Barton Shield squad

Dundalk Golf Club have reached the last eight of the Leinster section of the Barton Shield for the second successive year after some superb performances at Balcarrick Golf Club over the weekend.

After qualifying in second place behind Portmarnock on Saturday, Dundalk then beat Greenore and Royal Dublin in Sunday’s matchplay ties to advance to the Leinster Finals which will take place in Mount Wolseley on the weekend of July 20 and 21.

With recently crowned club champion Caolan Rafferty away on international duty in France with Ireland, Dundalk managers Alan McCabe, John Conlon and Fergal Harte looked to Conor Curran to step up to the plate and he didn’t disappoint.

Curran partnered Irish Boys international Eoin Murphy while the experienced Aaron Grant was paired with the club’s other Boys International, Josh Mackin for the foursomes event.

Both pairings shot rounds of 76 as Dundalk finished three shots behind Portmarnock in qualifying but well inside the qualifying mark of 160 from which the field of 25 clubs was whittled down to eight for the matchplay phase where two clubs would qualify for the Leinster finals.

On Sunday morning, Dundalk faced neighbours Greenore and beat them by four holes with Murphy and Curran winning by one hole while Grant and Mackin were 3up when they were called in, having been all square at the turn.

That earned the team an afternoon match against Royal Dublin for a place in Mount Wolseley in July and things didn’t look good in the top match early on as Murphy and Curran found themselves two down but birdies on seven and 11 brought them back to all square.

They went behind again when they lost the 15th but came good in the end by winning the final two holes to win their match 1up.

Grant and Mackin got their noses in front early on by sinking birdie putts to win two of the first three holes and they then won the 10th and the 11th to extend their lead to four holes with seven to play.

They were still four ahead with four to play but then saw their lead halved when Royal Dublin won the 15th and 16th but a half on the 17th ensured a two hole victory as the match was called in once Murphy and Curran had got over the line up ahead.

Next up for Dundalk’s elite squad will be the Senior Cup qualifier on June 23 in Laytown & Bettystown when the format will be five singles matches.

Dundalk’s elite ladies were also in action on the Donabate peninsula on Sunday as they faced a Senior Foursomes qualifier along with 11 other clubs at Donabate Golf Club and were unlucky to encounter the worst of the heavy rain which fell in the Fingal area during the afternoon.

The team of Jennifer Holland, Criona O’Reilly, Jacinta Foran, Elaine Ward, Ann Hopper and Pauline Campbell missed out by two shots on qualifying for the next phase of the competition,

The JB Carr Diamond Trophy Team went down fighting as they tried in vain to overhaul a 0-5 deficit when they faced Greenore in the second leg of the Co Louth on the Cooley Peninsula last Friday. Despite giving from one to three shots to their opponents in each of their matches, the Dundalk pairings were two up in two matches and level in two others when they were called in after Greenore got the point they needed for overall victory with a 3&2 win as they closed out the top match on the 16th hole.

The inter-club competitions continue this week with all eyes on the All-Ireland Fourball team who meet Headfort on Saturday in the last 16 of the Leinster section. Three of the matches are in Kells with the other two in Dundalk.

 

Ladies Senior Foursomes team

 

 

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Entries open for Dundalk Scratch Cup

Entries are now being accepted for the 36 hole Dundalk Scratch Cup, sponsored by One Finance, which will be played at Dundalk Golf Club on Sunday, September 17.

Irish international Caolan Rafferty will defend the title he won for the first time last year and there will be a special prize for anybody who beats the course record of 64 which was recently set by another former Scratch Cup winner Aaron Grant..

Grant and Rafferty will lead the challenge from the home club along with Boys internationals Eoin Murphy and Josh Mackin,.

Entries can be submitted to the Pro Shop at Dundalk Golf Club on +353 42-9322102.

 

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.

 

Dundalk golfers making their presence felt

Two of Dundalk’s most promising young golfers have earned call-ups to the Leinster team for this month’s U16 Inter-provincials in Tullamore where Leinster will be defending the title they won last year.

Eoin Murphy and Josh Mackin will travel to the Offaly venue as provincial champions with Murphy having won the Munster U16 Championship in Nenagh while Mackin captured the Leinster title at Beaverstown last week.

Murphy produced an excellent two under par 70 to beat a field of over 140 players. He produced four birdies during his round and crucially was the only golfer to play the inward nine under par, which gave him a two shot win over Lahinch’s Jonathan Keane.

It was Murphy’s second major win of the season as earlier in the year he captured the All-Ireland Faldo Series and will head to the Grand Final in England later this year.

Mackin needed a four hole play-off against Robert Galligan of Elm Park to take the Leinster title. Both players finished on one under par 71 after 18 holes but Mackin came out on top in the play-off, winning by one shot.

Two other Dundalk golfers, Sean Laverty and Padraig Fallon, played in both championships.

The Leinster call-ups for Murphy and Mackin brings to four the number of Dundalk players capped at provincial level this season as Caolan Rafferty and Deirdre Smith have played in the men’s and women’s senior inter-pros respectively this year.

Smith was part of the Leinster team that finished second to Ulster in the women’s inter-pros at Slieve Russell. She formed a formidable foursomes partnership with Aedin Murphy and the pair recorded wins over Connacht and Munster. However, Smith was injured in her singles match against Munster’s Paula Grant, was forced to withdraw after 13 holes and played no further part in the tournament as Leinster just missed out on taking the title.

Rafferty went one better as Leinster’s men, captained by Greenore’s Seamus McParland, retained the All-Ireland Inter-Provincial title at Fota Island.

The Dundalk player formed an unbeaten partnership with Ardee’s Eugene Smith with the pair winning their foursomes matches against Connacht, Munster and Leinster.

Rafferty sank a birdie putt on the 16th to win their opening match against Connacht’s Sean Flanagan and Mark Morrissey 3&2. They then had a one hole win in the match against Munster’s Peter O’Keefe and Cathal Butler before recording a two hole victory over Ulster’s Stuart Beakley and Jordan Hood on the final day.

Raffterty was unable to carry that winning form into the singles matches where he suffered three defeats but the three points he earned from the foursomes certainly played a part in Leinster’s overall victory and ensured a memorable debut for the Dundalk player.