam Cup team who lost to Summerhill and the North Leinster Mixed team who fell to Laytown & Bettystown.
The deadlines for the completion of the current rounds of the Mixed Foursomes and Gold Medal matchplay competitions have been extended by one week to May 29.

Open Week

The first Open Week of the season proved to be very successful with many visitors availing of the opportunity to test themselves over the revamped layout which is bedding in well and has attracted a lot of favourable comment.
The week finished on Sunday with a Singles Stableford competition which was won by Greg McCaughey (10). He shot 41pts and took top prize on countback from Stephen English (12) with Stephen Haughey (16) a further shot back.
Saturday’s Fourball Stableford resulted in a win for Clem Walshe (4) and Paul O’Reilly (16) while Thursday’s Team Event was won by Gerry O’Keeffe, Declan Muckian, Danny Kelleher and C Costelloe.
Conor Curran (3) with 40pts won Wednesday’s Singles Stableford and Dessie Ward (14) won on Monday with 41pts.
The most notable feats of the week went to long-time member Donal Cotter who claimed the first hole-in-one of his career on Wednesday when he aced the par three 5th, this was matched by Ruairi O Connor who had a hole-in-one at the 13th on Thursday .
Many thanks to all the businesses who so generously sponsored the Open Week competitions.
Sunday, May 21 – Open Singles Stableford sponsored by Specsavers – Overall: Gregory McCaughey (10) 41/24pts, Stephen English (12) 41, Stephen Haughey (16) 40/21/13/7. Gross: Brendan Lawlor (3) 35pts. Category 1 (+1 to 11): Martin Crosby (8) 39pts. Category 2 (12-16): Phil Holland (12) 37/20pts. Category 3 (17-28): Eamonn Arthur (21) 40pts. Juvenile: Zak Alderdice (15) 40pts. CSS: 36pts.
Saturday, May 20 – Fourball Stableford sponsored by National Tile – Clem Walshe (4) & Paul O’Reilly (16) 46/25pts, John McKeever (12) & JP Casey (16) 46/23/18pts, J Sheridan (11, Gorey) & Eddie Sheridan (13) 46pts.
Thursday, May 18 – Four Man Team Event – sponsored by Flanagan Motors – 92pts: Gerry O’Keeffe (13), Declan Muckian (14), Danny Kelleher (10), C Costelloe (7). 90pts: Dessie Ward (13), Declan Ward (20), Ollie English (12), Gareth Duffy (5).
Wednesday, May 17 – Open Singles Stableford sponsored by McCaughey Homes – Overall: Conor Curran (3) 40pts, Ciaran Daly (18) 39/20, Martin Mills (12, Mannan Castle) 39/20/13/6pts. Gross: Caolan Rafferty (+3) 39pts. Category 1: Neil Murphy (9) 39pts. Category 2: Bernard Crombie (14) 38pts. Category 3: G Rice (28, Enniscorthy) 38/19pts. CSS 36pts.
Monday, May 15 – Open Singles Stableford sponsored by The Bayview Lounge and Bar – Overall: Dessie Ward (14) 41pts, Michael O Keeffe (17) 39/19/11/5, Jim Rowland (12) 39pts. Seniors Prize (Over 50): Declan Muckian (15) 39/19/13pts. Best Gross: Jim Caraher (7) 29/14. CSS 37pts.