Fred Daly team win first Leinster title

Dundalk Golf Club have won the Leinster Final of the Fred Daly Trophy after beating Greystones 4-1 in today’s final at Portmarnock Links.

In the top match Eoin Murphy got Dundalk on their way with a one hole win while Josh Mackin had a 2&1 win and Sean Laverty finished on the 12th with an 8&6 win. Padraig Fallon was one up after 14 and Kyle Rafferty was two down after 15 when their matches were called in.

Dundalk now go forward to the All Ireland Finals which will take place on Tuesday, August 29, in Bray Golf Club.

The Fred Daly Trophy is in memory of Ireland’s first Open Champion and has been competed for since 1995. Daly, who won the Open Championship at Hoylake in 1947, also played in the Ryder Cup four times, 1947, 1949, 1951 and 1953. It is Ireland’s premier inter-club tournament for boys and this is the first time that Dundalk have won the Leinster title.

PHOTO: The winning Dundalk team in the Fred Daly Leinster Final 2017 at Portmarnock Links.  Front Row (l-r): Jim Caraher (Juvenile Committe), Mickey Coburn (Club Captain), John Ferriter (Chairman Leinster Golf), Vincent Conlon (Team Manager) and Paul Malone (Juvenile Committe).  Back Row (l-r): Eoin Murphy, Josh Mackin, Sean Laverty, Kyle Rafferty, Padraig Fallon and Conall Murdock.  Photo Courtesy Ronan Quinlan

Waite wins President’s Prize

Aaron Waite receives his winner’s prize from President Noel McGuinness.

Noel McGuinness’s President’s Prize over the Blue Course proved to be a tough test on Sunday with 12 handicapper Aaron Waite emerging as the winner after being the only player in the 202 strong field in break 70 nett.

Waite shot a 69 nett to pip another 12 handicapper, Trevor Giff, by one shot, Richard Newell (2) took the Gross Prize with a one over par 73 while Richie Barry (10) won the Veterans Prize with a 71.

The length of the course, coupled with a strong North Westerly wind and some very tricky pins let everybody in doubt that they were playing in one of the club’s major competition and Waite showed tremendous composure to emerge as winner.

Pars at the second, third, fifth and sixth had him in good shape after six holes but then he had a triple bogey eight at the formidable par five seventh which threatened to derail his challenge.

But he bounced back with back to back pars at the ninth and tenth and then rolled in successive pars at the 12th, 13th and 14th. Two more pars arrived on the 17th and 18th as he returned a nett score of 69 having managed to cover the back nine in 39 gross.

Sunday, July 21 – President Noel McGuinness’s Prize – Winner: Aaron Waite (12) 69, Runner-Up: Trevor Giff (12) 70/34/18. Gross: Richard Newell (2) 73. Veteran: Richie Barry (10) 71. Category 1 (0-12): Karl Stewart (8) 70, Ciaran Johnson (10) 71/34/22.7. Category 2 (13-17): Brendan Keane (13) 71, Padraig Gallagher (13) 72/34.5. Category 3 (18+) Gerry Campbell (25) 73/34.5, Jimmy O’Connor (21) 73/35.5. CSS: 73.

Dundalk lose in Barton Shield Leinster semi-final by one hole

Dundalk’s run in the Barton Shield was agonisingly ended on the 18th green of their Leinster semi-final against The Castle last Friday in Kilkenny Golf Club and the Dubliners went on to take the provincial crown when they beat the host club in Saturday’s Final.

In the quarter-final on Friday morning Dundalk faced five time Baron Shield winners Portmarnock and had a convincing win as Caolan Raffetty and Eoin Murphy defeated Jack Pierce and John Greene by four holes while Aaron Grant and Josh Mackin saw off James Fox and Geoff Lenehan by one hole.

In the semi-final Rafferty and Murphy lost the 18th and had to settle for a halve against The Castle pairing of Alan Lowery and Jack Welch while Grant and Mackin lost the 18th to a birdie and went down by one hole to Robert Moran and Alex Gleeson.

Dundalk’s search for a Leinster pennant continues this weekend with two teams in action. On Friday, the Fred Daly Trophy team takes on Greystones in the Leinster Final at Portmarnock Links with the first match teeing off at 10am while on Saturday the Junior Cup team bids for a second provincial title in three years when they play their Leinster quarter-final in Callan.

 

Barry wins the Arkew Cup

Richard Barry won the Arkew Cup on Sunday . The 11 handicapper was the only player in the 180 strong field to break 70 on a day when the course clearly showed just how tough it has become following the recent improvements.

Barry’s nett 69 included birdies at the fifth, 10th and 12th which balanced out double bogeys at the sixth, seventh and 14th. His round also included seven pars and five bogeys.

Neal MacKell took second overall on countback with a nett 70 after the four handicapper shot a 74, which was the best gross round of the day. That allowed Dillon Greene (6) to take the Gross Prize with a 76 while Ciaran Johnston (10), Paschal Keenan (15) and Colm Coburn (21) took the category prizes.

Tom Dunne (15), who had a hole in one on the fifth on Wednesday and lost a shot, won the Juvenile Prize.

Sunday, July 16 – Arkew Cup Singles Stroke – Overall: Richard Barry (11) 69, Neal MacKell (4)* 70/33/18.66. Gross: Dillon Greene (6) 76. Category 1 (0-11): Ciaran Johnston (10) 71, David Staunton (9) 72/33.5. Category 2 (12-16): Paschal Keenan (15) 71/34.5, Kenneth Cairns (14) 71. Category 3 (17+) Colm Coburn  (21) 72/36.5, Ray Pepper  (19) 72. Juvenile: Tom Dunne (15) 76. * Best Gross: Neal MacKell 74. CSS: 73.

New course record and Club Championship for Grant

Aaron Grant

Aaron Grant set a new course record on his way to winning the Club Championship on Saturday.

The plus one handicapper shot a bogey free eight under par 64 in the first round of the 36 hole event and a level par second round saw him finish on eight under and five shots ahead of Caolan Rafferty.

Grant ‘s new course record included back to back birdies at the second and third and he also birdied the par five sixth and seventh to turn in 32. Birdies followed at 10 and 11 before he recorded his only five of the day when he parred the 12th. Another birdie at the 15th took him to seven under and he finished his record breaking round with his eighth birdie at the last.

Rafferty, who teed it up after spending five days at the North of Ireland Championship, shot a two-under par 70 in the opening round to lie six shots behind Grant and conditions got tougher for the afternoon ‘s second round as a strong south westerly wind swept across the course,.

That suited Grant and he posted a level par 72 to set a target of eight under for the chasers. Grant’s second round included four birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey. Rafferty was only able to reduce the deficit by one shot after a one under par 71 but it was good enough to claim runners-up spot.

Grant and Rafferty will now turn their attentions to this week’s Barton Shield Leinster Finals in Kilkenny as the club bids for its first provincial pennant in this inter-club competition for elite golfers. Eoin Murphy, Josh Mackin and Richie Newell are the other players who have featured on the journey to this stage and managers Alan McCabe and John Conlon were interested spectators as Saturday’s Club Championship unfolded.  Dundalk will face Portmanrock in Friday’s quarter-final with the semi-final scheduled for the afternoon and the final taking place on Saturday.

Saturday, July 15 – Club Championship: 136 – Aaron Grant (+1) (64,72). 141 – Caolan Rafferty  (+4) (70,71). Best Nett: 139 – Conall Murdock (9) (70,69). CSS Round 1: 73,
CSS Round 2: 74.

Ladies reach East Leinster semi-finals in Junior Foursomes

Dundalk have reached the semi-finals of the East Leinster AIG Junior Foursomes for the first time and will face Malahide at Powerscourt on Wednesday, August 2, for a place in the regional final.

Under the management of Briege Renaghan and Violet McGeady, the team have come through four tough rounds to reach the last four. The Junior Foursomes is for players with a handicap between 15 and 36 but the pairings must have a minimum joint handicap of 35 and a maximum of 41.

Each tie consists of of three foursomes matches which is played a neutral venue and Dundalk’s campaign began on April 23 in Royal Tara where they had 3-0 win over Virginia.

On May 13 the team travelled to Mannan Castle and beat Donabate 2-1 before defeating Headfort on a similar scoreline at Balbriggan on June 10.

That set up a quarter-final in Naas against Royal Tara where they once again emerged 2-1 winners to book a first ever semi-final place. However, the final pairing of Niamh Maguire and Brid Rocks were taken to sudden death before they finally saw off their opponents on the 20th hole.

The other pairings in the win over Royal Tara were Mary Lou Grennan and Elizabeth McGuinness, and Theresa Connolly and Bernie MacGuinness. Fionnuala Dullaghan and Olive Jones were the substitutes while Anne Murray and Mags Coburn are currently unavailable die to injury,

“All the squad are playing well at the moment and we are really looking forward to the semi-final in Powerscourt. The matches all through the competition have been nail-biters but I am hoping that will stand to us against Malahide,” said Briege Renaghan.

 

 

Boys team reaches Fred Day Leinster Final

Dundalk are through to the Leinster Final of the Fred Daly Trophy after an superb win over a Carton House team that contained newly crowned Ulster Boys Champion Jack Doherty.

The Fred Daly Trophy is the premier inter-cub boys tournament in the country and involves five singles matches with the home team staging three and the away team hosting two.

Drawn away, Dundalk despatched Eoin Murphy, Josh Mackin and Padraig Fallon to the Kildare venue while Sean Laverty and Kyle Rafferty were handed responsibility for the home leg.

Laverty was always in control on his way to a 3&2 victory while Rafferty found himself two down after eight but was level after 12 and eventually won on 19th after somehow scrambling a par from the trees on the 18th to force the match to sudden death.

At Carton House defeats for Murphy and Fallon meant the outcome rested on result of Josh Macken’s match and, one down playing the last, the Irish Boys international showed his steel as he eagled the par five 18th after hitting a two iron 215 yards to 20 feet and sinking a tricky downhill breaking putt.

Another great approach shot at the 19th to six feet left Macken with two putts for victory and he duly sealed Dundalk’s place in the final where they will face Greystones at Portmarnock Links on Friday, July 28.

Dundalk began their campaign with a 4-1 win over Laytown & Bettystown before defeating Donabate 3.5 to 1.5 in the Second Round. A narrow 3-2 win over Ardee followed before a 3.5 to 1.5 win over The Island in the quarter-finals.

 

Another great week for Rafferty at North of Ireland Championship

Caolan Rafferty

Caolan Rafferty’s super season continued last week in the North of Ireland Championship at Royal Portrush.

He won the silver medal for leading qualifier and then battled through four rounds of matchplay before losing in the semi-final to Irish international Colin Fairweather from Knock Golf Club.

The 24-year-old carded a bogey free, course record 65, on the newly redesigned Dunluce Links to lead home a field of 300, of whom 120 were plus handicappers, in the qualifying round.

He had posted a 68 in the first round over The Valley course and finished on 10 under par. Rafferty’s record round included birdies at the second and ninth and then he started his back nine with three birdies in a row before birding 15 and 17 and signing for a 65.

It was a second course record for Rafferty in less than a month as he also set a new low score at The Prince’s in England on his way to taking the silver medal for leading qualifier at the British Amateur.

That earned him promotion to the Irish international squad and his current run of form leaves him very much in the frame for a call-up for the upcoming Home Internationals.

Rafferty reached the semi-finals of the North back in 2015 and his march to the penultimate stage this year began with a 3&2 victory over Stackstown’s John McCarthy before a convincing win over Dungannon’s Dwayne Mallon in the second round.

Rafferty got a scare in the last 16 when he was taken to the 19th by Tandragee’s Ross Dutton before finally squeezing through. He bounced back from that in the quarter-final against Portmarnock’s Darragh Coghlan with a 4&2 victory.

That earned him a place in Friday morning’s semi-final against Knock’s Colin Fairweather and, cheered on by a sizeable contingent of supporters from Dundalk, he recovered back from an early setback to lead at the turn.

However, a bad bounce on the 12th, where he had played a glorious approach shot, saw momentum shift in favour of the Ulster golfer but Rafferty hung in and got back to level after 16.

He had an opportunity on 17 to go ahead but his biride putt shaved the hole and Fairweather then played a superb approach at the 18th to four feet to win and advance to the final where he lost to Hermitage’s Rowan Lester.

Rafferty next mission is to help Dundalk in this week’s Barton Shield Leinster Finals at Kilkenny before he heads to Lahinch and the South of Ireland Championship.

 

Rafferty leads Leinster to three-in-a-row

Caolan Rafferty was one of the stars as Leinster claimed their third Interprovincial title in a row this week at Carlow Golf Club.

Rafferty, who was part of last year’s successful team, had an impressive haul of 5.5pts from his six foursomes and singles matches over the three days.

In the opening match against Munster, Rafferty and foursomes partner Eugene Smith from Ardee defeated John Murphy and James Sugure 4&4 before Rafferty was sent out at No.1 in the singles and defeated newly crowned Irish Amateur Open champion Peter O’Keefe 2&1. Those wins helped Leinster to a 6.5 to 4.5 victory.

Leinster had a much more emphatic victory on Day Two when they beat Connacht by 8.5 to 2.5. In the morning foursomes Rafferty and Smith halved with Devin Morley and Jack McDonnell while the afternoon Rafferty beat Barry Anderson 5&3 in the top match.

That left Leinster needing just a draw from their final match against Ulster to retain their title and they got off to the best possible start by winning the foursomes 3-1 with Rafferty and Smith winning 2&1 against Jordan Hood and Kyle McCarron.

Team Captain, Seamus McParland from Greenore, again put his faith in Rafferty to lead Leinster our in the singles and for the third day in a row he delivered from the No.1 slot with a one hole win over Irish international Tiarnan McLarnon.

Leinster eventually won 7-4 to complete a 100 per cent record over the week and win three interprovincial titles on the trot for the first time in over 50 years and sights are now set on emulating that team from the 1960s which won four-in-a-row from 1962 to 1965.

 

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Teenager Curtin claims Intermediate Scratch Cup

Dundalk’s juvenile programme is producing a steady stream of talented teenagers at the moment and the latest player to announce his potential for future is 14-year-old Declan Curtin who won the Intermediate Scratch Cup on Sunday.

Curtin, who plays off 13, beat a field of 84 on a day when the Competition Standard Scratch was 73, one more than Standard Scratch for the white course.

Curtin shot a gross score of 80 to win by two shots from Brian McDonnell (13) with John Stanley (11) from City West a shot further back having edged out Billy Curran (12) for third place on countback.

Two bogies and two double bogies over the first four holes left Curtin with a lot of work to do but the teenager showed great composure over the remaining 14 holes to produce his winning score.

A par at the par three fifth was followed by a birdie at the par five sixth  and further pars followed at the eighth and ninth as he turned in 42.

Four successive pars from the 11th to the 14th brought him into contention and a par on the short 17th left him needing a par at the last for overall victory.

He left himself with work to do when his approach found a greenside bunker but he showed nerves of steel as he holed from the sand for a closing birdie and a two shot victory.

The competition was sponsored by Martin Lambe Plant Hire and our photo shows winner Declan Curtin (centre) with sponsor Martin Lambe (left) and Vice-Captain Gerry Byrne (right).

Sunday, July 2 – Intermediate Scratch Cup – 80 – Declan Curtin (13). 82 – Brian McDonnell (13). 83 – John Stanley (11, City West) 83/39; Billy Curran (12). 84 – Kevin Smith (11, Ardee) 84/37 (Ardee). Best Nett: Kieran Reidy (15) 69/32. CSS: 73.