AHEAD of our final national finals of 2019, John Manning takes a closer look at the eight sides taking part in the two grades (Scratch & Nett) at the National Inter-Club Finals (sponsored by Cooney’s Bakery) in Lakeside tomorrow.
FERMOY’s quest for a four-in-a-row of National Scratch Inter-Club titles will continue on Saturday at the Lakeside club in Templemore, Co. Tipperary. The 2016, 2017 and 2018 champions face Tralee in the semi-final on Saturday at 10.10am with the final (should they progress) following after a short break.
Fermoy qualified for the Semi-Final with a 5-4 Quarter-Final victory over St. Patricks (Enniscorthy), winners in 2015, at Lakeside last Sunday. Fermoy led 2-1 after the foursomes and captured three of the six singles to advance. Reigning European Strokeplay Champion John Cahill leads a Fermoy squad that also comprises Daithi Sexton, Barry Morrissey, Peter O’Donovan, Declan Freeman, Daniel Quirke, Darren Quirke and Daniel Keohane. Tralee were perhaps somewhat surprise quarter-final victors over 2013 and 2014 National Inter-Club champions St. Anne’s. St. Anne’s led by 2-1 after the foursomes – Ray Murphy & Frank Dineen and Darren Collins & Kieran Dunscombe claiming wins for the Shanakiel side.
Tralee turned matters completely around by collecting four of the six singles. Two Tralee veterans played huge roles in getting the Co. Kerry side over the line. Jason O’Regan (who has been prominent on the national scene ever since he helped Kerry to the 1990 All Ireland Juvenile Inter-County at Dunlops) defeated former two-time National Juvenile Strokeplay Runner-Up Kieran Dunscombe by 1up. Tralee Club Chairman Tony Blake carved out an early three-hole advantage over 10-time National Champion Ray Murphy and held on to win on the final green. Alan Hobbart, Jason Cregan, Jamie Blake and Padraig Hobbart also played their part in this landmark victory.
The other National Scratch Inter-Club semi-final on Saturday morning will see Larkspur Park (Cashel) take on Collinstown (Co. Westmeath). Collinstown beat Hillview 5-4 in their Quarter-Final while Larkspur Park defeated Collins by a similar margin. 2009 Munster Intermediate Strokeplay champion Shane Hoare captains a Larkspur Park sextet that also features Michael Kirby, Jimmy O’Neill, David White, Christopher Hickey and Brian Webster. The Cashel side led by 2-1 after the Foursomes against a strong Collins team and took three of the six singles to advance.
It was a similar story for Collinstown, although the final singles against Hillview went to the 20th hole before Collinstown hero Larry McGinn pitched stone dead to defeat European Team Championship winner with Ireland, James Cleary. Collinstown team manager Martin Carter will seek to work the permutations from a line-up of Larry McGinn, Alan Hanlon, Dessie Baker, John McDonald, Stephen Ruane, Gary Middleton (who was an Inter/Junior winner with Collinstown four years ago) and John Browne.
COLLINS 2 will face favorites Riverdale (Nenagh) in the first National Nett Inter-Club Semi-Final on Saturday morning in Lakeside at 9.30am. Collins beat Tipperary Hills by 7-2 in their Quarter-Final at Bruff. Runners-up for the past two years, Riverdale have been very impressive in the early rounds. The Nenagh men headed the Munster Qualifying Rounds at Bruff and then proceeded to knock out Collins 1 in the quarter-finals at the same venue.
Sean Minogue has been in devastating form for Riverdale as has his son John. The Minogues are joined by Peter O’Brien, Sean Crowe, Michael Brophy, Ger Tuite, Seamus Gleeson and Jim McGrath. However the Collins squad of Jimmy Quinn, Pat Herbert, Trevor Carroll, Ryan Walsh, Keith Power, Damien Long and Jason Long will be hopeful of making the club’s first national decider at this grade.
Saturday’s second National Nett Inter-Club semi-final will bring together 2014 champions St. Patrick’s (Enniscorthy) and Hillview (Clonmel) with the final following after a brief time-out. Having topped the Leinster qualifiers at McDonagh, St. Patrick’s eliminated holders Gowran by 6-3 in the last eight at Lakeside while Hillview overcame Bagenalstown 5-4.
Ruairi Fortune survives from the 2014 St. Patrick’s winning combination and he will be hoping to inspire Diarmuid Cullen, Glen Buckley, Michael Molloy, Jimmy Molloy, Neil Farrington, Colm O’Brien and John Tyrell to another Enniscorthy success. Darren O’Donnell starred for Hillview with a 90 Nett in the Munster Qualifying Round at Bruff.
Adrian Anglim, Joe Hickey, David Cahill, Daryl Cashin, Pat Morris, Darren O’Donnell, Brendan Cronin and Seanie O’Connor are the other Hillview representatives seeking to reach their first-ever Final.
Best Wishes to all eight sides in tomorrow’s events in Lakeside. Updates will be available on the website when we have them to hand
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