AFTER a weekend basked in glorious sunshine, Communications and Press Officer Jason O’Connor rounds-up the action from the conclusion of our Provincial Matchplay Championships in Bellewstown and Lakeside today.
While it could have been even better that it was, certainly it was a weekend to remember for the Cement club of Louth in both Bellewstown and Ringcommons on both Saturday and Sunday as they had no fewer than seven semi-finalists in three of the six grades contested over the weekend and featuring in all three Finals of the grades they had semi-finalists in.
The Senior grade was an all Cement affair as Ian Donnelly and George Beardsley battled through to face each other in the decider. Donnelly had defeated Frank Ryan of Athgarvan in his semi-final earlier in the morning by 3&2 while Beardsley ended hopes of a local success in the other semi-final, defeating Peter Reilly of Bellewstown by 5&4. 5&4 was also the margin in the decider but it was Donnelly who was on the right side of the result this time as it was the first time a player from the club had won the event since the year 2000 when Mark Millar won in the club colours. This win comes after defeats for other Cement players Sean Goggin (2005) and Barry Thornton (2011) in previous Leinster Senior Finals.
The Intermediate Grade went to Tullamore as Jamie Hogan had a convincing 11&10 victory over Anthony Gibney of Navan in the decider. Hogan had earlier defeated Owen Campbell of McBride in his semi-final by 3&2 with 3&2 the same scoreline Gibney defeated another McBride player Chris Murray to prevent another all Louth club decider on the day. The Junior Semi-Finals were the closest of the Gents grades, one decided on the last, the other on the first playoff hole. St Patricks’ Glenn Fortune defeated Gaeil Colmcille’s Liam Farrell on the last 1up while the meeting of Cement’s Glen Martin and McDonagh’s Emmet Doran went to the 37th with Martin coming through in sudden death.
Fortune had the upper hand in the decider however winning out by 5&4 to prevent Cement from claiming a second Gents title on the day.
We did say in advance that the Senior Ladies had the potential to be a cracker if that all played to their potential and the semi-finals certainly didn’t disappoint as both of them were won by a score of 1up. Chrissie Byrne got the better of her sister Marian Courtney by that score in the first semi-final while Tracey Redmond was victorious by the same score over Tara Dillon to prevent an all St Bridgets clash in the decider. Tracey could not prevent Chrissie retaining her title however as Tracey had a 3&2 winning margin in the decider. The Intermediate Semi-Finals were one sided affairs meanwhile as last year’s Finalists were denied the opportunity to set up a re-match in the decider.
Bernie Dunne’s reign as Champion ended with a 10&8 loss to Carol O’Brien from Gaeil Colmcille while Lucan’s Siobhan McDonnell made it to the decider courtesy of a 9&8 win over Loughlinstown’s Betty Cody in their decider. Siobhan would come out on top in the decider by 2&1 over Carol to make up for missing out on last year’s decider. Success for the host county at the venue would have to come in the Junior event as Bronagh Darby from Raoath emerged victorious. Bronagh defeated Wendy Mary Mooney of Cement in her semi-final by at the third playoff hole to prevent a second all Cement Final on the day following a 7&6 victory for Wendy Mary’s club-mate Francis Farrell over McBride’s Audrey Donnelly in the other semi-final.
Bronagh would come out on top in the decider by 5&4 to become the first player to win such an event in 12 years.
The players in the Southern province had an extra stage to contend with today as they resumed from Saturday at the Quarter-Final stage this morning but the extra round certainly didn’t take anything from the excitement particularly in the Senior Grade. Just like the national competition at the same venue nearly 12 months later, the main title would be decided by a meeting between John Walsh and Bryan Delaney. Walsh had defeated Cunnigar’s John Carroll (5&4) and Bruff’s Pacelli Darcy (6&5) to make it to the decider as Delaney got the better of Fermoy’s John Cahill and Parteen’s Kieran Earls by the same score (4&3) to set up another meeting with the Irish No 1.
While last year’s National Final between the two players was decided on the last hole, this one went a bit further, four extra holes in face as Walsh eventually won on the 40th to win his first provincial Matchplay title since 2011 and deny Delaney a maiden provincial success. The Intermediate title also went to the Rebel County as Rocklodge’s Craig Cahill was the player to come out on top. Wins over Che Maher of Parteen (3&2) and Tipperary Hills’ DJ Lynch (4&3) put him in the decider where he would face another Parteen player Alan Bennis. Bennis had ended all Lakeside hopes of a home success with wins over Sean McCormack (3&2) and Alan Maher (5&4) to set up the decider with Cahill. The Rocklodge player would win the decider by 3&2 for the second Cork win on the day.
Parteen’s Conor Fahy prevented a clean sweep on the day for the Rebels in the Junior grade however and ended any hope of a success for the host club on the weekend itself. Fahy advanced to the Final courtesy of wins over Ray Lyons of Tipp Hills (2&1) and Bruff’s Michael Farrell (5&4) to win through for a meeting with Anthony Maher from the host club. Maher had defeated Richard Swords of Tipp Hills by 6&5 and won a tight semi-final with Riverdale’s Seamus Gleeson 1up to raise hopes of a local win.
Fahy was no fazed by the prospect of playing the local favourite in the decider however in recording a 4&3 win for the title.
Click on the scoreboards above to see how it played out across all matches play this weekend at both provinces.
For Photos of today’s prize-winners click on the following links:
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