Communications & Press Officer Jason O’Connor reports on today’s proceedings from across the two provinces which saw 12 different champions crowned in four venues.
A LONG DAY in Enniscorthy saw a new name emerge in the senior ranks as Hubert Kelly of Loughlinstown was crowned winner of the Senior Gents grade with a 54 hole total of 145. He held off a late charge from his club-mate John Ross Crangle and Sean Goggin of Cement to claim the title. Rounds of nine and five under par had given Kelly a strong five shot lead over Goggin after the first 36 holes on 14 under par.
His club-mate Crangle appeared to be out of it in qualified 11th of the 12 qualifiers for the playoff at six under par but a strong charge through the field saw Crangle record a playoff round of nine under par to take the clubhouse lead on 15 under par. Goggin moved a little closer to Kelly in the playoff but could only match Crangle’s score of 15 under come the conclusion (Crangle getting second on countback) as Kelly held his nerve to record a final round of three under par for a winning total of 17 under par. The Intermediate Gents title went to a young gun as Luke Heeney of Bellewstown held off the challenge of two of the locals to come out on top with a score of 99. A second round of six under par was crucial to his two stroke win as he held off Kevin Doyle and Derek Ryan from the hosts in second and third respectively. A second round of four under par was enough to give Doyle second by two strokes from Ryan on seven under with Ryan just beating 18 hole leader Brian Casey from Channonrock on countback for third with a score of 53 for his second round.
The Junior Gents saw Anthony Ryan complete a Provincial Matchplay and Strokeplay double as the McDonagh player was the only one to finish under par in the field with a score of one under, 107. A second round of two under was the key to a three stroke victory as he added to the Matchplay title that he won in St Bridgets a month previously. Three players finished on 110 (two over par) with Ryan’s club-mate Paddy Phillips getting second thanks to a second 18 of two under par as well with Maurice Middleton from Collinstown claiming third on countback from 18 hole leader Jimmy Flood of McBride thanks to a round of one over par.
Chrissie Byrne’s magnificent 2015 thus far continued as she completed a provincial double by a convincing margin in Bagenalstown thanks to a strong second round performance with a second 18 of nine under par giving her a 10 stroke victory over her nearest challengers on 12 under par. This added to her National Matchplay and Kildare Strokeplay honours in what has been a pretty flawless showing from the St Bridgets player.
The battle for second was a bit more competitive with three players tying on two under par. A second round of three under par gave Ger Ward of Portmarnock second with level par for Erry’s Tracey McGrath in her second round good enough to give her third from Tullamore’s Margaret Hogan who also finished on two under par. The Intermediate grade saw a second provincial double as Bernie Dunne added to the Matchplay title she won on home turf with a eight stroke victory over the field. Rounds of 57 and 54 gave her a 36 hole total of three over par, well clear of Noreen Myles from Gaeil Colmcille in second on 119, after rounds of 57 and 62 for the Meath player. Shandon’s Mary Fullam finished a shot behind Noreen in third on 120 thanks to a decent second round of 57 in particular.
The Junior Ladies saw a clean sweep for the Lilywhite county on the day as two rounds of 61 gave Catherine Smith of Ryston the title with a score of 122. That was five strokes better than Ann Minogue from the Ferbane club’s total of 127, with another Ferbane player, Mary McKenna finishing a shot behind her club-mate in third with a score of 128.
A super sixth title was the order of the day for National Matchplay Champion John Walsh as he produced a strong final 18 round of 11 under par to take a two shot victory from the man he defeated in the Matchplay Final in Lakeside, Bryan Delaney of ESB, with Deerpark’s Damien Fleming a further shot behind. Delaney led Fleming by two after the first 36 holes of 17 under par with Walsh in a share of third on 14 under par. The Collins clubman powered through in the playoff however with seven birdies in his last nine holes giving him control of proceedings and winning out with 25 under par in total, ahead of Delaney on 23 and Fleming on 22 under par. Ray Murphy had three holes-in-one on the day but could do no better that a share of fourth with John O’Meara from the host club on 21 under par.
The Intermediate title went to a player from Lakeside as Patrick Kennedy made up for some previous setbacks in the competition to finally win the grade with a composed 36 hole score of 14 under par. Shooting nine under par in his first 18 gave Kennedy a good platform as he led Rocklodge's Craig Cahill by two strokes. Munster Matchplay winner in the grade, Jason O’Brien made a bold bid for the double in his second round, birdieing eight of the front nine to move to 11 under but he could not further his score but Kennedy was undeterred as a hole-in-one helped him to his winning score of 94 with Cahill having to make do with third place after his 11 under par total was beaten by O’Brien’s on countback for the runners-up spot.
The Junior Grade saw the Munster Matchplay Champion just piped also in terms of making it a provincial double as despite leading after the first 18 holes, John Minogue from the host club was beaten by St Stephens’ Clint O’Keeffe for the title. Minogue led O’Keeffe by two strokes after the first 18 on eight under par but O’Keeffe made his move in the second round with a strong seven under par total brining him to 95 as the local player could only improve his score by two strokes and finish up three behind on 10 under par. A good second round of five under par meanwhile gave Brian O’Flynn from Parteen third place on 101.
Tipperary Hills’ Breda Lonergan emerged victorious in the battle for the senior title in Fermoy with her total of nine under par giving her a four stroke victory over Eleanor Walsh from the host club. Breda shot rounds of four and five under par respectively as she turned a one shot lead at the halfway stage into her eventual winning margin as Eleanor shot two under par in her second round. Martha O’Brien from Lakeside finished third on one under par thanks to round of two under and one over par respectively.
The Intermediate title went to the host club however as Catherine Waters shot level par to claim the title holding off stiff competition from club-mate Nicole Burke and Riverdale’s Margaret Forde in the process. Waters had rounds of one over and one under par to win the title on level par, 108. Burke shot two under in her second 18 to finish second on 110 with Forde also shooting two under in her second round but only good enough for third on 112.
The Junior title went to St Stephens’ Mairead Manning by a single stroke with a score of 123, just giving her victory from Lakeside’s Lily O’Brien. Rounds of 62 and 61 gave Mairead her win with Lily shooting 60 in her second round to finish on 124. Another Tipperary player Jacinta Nugent of Tipperary Hills was third on 129 on countback as her second 18 of 61 was better than 18 hole leader Karen Aherne of Ballinlough’s total of 70 over the same distance.
Click on the above scoreboards to see how every player fared on the day
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