AS 36 teams look to succeed Deerpark duo Mary Murphy and Damien Fleming as 2014 National Mixed Foursomes winners in Ringcommons this Sunday, Communications and Press Officer Jason O’Connor looks ahead to the battle for the Sean Coyne Memorial Cup which is kindly sponsored by Brophy Brothers Builders.
THE final major National adult event of this year takes the Pitch & Putt fraternity to the Naul area of Dublin as the National Mixed Foursomes title will go to one of nine counties with teams taking part on Sunday. There are a number of former winners of this event taking part this weekend but only one of the same combination in 2007 winners Tracey and Joe McGrath of Erry and they are paired with Kildare’s Chrissie Byrne and Darren Keogh in what is a very interesting Fourball to watch in action. Some of the other previous winners taking part this weekend include Lucan’s Paul Dillon (he was paired with Brenda Purcell in RGSC in 2010 but takes part with Rita Dillon this year).
2003 winners Catherine McGreevy and Ian Farrelly of Meath are also taking part this albeit with partners. Catherine takes part with recently crowned National Seniors Gents Strokeplay Champion William Sheridan of Bellewstown while Ian is paired with Kathleen Geraghty of Skyrne. Going back to Lucan they have produced two winners of this event in the last decade (David Hayden and Bernie Barton won on home turf back in 2005) and they will hope to add to that collection with four pairings in total this weekend with Siobhan McDonnell and David Hayden II, Evelyn O’Gorman and Stephen Keegan along with Phil Condron and Patrick Croke joining Paul and Rita in representing the club this Sunday. Kilbeggan of Westmeath have three pairings amongst the field namely Kathleen and John Carton, Eleanor Gillic and Tom Crowe along with Dina Carton and Michael Cunningham. Laytown of Meath are another club to have three pairings namely Ann and Paddy Bird, Esther Andrews and Dom Scully along with Kathleen O’Neill and Oliver Healy.
The host club has two entries amongst the field. Patsy Quinlan and Jimmy Caul tee off in the first group at 10am with the club’s other pairing of Annette Rodgers and Kit Callaghan teeing off at 11.15am. In terms of the recent Provincial competitions, Leinster winners Stella Sheridan and Frank Connolly of Glenville are amongst the field after their success in Old County four weeks ago, while Ballinlough duo John and Karen Aherne were amongst the prize-winners in the Munsters in Fermoy. There are only six teams from Munster amongst the field on Sunday in Ringcommons and only two counties at that in Cork and Tipperary.
In terms of the breakdown by county, Dublin has eight entries, Meath has seven, Louth six, Kildare four, Tipperary, Westmeath and Cork all have three each with Offaly and Down making up the rest of the entries for Sunday. This is a format that requires a good degree of patience and the ability to cope with setbacks as they will inevitably happen when not every shot can be played by competitors. There has been a good mix between low and high handicapped teams coming out victorious in recent years with a variety of factors on the day itself likely to play a part in determining the eventual winners. Certainly for the Lady players it will be of big interest with Ringcommons the hosts of next year’s National Ladies Strokeplay Championships.
The history of the competition dates back to 1971 when the first two stagings were held in Ierne. Only two pairings ever have managed to win it more than once, Pat and Marie Kelliher of Douglas back in 1974 and 1975 while Kilbeggan’s Jack and Rose McCormack were victorious in 1985 and 1990. Limerick’s Mary Dore is a double winner also albeit with different partners, Croom’s Ger Wallace in 1998 along with Parteen’s Ger O’Driscoll in 2004. Douglas as a club lead the way on the Roll of Honour with four wins, while Fermoy and Shandon have produced three winning pairings. Although the event is no longer a strictly club contest, it’s interesting to note that only one pairing has won this event as members of different clubs that being Catherine McGreevy and Ian Farrelly in 2003 when they were members of Navan and Duleek respectively.
The action will be fast and furious in Ringcommons this Sunday as we wait to see who will be crowned victors in the 44th staging of this tough, tricky but ultimately enjoyable format.
We wish Ringcommons all this best in the staging of this event as well as the competitors in action on Sunday the best of luck and thank Brophy Brothers Builders once again for their continued support of this event. Updates on proceedings will be available on the website as well as our social media platforms.
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