2022 National Inter-County Build-Up: Day 2
A look at the three previous Inter-Countys held in Rocklodge
This weekend will be the fourth time that Rocklodge will host a National Inter-County event. John Manning takes a look here at the other three times they have done so.
SIXTEENTH TITLE FOR DUBLIN
Peggy Campbell, the All Ireland Ladies Strokeplay champion from Glenville, rolled in a birdie putt from just off Rocklodge's final green to clinch a nine shot victory for Dublin in the Ladies Inter-County championship. Peggy was round in a 52 second time for her three under par total. Yet again, Dublin's top scorer was Portmarnock's Geraldine Ward who returned 52 and 51 for 103. Geraldine collected her ninth winners’ medal on her twentieth consecutive appearance in the Dublin colours. Dublin's five under par team aggregate ensured their sixteenth Ladies Inter-County crown, beating holders (and champions for the previous two years) Kildare into second place. Marian Byrne led the Kildare effort with 105 while Tara Dillon shot a brilliant second round 51 in her 109. Home county Cork, victors on the last occasion the event was played at Rocklodge back in 1984, improved dramatically in the second round to claim third on 449. Claire Murphy and Vera McCarthy both dipped under the card on the second 18 while Ann Daly matched par as the Leesiders overhauled Westmeath to clinch the bronze medals.
Dublin led by eleven shots at the halfway stage on three under - Ger Ward firing 52 while Peggy Campbell and Margaret O'Shea shot 53s. Stella Sheridan and Sheelagh Elmes were both on 55 as Dublin packed very well again - a secret of many of their successes down the years. Kildare were second on eight over.
Individual star of the day was Tracey McGrath representing Offaly. The Faithful County finished down the field in fifth place but Tracey knocked in ten birdies en route to a best of the day seven under par 101. Munster champions, Kerry, fell through the relegation trapdoor after finishing sixth on 475.
DIVISION 2 WIN FOR THE ROYALS
Meath ensured a return to their rightful place in the elite of Ladies Inter-County Pitch and Putt for 2002 after a workmanlike team performance at Rocklodge. 1982 champions Down led the way after 18 holes. Bernie Somers, who played for the Mourne County in that famous victory 19 years previously, shot a fine 52 in the testing conditions as Down accumulated a halfway score of 11 over par 227, two clear of Meath. Sisters Ann Hall (Royal Meath), the double national championship runner-up and Catherine McCreevy (Navan) spearheaded a strong Meath challenge in the second round, ably assisted by former Louth player, Jean Cooney (at that stage playing out of Bellewstown) and backed up by Kathleen Geraghty (Skryne) and Kathleen Grendon (Rathfeigh). Meath eventually ran out five shot winners over Down, 461 to 466. Waterford, playing at this level for the first time in many years, shot 477 to finish third.
CORK JUSTIFY FAVOURITES TAG
Hosts and favourites Cork, the team of all the talents, romped to a 15 shot victory in the 2001 Gents Inter-County championship at Rocklodge. 1997 champions (and runners-up for the previous three years), Cork finally regained their grip on the Anchor Cup with a superb 59 under par aggregate of 473 to beat holders and playing partners Kildare into second place. Louth, backboned by a splendid 93 (with just a single bogey) from Terry Hanratty, Ivor Flanagan's 97 and another steady Inter-County performance by the evergreen Pat Greene on 98, placed third on 390.
Inspired by a magnificent 12 under 42 (including an unbelievable opening nine of 19) from Irish Strokeplay champion John Cahill, Cork posted 30 under for the first round to lead Kildare by five at halfway. Louth were just three further back with Offaly and Westmeath joint fourth at -21.
John Cahill struggled slightly over the early holes of his second round but an inward 21 saw him in the clubhouse with a talismanic 89 total. Following him in were National Matchplay runner-up Darren Collins, who birdied three of the last five for 93, Chris Scannell, who was home in 23 for 95 and John Walsh, the 1997 National Strokeplay champion who was steadiness personified (48+48) for his 96. Ray Murphy was the non-scorer on this occasion but he finished with a flourish, holing from nine feet for a closing birdie and 97.
Darren Keogh was the Kildare star - the Ryston player shot a bogey-free 94, no mean feat on a tough pitching test. Meath’s men suffered the ignominy of relegation for the second time in three years. They were to be joined in Division 2 in 2002 by Wexford after both counties finished together on 32 under, adrift of the other eight by just a single shot.
LIMERICK LORD IT
There was no stopping Limerick in the Division 2 Championship. The all-Bruff Treaty line-out led by six at halfway after a -19 opening salvo and they added 24 under for the second round to win by 20 shots over Down who qualified join Limerick in the 2002 premier championship.
Pat Dennehy was the Limerick top scorer, firing 48 and 47 for his 13 under tally - all the more noteworthy as he was just level par after nine. Liam O'Donovan, the Irish international player birdied four in a row from the 14th en route to his 97. Liam's brother Thomas, who ended on ten under, completed each nine of his second round with birdie hat-tricks while left hander Billy Farrell was out in 21 second time en route to his 99. Pacelli Darcy scored 105.
Down's cause was helped by a virtuoso performance from Conor O'Hare, who dropped just a single shot in compiling a 13 under 95. Waterford emulated the feat of their ladies team when they finished third on 413.
427 - DUBLIN (Geraldine Ward 103, Peggy Campbell 105, Margaret O'Shea 109, Stella Sheridan 110, Sheelagh Elmes 111)
436 - KILDARE (Marian Byrne 105, Tara Dillon 109, Bernadette Coffey 109, Chrissie Byrne 113, Rose Kelly 128)
449 - CORK (Vera McCarthy 110, Lily Carroll 110, Ann Daly 114, Claire Murphy 115, Siobhan Scannell 119)
454 - WESTMEATH, 468 - OFFALY, 475 - KERRY (relegated).
LADIES DIVISION 2
461 - MEATH (Ann Hall 111, Catherine McCreevy 111, Jean Cooney 114, Kathleen Geraghty 125, Kathleen Grendon 127). Meath promoted.
466 - DOWN (Bernie Somers 109, Marina O'Rourke 112, Isobel McMahon 116, Eileen Burke 125, Kathleen McDermott 139).
477 - WATERFORD (Josie Coughlan 109, Audrey Fitzgerald 115, Nellie Sullivan 121, Margaret Breen 132, Breda Moore 147).
481 - LOUTH, 492 - TIPPERARY, 493 - LIMERICK, 544 - CLARE.
373 - CORK (John Cahill 89, Darren Collins 93, Chris Scannell 95, John Walsh 96, Ray Murphy 97).
388 - KILDARE (Darren Keogh 94, Eddie Carey 95, Sean Harkins 97, Frank Ryan 102, Joe Ronan 105).
390 - LOUTH (Terry Hanratty 93, Ivor Flanagan 97, Pat Greene 98, Brian McGinn 102, Mark Millar 106)
393 - DUBLIN, 397 - KERRY, 398 - WESTMEATH, TIPPERARY, 399 - OFFALY, 400 - MEATH, WEXFORD. Meath and Wexford relegated.
GENTS DIVISION 2
389 - LIMERICK (Pat Dennehy 95, Liam O'Donovan 97, Thomas O'Donovan 98, Billy Farrell 99, Pacelli Darcy 105).
409 - DOWN (Conor O'Hare 95, Paul O'Hagan 98, Peter McGivern 101, Thomas Shields 115, Kevin Thompson 115). Limerick and Down promoted.
413 - WATERFORD (Thomas Walsh 99, John Carroll 99, Robbie Walker 106, Billy Aspel 109, Michael O'Callaghan 111).
417 - CLARE, 421 - ARMAGH, 423 - LONGFORD, 442 - SLIGO.
The Cork Gents team won the Inter-County Championship at Rocklodge on Sunday September 2nd to complete an historic double as the ladies had won their event at the same venue on the Saturday.
It was the first time (since equalled a number of times) that the same county had won Ladies and Gents Inter-County titles on the same course in the same year. Dublin won both championships in 1970 but the Ladies and gents were played on separate courses.
The Ladies won the All Ireland title after a lapse of 11 years and the men brought the title back to Cork for the first time since a notable four-in-a-row in 1974-77.
The Cork selectors’ choice of the Gents team captained by Donal Long (St. Annes) was vindicated by the team's brilliant performance. The star newcomer to inter-county ranks was sixteen-year-old Chris Scannell of Collins who returned 14 under par and was leading scorer for his side.
Cork finished six shots ahead of runners-up Dublin with Tipperary third.
Top ten teams: Cork (Chris Scannell 94, John O'Leary 96, Liam O'Brien 96, Brendan Donaghy 98 and Donal Long 99) 384
Dublin (Johnny Price 96, Gus Carolan 97, Anthony Malone 98, David Poole 99, Gerry McHugh 102) 390 Tipperary (John Shoer 96, John Short 96, Roy Linden 99, Noel Joyce 101, Sean Leavy 108) 392
Louth 396, Waterford 400, Kerry 401, Clare 418, Limerick 420 Offaly 422
It was the era of individual awards. Best Nett was claimed by Kerry’s Michael Clifford with 87 while Best Gross of 92 was returned by Francis Leech (Louth).
Cork regained the Anchor Cup for the first time since 1977, with an ultra-consistent display that saw the Leesiders record 24 under par on both eighteens.
On Saturday after a brilliant finish, Cork emerged the winners of the ladies title. They scored 431 to hold off Dublin who finished on 433; with holders Meath third on 445 and Westmeath fourth. Eleven counties in all were represented.
Cork (Eleanor Walsh 106, Ann Ginnane 108, Rose Scanlon 108, Joan Kelly 109, Mary Hayes 114) 431
Dublin (Geraldine McLernon, Sheelagh Elmes, Marie Ruddy, Marie Mallin, Maree O’Toole) 433
Breda Lonergan (Tipperary) won the Best Nett with 95 and the Best Gross went to Rose McCormack (Westmeath) with a score of 105, after she beat Peggy Duffy of Meath by one shot on the back nine.
Cork won the 1974 Gents’ Inter-County Pitch & Putt Championship at Rocklodge, after a lapse of ten years and in the process ended Dublin's seven year sequence of wins in the prestigious event.
The ladies championship was still played on a separate date at a different course in 1974.
Cork's winning team total was 413 for the 36 holes. Dublin were Runners-Up on 423. After 18 holes, Cork led the Dublin team by five strokes and in the second round improved their scoring by a further five, as the Metropolitans faltered.
Winners: Cork (Mick Forrest 101, John O'Leary 101, John Crowley 105, TJ O'Riordan 106 and Jim Mackey 111) 413.
Runners-up: Dublin (Gus Carolan 103, Jack Perry 105, Eamon O'Reilly 106, Andy Doherty 109 and John Dignam 110) 423.
Meath: (Alan Burns, Christy Cunningham, Jim Cunningham, Larry Hussey and Terry Tobin) finished third on 432 just ahead of Kildare (Tommy Hall, Andy Dempsey, Peter Bell, John Redmond and Jim Connolly).
The hero of the second round for Cork was undoubtedly young John O'Leary of Carrigaline, paired with Irish Strokeplay Champion Gus Carolan of Dublin. He played brilliantly to card 52 under tough conditions with hard greens to better the national champion by two strokes.
Cork won the Championship when it was previously played in Cork (at Collins in 1964) and a member of the 1974 victorious team was the captain of that winning side, TJ O'Riordan.
Jimmy Ryan (Tipperary) won the 1974 individual Best Gross prize, with a first-class 100 in the difficult conditions, while Billy O'Gorman (Down), playing off nine, captured the Best Nett award with 89.
In a field of 16 counties, some other notable scores were: Waterford 434, Offaly 442, Tipperary 443, Kerry 448, Westmeath 449, Clare 456, Limerick 475.
There was an open draw for pairings on Saturday night before play commenced on Sunday morning.
Tomorrow: We preview the Ladies event this weekend.
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