Communications & Press Officer Jason O’Connor reports on the opening day of the Provincial Inter-County Championships in both provinces.
A GOOD start to the weekend for host county Westmeath as they had medals in all of the competitions in both Collinstown and Lough Owel. Pride of place went to their Intermediate Gents team in Lough Owel who had two shots to spare over Dublin in winning out with 31 under par combined with Wexford only a further shot behind the Dubs in third on 28 under. Strong scoring in the Scotch Foursomes was the key to the hosts win in this grade as they all broke 50 with Declan Hogan & David Penrose shooting nine under, Stephen Harte & John Sweeney seven under and David Kiernan and Mark Kelly coming in with six under.
Kelly had four under in the Singles and Penrose three under as seven under from Barry Gorey in the Singles along with a four under par round from Charlie Egan brought Dublin back in contention before the end however Westmeath’s strong start paid dividends in the end. The Junior Gents competition belonged to Kilkenny who had 15 shots to spare over the field after strong four of three under par in the Scotch Foursomes from Eugene Gibbons & Kevin Knox sent them on their way with Knox and Nicholas Brennan both scoring one under in the Singles as Derek Delaney, Adam Gibbons and Robert Middleton made up the winning side whose final score stood at 494 (eight over par). Louth’s John Donnelly had the best Junior Singles score with two under par but the Wee County found the scoring tough in the Singles after having led in the Scotch Foursomes, finishing on 509, nine shots ahead of Westmeath in third on 518.
Louth had better success in the Junior Ladies however as they won the four player team Stableford with 20 points to spare over the host county. Wendy Mary Mooney and Francis Farrell gave them a great foundation in the Doubles with a score of 36 points as Farrell (31 points) and Mary Coyle (30) broke 30 points as well in the Singles with Bridie Hanratty the fourth member of the winning side who had 182 in total. Westmeath had two 30 points scores for their Scotch Foursomes but Adeline Revins was the only player to break 30 points for them in the Singles with the hosts 162 total well clear of Kilkenny in third on 146 points. The Intermediate Ladies went to Kildare once more as the Lilywhites managed to get the better of Meath in the Singles after both counties were tied in the Doubles on 75 points each. Kildare’s Elizabeth Smyth & Mary Sherry along with Meath’s Marie Black & Yvonne Carney both scored 40 points in their Scotch Foursomes rounds but crucially every Kildare player registered over 30 points in the Singles as Mary Donnelly (36) and Mairead O’Toole (33) were the key scores for Kildare in this win. Westmeath beat Dublin on countback for third after scores of 188 points by both, Kathleen Carton’s score of 34 points along with 31 for Anne Kelly big factors in the hosts getting bronze here.
Meath won the other competition held in the eastern province today namely the U-16 event as they stood out well over the field in registering a winning score of 16 under par, 470. 10 under for the combination of Evan Carry & Seanie Bellew in the Scotch Foursomes along with Bellew scoring 10 under in the Singles and Carry scoring seven were key features in the win as Sean Clerkin, Joseph and Killian Smith along with Katie Rose Heeney made up the winning Royal County side. Westmeath were all of 38 shots behind in second on 508, one ahead of last year’s winners Offaly with Conor Mullins and Padraig Carton registering an impressive score of nine under par together in the Scotch Foursomes.
SUCCESS for the host county here would come in the Junior Gents event as the Kerry class of 2017 would ensure that they became the second county after Cork in the province to win all three of the Gents grades since the new grades were introduced in 2014. Their win in Castleisland this morning owed much to a six under par round from the combination of Pa Byrne and Padraig Hobbart in the Scotch Foursomes with four under par rounds from Sean Hickey and Killian O’Gorman in the Singles crucial as well in defeating Cork by two shots for the title.
David Hobbert and Tommy Higgins made up the winning Kerry side whose winning score stood at 16 under par like the Meath U-16’s in Leinster. Cork’s Mark Jordan had the best individual Junior Gents Singles score with five under par but despite Gavin Dawson shooting three under and Keith Flynn two under, the Rebels could not hold on to the title they had held since the event’s inception. Tipperary would finish seven shots ahead of Limerick in third on 490. The Premier County would win the Junior Ladies event however finishing ahead of Cork by 17 points in the Stableford format. Scores of 33 points (Catherine Dunne & Margaret Courtney) and 32 points (Josie McCormack & Elaine Quinn) gave Tipperary a five point lead at the halfway stage over Cork with a score of 34 points for McCormack in the Singles a feature of their winning total of 179.
Michelle Flynn & Karen Aherne had registered 33 points together in the Scotch Foursomes for the defending champions but only Flynn could break 30 in the Singles as Cork ended up on 162, Kerry finishing third on 158 points. The Intermediate title would be won by Cork however as they won a straight shoot-out with Tipperary by five points with 199 overall. Tipp had led after the Doubles, Margaret Forde & Mary Quinn with 39 points, Bridget Shelley & Frances Ryan with 35 but Cork won by virtue of three of their team breaking 30 points in the Singles.
Patsy O’Donovan and Mairead Manning (both 34) along with Ailish Sexton (33) edged Cork ahead with Mairead Manning the fourth member of the winning Cork side.
Click on the links above for the scoresheets and see how every county, pair and player fared today in both provinces.
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