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.

Men’s teams off to a good start with four wins in a week

It’s been a good week for Dundalk Golf Club on the inter-club front with four wins from five outings for the men’s teams.

The Fred Perry team kicked things off last Wednesday with a 3-2 win over Balbriggan and the Senior Cup team, which features our elite players, made it two out of two on Thursday when they beat Forest Little by 3.5 to 1.5. Aaron Grant won 6&4, Josh Mackin won 3&2 and Caolan Rafferty won 6&5 while Eoin Murphy was all square playing 18 when he was called in. Debutant Jason Murphy lost 3&2 in his first appearance at this level for the club.

On Friday, the Junior Cup team beat Co Louth, with Christy Ward and Colin Roche winning away, before the Provincial Towns Cup team had a 4.5 to 2.5 win over Greenore with Darren Murphy showing great character to clinch victory with a birdie on the 19th hole after he had been three up with three to play.

That made it four wins out of four for the week but the winning run came to an end on Sunday evening when the All-Ireland Fourball team lost 3-2 to South Meath.  

Ward comeback sends Ladies Intermediate Cup team through

It has been a busy week for Ladies on the inter-club front with three teams in action.

The Junior Foursomes team were first up on Bank Holiday Monday when they played Elmgreen with one match at home and two away. Ann Hopper and Mary Carthy got off to a great start in Elmgreen and were up in the match from the beginning. Both ladies played great golf and won 4up with 5holes to play. In the top match at home, Jacinta Foran and Berni MacGuinness were 2up but were brought back to all square and it all came down to a putt on the final green as they were sadly defeated. Behind them Elizabeth Mc Guinness and Brid Rocks had a similar story with their match going to the 18th and also ending in defeat. It was so near and yet for far but well done to the players and all the panel and a special word of thanks to Pat Cleary and Criona O’Reilly for managing the team.

On Saturday, June 12, the Junior and Intermediate Cup teams played their first round matches against Roganstown and Balbriggan respectively. The Junior Cup had Lady Captain Pauline and Criona O’Reilly playing away while Elaine Ward, Ellen McEneaney and Elizabeth Mc Donnell played at home.

Both away matches ended in defeat with Criona’s match going to the 20th. At home Ellen and Elizabeth both won on the 14th while Elaine Ward produced a spectacular performance to come from four down to win her match on the 18th and put the team through to the next round. Congratulations to the team and thanks to the team managers Anne Doohan and Maeve Ahern.

The Intermediate Cup team were defeated by Balbriggan with Maureen Sheridan and Berni MacGuinness playing in Balbriggan and Ann Hopper, Niamh Maguire and Brid Rocks playing in Dundalk. A special word of thanks to Briege Renaghan and Bernie Prendergast for managing the team.

A special word of thanks to Professional Leslie Walker for his coaching sessions and the support he offers the Ladies teams.

Men’s senior and ladies juniors march on as three teams bow out

Dundalk Golf Club have qualified for the Leinster Finals of the AIG Senior Cup, the most prestigious inter-club competition in Irish golf, and remain on course for an historic double having already qualified for the Leinster finals of the Barton Shield.

It was a tremendous end to a week that was bookended by two fabulous victories as the Ladies Junior Cup team also advanced to the Leinster quarter-finals when they defeated Laytown & Bettytown at the beginning of the week.

However, in between those two magnificent wins was a lot of heartache as Dundalk’s runs in the Jimmy Bruen Shield, All Ireland Fourball and Revive Active Fourball came to an end.

It is the first time in the club’s history that a team has reached the Leinster finals of the top two inter-club competitions in the same year and the senior team will head to Mount Wolseley in July and Mount Juliet in August with a lot of confidence after three impressive wins over the weekend in the regional qualifying round of the Senior Cup at Laytown & Bettystown.

Having received a bye in the First Round, Dundalk faced Killeen Castle on Saturday afternoon and won by 3.5 to 1.5 with Caolan Rafferty winning 6&5, Aaron Grant winning 3&1 and Conor Curran winning 3&2.

On Sunday morning they met Headfort and there were wins for Rafferty, Curran and Grant while Brendan Lawlor, for the second successive match, was called in while in a strong positive to win his match.

That set up a regional final with Co Louth and Eoin Murphy, who had flown in that morning from England, won two up after being dormie four. Fellow Irish Boys international Josh Mackin, who like Murphy had only finished his Leaving Certificate last Thursday, came from two down to win 2&1 thanks to birdies on three of the final four holes.

Rafferty was six under par in his 5&3 win while Grant was two up when his match was called in.

The win booked Dundalk a place in the Leinster final at Mount Juliet with their quarter-final match against The Island scheduled for August 28.

Earlier in the day, Dundalk’s Jimmy Bruen Shield team came agonisingly close to reaching the Leinster Finals in their regional qualifier at Roganstown.

They opened up with a 3.5 to 1.5 win over leading qualifiers Balbriggan with Pat Purton and Paul O’Callaghan winning 7&6, Billy Cairns & Zak Alderdice winning 4&3 and Damien English and Christy Ward winning on the 20th. Conal Murdock and Conor Murphy were looking good to win their match on the 19th when called in while Shane Hession and Fergal Sexton came up against Balbriggan’s strongest pairing and lost 5&4.

In the regional final on Sunday afternoon Dundalk faced Forest Little and a comfortable 6&5 win for for Ward and English and a 5&4 win for Murdock and Murphy left the tie level at 2-2 after Cairns & Alderdice and Ciaran Traynor and Cian Lynch McCrave had lost their matches.

It all came down to the match involving Purton and O’Callaghan which was all square after 16. However, Dundalk lost the 17th to a birdie and then saw Forest Little sink a 10ft putt for par on the 18th before O’Callaghan’s birdie putt to send the match down the 19th lipped out.

There was more heartbreak in the All-Ireland Fourball Leinster quarter-final against last year’s Leinster finalists, Malahide, who beat Frank Byrne’s charges 3-2 in a dramatic match that was eventually finished at around 10pm on Thursday evening.

In Malahide, Dundalk lost the opening match 4&3 as Colm Garvey and Michael Keating were hit by blitzkrieg from a home pairing that were two under gross for the 15 holes played as they rolled in three birdies, 11 pars and one bogey in a faultless round.

Behind them, Kevin Carthy and Ray Pepper were three down with four to play but won 15, 16 and 18 to draw level with Carthy producing a miraculous chip over a greenside bunker from the trees on the last to find the green and then sank a 15ft putt to send the match down the 19th.

On the first sudden death hole, it was Pepper who came to the fore as he hit a fabulous shot out of a fairway bunker to within six feet of the green and then chipped on to leave himself with two putts for the win and Dundalk’s first point on the board.

The remaining three matches were played in Dundalk where Adrian Kenny and Gerry McDermott maintained their unbeaten run with an excellent 3&1 win having taken control of the match midway through the opening nine when they won the fourth, fifth and sixth to open up a three hole lead.

Peter O’Brien and Dermot McKenna were involved in an extremely tight match which was all square with three to play but they lost 16 and 17 and were edged out 2&1 to leave the tie at 2-2 with one match out on the course.

Eamonn McEneaney and Joe Flanagan had been four down after 10 but they won the next three holes to reduce the deficit to one and, after losing the 14th, they bounced back with wins at the 15th, 16th and 17th to stand one up with one to play.

After Malahide had secured their par on the 18th, the home pair both had putts to send Dundalk into the Leinster semi-finals for the first time in the club’s history but both efforts burned the edge of the hole and sent the match down the 19th where Malahide secured the win with a five.

Earlier that day, the Ladies Revive Action team were beaten in their Third Round match by Ardee who won by 3.5 to 1.5.

At the beginning of last week the Ladies Junior Cup team reached the Leinster Finals with a 3-2 win over Laytown & Bettystown and they will now face Rathfarnham in Foxrock for a place in the semi-finals.

 

Three teams make it through the weekend

Three Dundalk teams advanced to the next round of their respective inter-club competitions over the weekend but it is the end of the road for the Barton Cup and Newsam Cup teams as they both lost out to Meath opposition in their respective competitions.

There were wins for the Boys U18 team in the Fred Daly Trophy, the Ladies Revive Action team and the North Leinster Mixed team while the Husband and Wife team produced another strong performance in this annual competition at Co Meath Golf Club.

The strength in depth of the underage programme at Dundalk Golf Club was clearly shown on Saturday when the Boys U18 team went into the second round of the Fred Daly Trophy without three of their top players but beat Greenore 4-1 to remain on course for a successful defence of the Leinster title they won last year.

Boys U18 internationals Eoin Murphy and Josh Mackin, as well as juvenile captain Padraig Fallon, were all unavailable for this match but their replacements stepped up to the plate and won their matches to secure a Dundalk victory.

Playing in Dundalk, Oisin Conroy and Zak Alderdice both recorded victories with Conroy winning 6&5 and Alderdice winning 5&3. The other three matches were played in Greenore where another rookie, Ciaran Johnston, had a one hole win while Kyle Rafferty won 2up and Sean Laverty was beaten on the 15th.

Youth was also to the fore for the Ladies as their Revive Active Fourball team, which is managed by Maureen Sheridan and Marie Griffin, scored an impressive victory over Co Louth despite having to play three of the five matches in Baltray.

Teenager Eve Rowland was one of the stars of a great team performance when she partnered Pauline Campbell to a 3&2 win in Dundalk while in Baltray there was a 2&1 win for Criona O’Reilly and Theresa Connolly and a one hole win for Jacinta Foran and Bernie McCann.

The North Leinster Mixed team faced Royal Tara in the opening round of this year’s competition and won thanks to victories in Dundalk for Tommy and Briege Reneghan as well as Larry Soraghan and Sally McDonnell while Anne Murray and Brendan Keane got the vital win away.

In the Newsam Cup on Saturday it all came down to inches as Dundalk lost by 3.5 to 1.5 to the runners-up in the competition for the past two years, Knightsbrook. Dundalk had defeated the Trim based club in the final in 2016 and the Meath men exacted revenged in a match that was in the balance right up to the final stroke.

After a 3&2 win for Gavin McDonnell and Derek Teather, a 4&3 defeat for Dermot McKenna and Alan Uzell and a 4&3 defeat for Sean Gallagher & Steve Buckingham, Knightsbrook held a 2-1 lead with two matches still alive. In Dundalk Benny O’Shaughnessy and Sean Quigley were 1up standing on the 18th tee while, in Trim, Gerry McDermott and Mark Browne were two down with two to play.

McDermott and Browne, who had hung in doggedly down the back nine, finally got a break on the 17th when they found the par five green in three while their opponents found the water with their fifth shot. The Dundalk pairing then got up and down from off the green at the par three 18th for a win to send their match down the 19th where a booming drive from Browne split the fairway before they were called in because of what had unfolded in Dundalk.

Knightsbrook managed to win the 18th in Dundalk to force their match with O’Shaughnessy and Quigley down the 19th where it all came down to two putts as Dundalk lipped out from five feet and Knightsbrook sank a four footer to take the overall match

In the Barton Cup on Sunday, after a bright start, Dundalk fell away against Headfort and eventually lost 4.5 to 0.5. In Dundalk, Neal MacKell and Aaron Waite lost 6&5, while Ciaran Sheridan and Damian English lost 5&4 and Billy Cairns and Aidan Thornton lost 3&2. In Headfort, Ciaran Traynor & Eugene Hanratty were beaten 4&3 while Clem Walsh and Paul O’Callaghan were all square after 16 when called in.

On Sunday, Dundalk took part in the annual Husband & Wife competition hosted by Co Meath Golf Club in Trim. Dundalk won the inaugural competition in 2016 and the team, managed by Elaine Ward and Paul O’Callaghan, put in another strong showing in this year’s event but came up short at the end as victory went to Killeen Castle.

Next weekend sees the ladies in action in the Junior Foursomes against Headfort in Mannan Castle while the Junior Cup team faces Co Meath in Kilcock. The men’s All-Ireland Fourball team face Greenore on Saturday at 12.30pm with three matches at home. The JB Carr Diamond Trophy second round tie against Greenore will be /played on May 17 and May 25 with the first leg in Dundalk.

Representing Dundalk in the Newsam Cup away leg against Knightsbrook on Saturday were (from left): Steve Buckingham, Gerry McDermott, Pat Davis (Vice-Captain and Assistant Manager), Sean Gallagher and Mark Browne.