Jimmy Bruen run ended by Strabane in All-Ireland quarter-finals

Dundalk’s run in the Jimmy Bruen Shield came to an end on Tuesday when the team was beaten 3.5 to 1.5 by Strabane in the All-Ireland quarter-final at Shandon Park Golf Club in Belfast.

But they went down fighting right to the end and nearly snatched victory after staging a memorable comeback over the final few holes. 

With the first two matches out on the course play was suspended for over an hour as fog enveloped the Belfast course which certainly didnt help the nerves.

All five matches were tight over the opening seven holes but as they turned for home Strabane moved into a commanding posting and at one stage were leading in the first four matches with Emmet McCabe Savage and Feral Harte in the final match the only Dundalk pairing in front.

However, over the last few holes the Dundalk pairings responded brilliantly. In the top match Mark Cumiskey and Gerry Carroll fought back to win their match on the 17th and put the first point on the board for Dundalk.

Having being three down after 11 holes, Denis Cunningham and Ciaran Johnston fought back and forced their match to sudden death but they lost to Eoin ONeill and Gary OConnell on the first tie hole.

Teenagers Chris Clarke and Eoin Purton never got their noses in front against Damian Roarty and Damian McGranaghan and eventually lost 2 and 1.

Ben Cahill and Conall Mullins Shortt had been three down with seven holes to play but they fought back to bring the match down the 18th and eventually lost by one hole. 

That secured the three points Strabane needed for victory and the final match was called in with Harte and McCabe Savage leading by one hole and looking in command. 

That left Strabane the winners by 3.5 to 1.5 and they now face Co Cavan in the semi-final after the Ulster South champions beat Beech Park 4-1.

For Dundalk it’s the end of road but they didn’t go home empty handed as Captain Trevor Giff was presented with the Leinster North pennant which the team won a few weeks ago.


Jimmy Bruen team head to Belfast in search of national pennant

DUNDALK Golf Club head to Belfast this week in search of what would be the club’s second national title in its 116 year history.

The club’s sole green pennant was claimed in 2004 when they won the Jimmy Bruen Shield and it is this competition that will be in their sights at Shandon Park Golf Club.

“The victory in 2004 is still fondly remembered around the Club and it would be great to bring back a second national pennant from Belfast this week,” said Club Captain Trevor Giff.  

The Jimmy Bruen Shield is a foursomes competition for golfers with a handicap of no less than 3.5 and no more than 10.5 as the maximum handicap for any pairing is 14.0. It is played off scratch between five two player pairings.  

The formation of Golf Ireland has led to changes in the structure of inter-club golf in Ireland with Leinster being broken up into three regions, Munster and Ulster being divided into two and Connacht remaining as one region. The All-Ireland series now comprises of eight teams instead of the four provincial winners as in previous years.

This has given clubs in the bigger provinces a better chance of qualifying for the All-Ireland series and Dundalk’s Jimmy Bruen Shield certainly took full advantage of this opportunity.

After getting a bye in the opening round of the Leinster North region, Dundalk beat Royal Tara 3-2, Headfort 3-2, Co Meath 3.5 to 1.5, and Donabate 3-2 before seeing off Castleknock 3-2 in the Leinster North final to claim the regional pennant.

That has earned them a quarter-final meeting with Ulster North champions Strabane on Tuesday morning at 8am. The Tyrone club have certainly clocked up the miles in their journey to the All-Ireland series with wins over Faughan Valley, City of Belfast, Rosapenna, Balmorral, Cloughaneely and Fortwilliam on their way to the regional title.

Should Dundalk win they will face the winners of the quarter-final between Co Cavan and Beech Park in the semi-finals. The other half of the draw sees defending champions, Berehaven from Cork, face Gowran Park while Carrick on Shannon meet Tramore.

Dundalk managers Terry Sloane and Fergal Harte left no stone unturned in their efforts to guide the team to regional title and they have also been meticulous in their preparations for the All-Ireland series.

They are working off a squad of 30 players and have not been afraid to chop and change in the previous rounds with a clear emphasis on selecting players in form. The squad is a mixture of youth and experience with Alan McCabe the only survivor from the 10 players who took part in the 2004 All-Ireland Final.

“The players and the managers have put in tremendous work all year to get this far and are determined to give it everything they have got over the next few days. Chances to win national titles don’t come around often so they’ll be mindful of that as they head to Belfast,” said Club Captain Trevor Giff.

Tuesday, September 7 – AIG Men’s Jimmy Bruen Shield Quarter-Finals:
0800 Strabane v Dundalk; 0845 Co. Cavan v Beech Park; 0930 Carrick on Shannon v Tramore; 1015 Gowran Park v Berehaven.

Dundalk Golf Club Jimmy Bruen Shield Panel: Aidan Thornton, Alan McCabe, Ben Cahill, Billy Cairns, Bobby McCarthy, Chris Clarke, Ciaran Johnson, Conal Mullins Shortt, Conor Dunn, Damien Garland, Darren Murphy, Dennis Cunningham, Donal Sheridan, Emmet Savage McCabe, Eoin Purton, Fergal Harte, Gerard Carroll, Jack Arthur, John Paul Casey, Lee Egan, Mark Cumiskey, Michael Staunton, Niall Martin, Páidí Ó Gallachóir, Pat Purton, Ricky Newell, Robbie O’Hanlon, Ronan Farrelly, Ruairí Gogarty, Shane Byrne, Ultan Gaughran.  Managers: Terry Sloane and Fergal Harte.



Dundalk wins Jimmy Bruen Regional Pennant

Dundalk Golf Club captured the Leinster North Jimmy Bruen Shield title on Sunday evening when they defeated Castleknock 3-2 in a keenly contented regional final.

The win earns the team a place in the All-Ireland Finals at Shandon Park Golf Club in Belfast where they will face the Ulster North champions, Fortwilliam, after they defeated Strabane 3-2 in their regional final.

With Castleknock having three of the five matches at home, it was imperative that Dundalk won their two home matches and they duly did before getting across the line when Fergal Harte and Emmet McCabe Savage won the final match in Dublin.

Earlier Denis Cunningham and Ciaran Johnson had put the first point on the board when they had an impressive 6&5 victory. After being one down after four, they won five successive holes to go four up after 10 and, after halving 11, they won the 12th to go dormie six. A half in par on the 13th secured an impressive 6&5 victory.

Chris Clarke and Eoin Purton came from one down after nine to win their match one up. An eagle three at the 10th levelled the match and they then won 11 to go one up and extended their lead by winning the 13th. After losing 14 they bounced back to win the 15 but then lost 16. The match was decided on the 18th when Clarke sank a slippery short putt for a half after a 60ft lag putt down the hill from the back of green by Purton.

In Castleknock, Mark Cumiskey and Gerard Carroll were beaten 2&1 after being four down after 10 while Ricky Newell and Ronan Farrelly were beaten on 18th after a great battle.

The final match decided the outcome. Harte and McCabe Savage had been two up with three to play but lost 16. However, their opponents failed to get up and down from a greenside bunker and left the Dundalk pair with two putts for the win which they took with Harte sinking the winning putt.

Dundalk Captain Trevor Giff was delighted to see the Club secure its first Golf Ireland pennant. “It’s a great day for Dundalk Golf Club and I want to pay tribute to the team managers, Terry Sloane and Fergal Harte, and all the players who were part of the Jimmy Bruen squad. They all put in a tremendous effort to prepare properly for every round and competition for places in each team was intense with everybody pushing hard to be included. We now have an All-Ireland quarter-final to look forward on September 7 and hopefully we will get a big contingent up from Dundalk to support them.”

The Jimmy Bruen success made up for what had a been a disappointing week up to that point on the inter-club scene for Dundalk.

The Pierce Purcell team lost its semi-final against Westmanstown with the overall tie being decided on the 18th green of the final match.

The Junior Cup team lost its regional final against Corrstown 4-1 despite having three matches at home. The team got off to a poor start by losing the first hole in four of the five matches. By the third hole Dundalk were all square in three matches but two down in the other two and by the fifth hole things looked ominous.

In Dundalk, Aidan Thornton and Brian Óg Renaghan were two down and Ciaran Johnston was one down while, in Corrstown, Ricky Newell was three down although, the other road warrior,  Colin Roche, was one up.   

By the ninth Thornton was four down, Renaghan and Newell were three down, Johnston was one down and Roche was level.

Thornton eventually lost 4&3, Renaghan was beaten 6&5 and it was all over when Newell lost 5&4. The other two matches were called in with Johnston two down after 11 and Roche all square after 13.

Two teams bidding for pennants and All-Ireland Finals places

Two Dundalk teams will bid for regional pennants and a place in the All-Ireland finals this weekend.

The formation of Golf Ireland led to the creation of eight regions across the country and this has seen Leinster, the province with the most golf clubs, broken up into three regions with Dundalk playing in the Leinster North region.

The Junior Cup Regional Final against Corrstown will take place at 15.50 on Friday with three matches at home and two away and the winners will advance to the All-Ireland finals in Limerick from September 16-19.

Shane Hession’s team have played five matches to get this point beating Co Louth, Greenore, Ardee, Royal Tara and Laytown & Bettystown while Corrstown, who got a bye in the first round, have defeated The Island, St Margaret’s, Corballis and Malahide.

The Jimmy Bruen Shield team, which is managed by Terry Sloane and Fergal Harte, will face Castleknock at 15.20 on Sunday with two matches at home and three away. The winners will advance to the All-Ireland Finals at Shandon Park from September 7 to 11.

Both teams have played four matches to reach the final having received byes in the first round. In the second round Dundalk beat Royal Tara and followed that up with wins over Headfort, Co Meath and Donabate. Castleknock defeated Royal Dublin in their opening match and then accounted for Roganstown, Portmarnock and Malahide on their way to the final.

There could be a third regional final outing as the Pierce Purcell team face Westmanstown in their regional semi-final at 16:00 on Monday, August 16, with three matches at home and two away. The winners will face Donabate or Malahide in the final.

Dundalk Captain Trevor Giff said the success of the three teams had generated a lot of excitement around the club and he urged members to come out and support the teams. “It is every club’s dream to reach the All-Ireland Finals and we have two, possibly three chances, of doing that.  The three teams still standing have shown tremendous commitment over the last few months as the schedule has been relentless and I would like to pay tribute to the managers and the players for their efforts. We are in with a shout in all three competitions and I would urge members to come out and support the teams this week.”

Junior Cup and Jimmy Bruen Shield teams reach regional finals

DUNDALK teams have reached the regional finals of two Golf Ireland inter-club competitions and are just one match away from securing a pennant and reaching the All-Ireland finals.  

The Junior Cup and Jimmy Bruen Shield teams won their semi-finals over the weekend and will now play in the Leinster North Finals on August 21 and 22 respectively.

 The Junior Cup team were first to qualify last Thursday evening when they recorded a brilliant 4-1 win over Laytown and Bettystown with all five players performing brilliantly.

Aidan Thornton got the first point on the board with a 3&2 win from a match where he was never behind and Ciaran Johnson also had a 3&2 win having been one down after seven. The winning point was secured away from home as Ricky Newell, who was four down after four and three down with five to play, fought back to win his match on the 18th.

In the other two matches Brian Og Renaghan was one up playing the 18th when he was called in while Colin Roche had an eagle putt on the last in Laytown to send his match down the 19th after coming back from three down after three.

The team will now face either Corrstown or Malahide in the Leinster North Final on Saturday, August 21 with the winners advancing to the All-Ireland finals in Limerick from September 16-19.

On Friday evening, it took a birdie putt from Fergal Harte on the 18th green in Donabate to give Dundalk a narrow 3-2 win over the Dublin club in the Jimmy Bruen Shield.

Dundalk won both their matches in Donabate with Ricky Newell and Ronan Farrelly winning one-up before Harte and partner Gerard Carroll won their match in dramatic fashion on the final green.

The other point was secured by teenagers Chris Clarke and Eoin Purton who came back from being three down after 12 to win on the 20th with Clarke sinking a 25ft breaking putt for victory.

Mark Cumiskey and Ben Cahill were beaten 2up while Billy Cairns and Shane Byrne lost 4&3.

Dundalk will now face either Castleknock or Malahide in the regional final on Sunday, August 22, with a place in the All-Ireland Finals at Shandon Park from September 7 to 11 at stake.

There could be a third regional final outing as the Pierce Purcell team beat Rathcore 3.5 to 1.5 in their quarter-final on Sunday evening and will now face the winners of Westmanstown and Seapoint in the semi-final.

The team made home advantage count with Denis Cunningham and Tommy Renaghan delivering the first point of the day on the 14th with a 6&4 win while Eamon McEneaney and Michael McDermott had a comfortable 7&6 win.

The winning point was secured by Paul Cheshire and Laurence Soraghan who, having started well, found themselves one down after 12. However, they won the next four holes, two of them with birdies, to close out the match with a 3&2 victory.

Away from home John McKeever and Ronan Farrelly fought back from a poor start to keep their match alive until the 15th where they lost 4&3 while Dessie Ward and Ken Lynch were called in but looked like securing a valuable point had it been required as they were two up with two to play. 

Big week ahead for remaining inter-club teams

It’s a big week on the inter-club front with the three remaining teams all in action. The Junior Cup team will meet Laytown & Bettystown next Thursday, August 5, at 17:00 while the Jimmy Bruen team meet Donabate on August 6 at 15.50. both those teams are looking for a place in the Leinster North regional final while the Pierce Purcell team face Rathcor on Sunday evening at 15:10 for a place in the last four. Members are asked to come out and support the teams at home and away.

Junior Cup and Jimmy Bruen teams reach North Leinster semi-finals

On the Inter-Club scene there were wins for the Junior Cup and Jimmy Bruen Shield teams but the Fred Daly team lost 3-2 to Headfort.

A recurring theme for the Junior Cup team has been their performances away from home with nine wins in their last 10 matches away from Dundalk and the “Road Warriors” Ricky Newell and Colin Roche did it again Royal Tara last Thursday as they recorded third successive victories on the road. Both held their nerve in tight matches to win 1up and added to the point already claimed by Ciaran Johnson in Dundalk when he out-birdied the Meath’s club’s young gun Matthew Cully, taking control of their match around the turn and running out a 4&3 winner.

In the other matches Brian Og Renaghan had hung in after finding himself three down early on and was called in on the 17th while Robbie O’Hanlon came from three down after five to be all square going down the last where he lost his tee-shot in a tree down the left. His opponent made a five and took the match when O’Hanlon’s putt for five with his second ball failed to drop. The tie finished 3.5 to 1.5 in favour of Dundalk.

The team are now in the North Leinster semi-final and only two matches away from the All-Ireland series. Next up will be Laytown and Bettystown.

The Jimmy Bruen team are also into the regional semi-finals of their competition following their 3-2 win over Co Meath on Saturday. They now face Donabate in the last four after they beat Balbriggan 3-2 with the last match being decided on the 19th in Balbriggan.

More good wins for inter-club teams

On the inter-club front there were two good wins in the past week. The Jimmy Bruen Shield team beat Headfort 3-2 with the match being decided when Darren Murphy and Niall Murphy won on the 19th hole.

On Sunday evening the Junior Cup team beat Ardee 3-2 with the match being decided when Ricky Newell won on the 19th in Ardee. Dundalk also won the other match in Ardee with Colin Roche coming from four down to win 4&3.

In Dundalk Robbie O’Hanlon won 3&2 but there were defeats for Ciaran Johnston who went down 2&1 and Brian Óg Reneghan who lost 4&3.

The Senior Cup team bowed out of this year’s competition when they lost 3.5 to 1.5 to Laytown & Bettystown. Dundalk were without Caolan Rafferty, who was away with Ireland at the European Team Championships, and Aaron Grant, who was unavailable due to work commitments. Josh Mackin, Conor Curran and Neal MacKell were beaten in Laytown while Eoin Murphy won in Dundalk and Jason Murphy was called in going down the 19th.