Mixed weekend for Dundalk teams

 IT was a mixed weekend for Dundalk Golf Club on the inter-club scene as two teams advanced to the next rounds of their respective competitions while two others bit the dust at the first hurdle.

There was success for the Men’s All-Ireland Fourball and Ladies Junior Foursomes teams but the Men’s Provincial Towns Cup and Boys U15 teams were both beaten.

Having received a bye in the opening round, the All-Ireland Fourball team, which is managed by Frank Byrne and Larry Soraghan, are now through to the third round after an impressive 4-1 win over Bellewstown on Saturday.

With three matches away, against the team that had knocked Co Louth out of the competition in the previous round, it was imperative that Dundalk won their two home games and they not only did that but they did so with two impressive displays of golf.

Adrian Kenny and Gerry McDermott put the first Dundalk point on the board when they stormed to an 8&7 victory without losing a hole in the process while Peter O’Brien and Dermot McKenna were always in front after winning the first. They put the foot down on the eighth from where they won six consecutive holes to close the match out on the 13th and record a 7&5 win.

It was a lot closer in Bellewstown for most of the day but Dundalk eventually kicked on with Eamonn McEneaney and Joe Flanagan securing the tie-winning third point when they won the 15th, 16th and 17th for a 3&1 victory. David Cairns and Colm Garvey had bounced back from being three down at one stage to be two up after 16 when they were called in. The final pairing of Ray Pepper and Kevin Carthy were two down with four to play when were called in.

In the Ladies Junior Foursomes on Sunday at Concra Wood, Dundalk advanced to the next round after a 2-1 win over Greenore. The team, which is managed by Maria Kerr and Violet McGeady comprised of Berni McGuinness & Theresa Connolly, Mags Coburn & Bernie McCabe and Brid Rocks & Niamh Maguire.

The peculiarities of matchplay were definitely on show in the Provincial Towns Cup match against Greenore on Saturday as Dundalk lost 4-5 having looked in control for the most of the day.

As the away team, Dundalk hosted four of the nine matches and got off to a flyer as Damian English and 14-year-old Zak Alderdice, making his senior debut, both won 6&5 while Gerard Carroll won 4&3. The final match in Dundalk resulted in a 5&3 defeat for Trevor Giff.

By that stage the five matches in Greenore were still alive but the home side were mounting a comeback having trailed in most for the best part of the afternoon. Derek Murdock lost 3&2 in the top match but Eddie Rocks won 2&1 to leave the score at 4-2 for Dundalk with three matches still to be decided. Greenore took the bottom match with a 3&2 win over Turlough King while Paul Morrison, after leading for most of the day, was taken to the 18th and lost by one hole.

By this stage Fergal Sexton was heading down the 19th which his Greenore opponent managed to win to secure the tie-winning point for the home side and send them into the next round.

The U15 Boys faced an uphill task going into their second leg at home to Co Louth as they trailed 0-5 from the first leg a week ago in Baltray. But they gave it a go and came very close to causing an upset as they won the leg 3.5 to 1.5 but lost by 6.5 to 3.5 on aggregate.

Christopher Clarke, Tom Dunne and Conor Murphy won their matches but Joseph Laverty lost his and Zak Alderdice was level through 16 when his match was called in.

The All-Ireland Mixed Foursomes team are back in action on Saturday, April 28, when they face Greenore at 3pm with three matches away from home. The Newsam Cup team have three at home when they face Knightsbrook on May 5 and the Barton Cup team will have three at home when they meet Headfort in May 6 at 3pm.

ENDS

 

Teams gearing up for April start

APRIL will see the start of golf’s inter-club competitions and Dundalk Golf Club plans to send out over 30 teams in men’s, ladies and juvenile events at regional, provincial and national level.

All-Ireland pennants have been thin on the ground with the Jimmy Bruen Shield triumph in 2004 being the club’s only national title to date although there has been some success at provincial level in competitions like the Barton Cup, Junior Cup, Provincial Towns Cup, JB Carr Trophy and most recently, the Fred Daly Trophy which the Boys U18 team won last year.

Regional competitions have also yielded some success with the 2016 Newsam Cup victory and the 2016 Husband and Wife being the most recent successes on the local front.

Anne Doohan & Mary Lou Grennan have been appointed as Team Directors for the Ladies teams while Jim Caraher, Vincent Conlon and Paul Malone will take charge of the Boys teams while Pauline Campbell and Mary Lou Grennan will look after the Girls teams.

Clem Walshe, who was part of the management team that guided Dundalk to a Leinster title in the Junior Cup back in 2015, has been handed overall responsibility this year for the men’s teams and he has been working hard over the past few months to get ready to the coming season.

“I was very honoured when our Captain Gerry Byrne approached me and asked would I take on looking after the men’s teams. I’ve appointed managers to all the teams and we had an excellent get-together in January to plan the year and how we intend approaching each competition this year.

“All the managers have been asked to trawl through the club looking for players who might be suitable for playing inter-club competitions. Different competitions have different formats such as strokeplay, matchplay, singles, foursomes and fourballs and are also confined to certain handicaps so there is a lot of work in matching players, with the right handicaps to the format that is best for them and the team.

“Then we have the preparation phase. In a lot of cases we will probably not be playing every match in Dundalk so we have to make sure that players get the opportunity to practice the course they will be playing.”

Walshe, who plays off five, intends to draw on his own experiences in his role. He won a Barton Cup with St Anne’s in 1995 and was manager of the Dundalk team which won the Leinster Junior in 2015.

“One of the things I have tried to get across to the managers is the importance of preparation, particularly when we are playing away from home. There are things that you need to do when you are preparing to play on an unfamiliar course which I have learned down through the years and I have tried to pass that on.

“As the panels are assembled we will look to bring them together for practice sessions as well as coaching sessions from our club professional Leslie Walker who in addition to being an excellent teacher also possesses a wealth of competitive playing experience which he is always happy to pass on.”

The first Dundalk team in action this year will be the Senior Mixed Foursomes, which is managed by Alan Hurley and Criona O’Reilly. They take on Bellewstown on Sunday, April 8, at 2.30pm with three of the five matches in Dundalk. The winners away to the either Greenore or Laytown & Bettystown in the second round.

Next up for Dundalk will be the Barton Cup team. Managed by Carl Stewart and Alan McDermott they face Ardee in Saturday week, April 14, at 2.30pm with three of the five matches in Dundalk.

Three Ladies teams will also in action the same weekend. On Saturday, April 14, the Challenge Cup team, which is managed by Brid Rocks and Mary Dooley, will travel to Laytown & Bettystown to face Ashbourne.

The next day, Sunday, April 15, the Intermediate Cup team, managed by Olivia Cunningham and Teresa Oakes, and the Minor Cup team, managed by Jacinta Foran and Elizabeth McGuinness, will be in Concra Wood for their first round ties. The Intermediate team face Ardee while the Minor team take on Hollywood Lakes.