After waiting 34 years to win another ladies inter-club pennant Dundalk Golf Club captured two on the same day on Sunday when they won Leinster North titles in the Junior Cup and Revive Active competition.
The Junior Cup team beat holders Royal Tara 4-1 in their final at Corrstown Golf Club while the Revive Active Team, were 3.5 to 1.5 winners over neighbours Ardee in their decider at Westmanstown.
Both team will now advance as regional champions to the All-Ireland quarter-finals where they face the Ulster North winners. Those matches will be on a familiar ground with the Revive Active quarter-final in Greenore against Dunfanaghy or Greenisland on August 26 while on September 2 the Junior Cup team will meet either Cushendall, Malone, Massereene or Ballycastle in Dundalk.
Lady Captain Briege Renaghan congratulated both teams when they returned home to Blackrock to celebrate in the Clubhouse.
“It is unbelievable that, having waited 34 years to win an inter-club pennant, we have won two on the same day. It is a fantastic achievement,” said the Lady Captain.
“I would like to play tribute to the players, their caddies, the team managers and our supporters for the effort that was put in to make this happen. We had to dig deep in both matches but the players showed great determination and fully deserved their respective victories.”
While having both finals on the same day at the same time in different venues caused headaches for supporters forced to choose which to watch, the clash also created some sleepless nights for the team managers as several players were involved in both squads.
In the end the two wins showed the strength in depth within ladies golf in Dundalk at the moment as the replacements stepped up to the plate and delivered.
Dundalk’s last inter-club pennant in 1989 was for the Leinster Junior Cup so it was fitting that the 34 year gap to another blue pennant was bridged by the Junior Cup team who had beaten Skerries, Balbriggan and Headford on their path to the final where they faced the reigning Leinster North champions, Royal Tara.
If they were intimidated, they didn’t show it. Gillian McDonnell closed out her match on the 15th while Katie Rowland won three holes on the trot to win her match on the 16th and put Dundalk 2-0 up.
Juliet Morrison and Pauline Campbell were both four down with four play but critically they kept their matches alive over the final few holes and were eventually called in, while playing the 19th and 18th holes respectively, after Anna Rowland sank the winning putt on the 16th green.
As the celebrations kicked off in Corrstown, they were also starting in Westmanstown where the Revive Active Fourball team upset red-hot favourites Ardee with a brilliant display of golf to win by 3.5 t0 1,5
Sally McDonnell, whose daughter Gillan was on the Junior Cup team, partnered Mary Carthy to victory on 14th while Ann Hopper and Mary Lou Greenan won on 15. Jactinta Foran and Ide McDermott then sealed the team’s victory when they won their match with three holes to play.
Criona O’Reilly and Mary Lavery went down fighting in their match while Anne McDonnell and Grainne Mullins were called in.
It was the team’s fifth win of the campaign having beaten Greenore, Rathcore, Donabate and Balbriggan on their way to the final.
So a great day for Dundalk ladies but, once the celebrations are finished, the attention will turn to the All-Ireland quarter-finals and few busy weeks of planning lies ahead for Junior Cup manager Lesley O’Keefe and Katherina Conneally Sloan and the Revive Active managers Pat Cleary and Siobhan Rogers.
The Dundalk Golf Club team which won the Ladies Leinster North Junior Cup pennant.
The Dundalk Golf Club team which won the Ladies Leinster North Revive Active Fourball pennant.
Lady Captain Briege Renaghan accepts the Leinster North Junior Cup pennant after Dundalk’s win over Royal Tara in Sunday’s final
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