Communications & Press Officer Jason O’Connor reports on this weekend’s Provincial Matchplay Championships which saw 12 different winners crowned in both provinces today.
A NEW name on the Leinster Senior Gents Matchplay Cup as Erry’s Aongus Coughlan emerged victorious from the weekend getting the better of former National Strokeplay Champion Anthony ‘Skinner’ Malone of Lucan in this afternoon’s Final in Inniskeen. Aongus had started his campaign yesterday with victories over Louth duo George Beardsley and Ian Donnelly to qualify for today’s Quarter-Finals.
The Erry player had a tremendous start to the day by knocking out defending champion Dean Grannell of St Patricks 4&2 before a 3&2 win over Niall Winters Jnr of Trim would follow the Semi-Finals. Malone had defeated Tullamore’s Darren O’Connell 5&4 in the Quarter-Finals before improving to a 6&5 win over McDonagh’s Martin O’Neill in the Semi-Finals. The decider would go Coughlan’s way however as he recorded a 3&2 win to claim his first senior provincial title.
The Intermediate title went to Westmeath and Lough Owel as David Penrose got the better of McDonagh’s Aidan Thomas by 5&4. Penrose had defeated Bellewstown’s Sean Clerkin (7&6) and William Buckley Snr of Erry in Collon on Saturday to make it through to today where a 4&3 win over Daniel Clinton of Cement in the Quarter-Finals and a 5&4 Semi-Final success over St Patricks Kevin Doyle put him through to the Final. Aidan Thomas had beaten Dunshaughlin’s Paul O’Rourke 4&3 in the Quarter-Finals and Adam McKenna of McBride at the first playoff hole in the Semis before losing out to the Lough Owel player in the decider.
The Junior Gents grade saw an 8&6 win for Navan’s Darren Forde over another Meath player in Trim’s Richard Walsh in an all Royal County Final. Forde had a 7&5 win over Gowran’s Robert Middleton and a 5&4 win over Phillip Maher of Glenville in Collon on Saturday to make it through to Sunday in Inniskeen where he defeated club-mate Jimmy Burke 2&1 in the Quarter-Finals and another club-mate in Danny Fitzpatrick 3&1 to set up his third win of the day over a Meath player in the decider. Walsh had defeated a club-mate of his own in the Quarter-Finals, Kevin O’Sullivan 5&4 while he would go on to defeat Erry’s Jimmy Taylor by 3&1 in his Semi-Final match.
In the Ladies grades, the Senior Semi-Finals this morning saw Ryston club-mates Chrissie Byrne and Tara Dillon record big wins over Helen Greagsbey (10&9) and Mary Agnew (12&11) before going on to contest another decider against each other. There was no separating either player after the regulation 36 holes with Chrissie gaining the win at the first playoff hole to retain the title. The Intermediate grade was won by Old County’s Pauline Balfe as after defeating Trim’s Margaret Conneelly in the Quarter-Finals in Collon yesterday she received a walkover from Lucan’s Tracey Smith in the Semi-Finals before defeating Seapoint’s Christina Carroll in the Final 3&2. Christina had earlier defeated Marlo Everitt in the other Semi-Final 2&1.
The Junior Ladies title was won by McBride’s Audrey Donnelly meanwhile as she denied reigning holder’s Francis Farrell of Cement the chance to retain the title in an all Louth affair in the decider. Audrey had begun with a 4&3 win over last year’s Runner-Up Noreen Myles of Castletown in Collon yesterday before defeating Seapoint’s Ann Fagan 3&2 in the Semi-Finals. Farrell was victorious over Channonrock’s Louise Markey in the second Semi-Final but Audrey would be victorious at the 37th hole, the second Ladies decider of the day to need a playoff.
After success in the Inter-County colours with Cork, Fermoy’s Declan Freeman claimed a major Singles honor on home turf this weekend after coming from five down to defeat former National Matchplay winner Shane Murphy of Raffeen Creek in the Senior Gents Final. Freeman had begun with wins over club-mate Daniel Keohane (6&5) and Douglas’ Eoin Keating (3&2) on Saturday before ending the reign of Stephen Shoer (Lakeside) as Champion with a 5&4 win in the Quarter-Finals this morning.
He would then gain a degree of revenge over Deerpark’s John McGrath for his loss in the National Matchplay Quarter-Finals with a chip-in at the last hole giving him a 1up win to reach the decider. Shane Murphy managed to make the decider after a 1up win over John Cahill from the host club in the Quarter-Finals before avenging a National Matchplay loss himself in defeating Bryan Delaney of Bishopstown 3&2 in the other Semi-Final. After Declan’s comeback in the decider it went to the 38th hole before he went on to confirm his win after a tight and titanic battle.
The Intermediate Final was close as well, going down to the last hole between Kyle Kennedy of Hillview and Rocklodge’s Craig Cahill with the Tipperary player winning on the last hole 1up. Kennedy had begun on Saturday with a 3&2 win over Tralee’s Roger Guthrie in the First Round before going on to win another 1up affair with a Cork player in Collins’ Damien Long in the Last 16. This morning he defeated another Collins player in Brian Walsh 5&4 before claiming the scalp of the Munster Junior Strokeplay winner Dylan Seymour in the Semi-Finals 2&1. Craig Cahill had defeated both Trevor Carroll of Collins and last year’s winner John Farrell of Bruff in his Quarter and Semi-Final encounters respectively by 2&1 before going down to Kennedy in the decider.
The Junior title would go to Tipperary as well but not Hillview as Larkspur Park’s Sean O’Neill prevented Declan Fahey joining his club-mate Kennedy on the winning step of the podium. Sean defeated Listowel’s John Carey 3&2 and another Hillview player in Sean O’Connor 9&8 in Majestic yesterday to make it through to today’s Quarter-Finals in Fermoy. He won a gripping battle with club-mate Ken Hayes at the second playoff hole to make it through to the Semi-Finals where similarly he had to go to the last hole to defeat Tralee’s David Hobbert 1up. Fahey defeated Tipperary Hills’ Daniel Ryan 4&3 in the Quarter-Finals this morning before getting the better of Deerpark’s Darragh O’Callaghan by the same score in the Semi-Finals. The decider belonged to Sean O’Neill however as he would go on to record an eventual 9&8 victory.
The Ladies grades meanwhile saw Mary Murray of Rocklodge do a Munster double in both Matchplay and Strokeplay after beating Martha O’Brien of Lakeside twice to win a second successive Munster Matchplay title after success in the Intermediate grade last year. Mary came from behind to defeat Martha in Majestic on Saturday in the first Semi-Final 1up before Martha used her second chance to effect in the other Semi-Final but needed to go to the 38th hole before eventually defeating Fermoy’s Sarah Byrne. The Final today was slightly better in Mary Murray’s favour however as Mary won by 3&2.
The Intermediate Ladies Final needed two extra holes before a winner could be confirmed as Mairead Manning of St Stephens denied Ailish Sexton a victory on home turf with Mairead winning on the 39th. This adds to a quite impressive 2018 for Mairead with National Intermediate Ladies Strokeplay and National Mixed Foursomes success as wins over Margaret Forde of Riverdale (7&6) and Hillview’s Kathleen Shanley (4&3) to make through to the Sunday Semi-Finals in Fermoy. Mairead defeated Munster Intermediate Strokeplay winner Bridget Shelley 5&4 in her Semi-Final as Ailish was a 4&3 winner over Paula Nolan of Rocklodge. Fermoy would also miss out in the decider of the Junior Ladies event as Lakewood’s Valerie Leahy got the better of Michelle Flynn.
Valerie had big wins over Hillview’s Ann Delahunty (8&6) and Lakeside’s Josie McCormack (8&7) in Majestic on Saturday before beating Theresa O’Keeffe 7&6 in the Semi-Finals this morning. 7&6 was also the margin of victory for Michelle Flynn in her Semi-Final with club-mate Mary Ann O’Donoghue but she would go down to Valerie by 8&6 in the decider.
Click on the links to see how all the other matches went down in both provinces today, if you are looking for info on Saturday’s fare, click on the proceeding news article which has the scoreboards from yesterday’s matches.
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