John Manning takes us through the stats from last weekend’s National Matchplay Championships.
Stephen O’Reilly is the second Tipperary player in history to win the National Matchplay championship. He joins Eoin Morrissey (1961) as a Hillview winner of the National Gents Matchplay championship.
He has also contested two National Matchplay semi-finals winning one. Stephen joins Paul O’Brien as a two-time Tipperary semi-finalist. Stephen was previously a National Matchplay semi-finalist in 2020 (when he went down to Kieran Earls).
The now 22-year gap between John Cahill’s first win in the National Strokeplay and a first runner-up performance in the Matchplay is the longest in history. John had set that particular record last year. The previous longest was seven years – Mick Forrest (1976-1983).
John also becomes the 10th multiple runner-up joining Ray Murphy, John Walsh, Chris Scannell, Ray Matthews, Mick Forrest, John O'Leary, Sean Downes, Darren Collins and Bryan Delaney. He is also the third player in history to lose two successive finals – John O’Leary (1984/85) and Darren Collins (2001/02) are the others. John also remains the 20th different player from Cork to be runner-up in the National Gents’ Matchplay Championship.
He also became the ninth National Matchplay runner-up to reach (at least) the semi-finals the following year.
The 2023 Gents final was the second ever between Cork and Tipperary club representatives. Ray Murphy faced Paul O’Brien at Stackallen in 2007.
A Corkman has lost five of the six National Gents’ Matchplay final to be contested in Co. Kildare – Joe Buckley in 1976, John O’Leary (1982), Darren Collins (2001), Ray Murphy (2021) and John Cahill (2023).
Peter O’Donovan reached the National Gents’ Matchplay semi-finals for the first time. Peter is the third Bishopstown player to reach the National Matchplay semi-finals in the last five years.
Jim Judge reached the National Matchplay semi-finals 33 years after he was a semi-finalist in the inaugural National Gents Intermediate Matchplay semi-final at Tullamore.
Munster domination of the National Gents’ Matchplay championship continued. Stephen O’Reilly made it six wins in a row for the southern province.
19 of the last 21 champions have represented Munster clubs. Only John Ross Crangle and Darren O’Reilly have bucked that trend.
By contrast, 18 of the last 21 stagings of the National Ladies Matchplay championship have seen wins by players representing Leinster clubs.
Paula Lynch won the National Ladies Matchplay championship for the first time.
Paula Lynch is the second player from Co. Meath to become National Ladies Matchplay champion (and the first since Ann Hall of Royal Meath at Seapoint in Millennium year).
Paula Lynch joins club-mate Suzanne Reilly (who won the 2022 All Ireland Ladies Matchplay Nett Cup) on the National Matchplay Roll of Honour. Oldcastle becomes the third club in history (after Lakeside and St. Bridget’s) to supply winners of both the National Ladies Matchplay championship and the All Ireland Ladies Matchplay Nett Cup.
Chrissie’s round dozen (12) National Matchplay finals moves her into outright second place for deciders reached, eclipsing Margaret Hogan’s 11.
Chrissie Sheedy has lost six of her twelve National Matchplay finals, which is one shy of Margaret Hogan’s all-time record of seven.
It was Chrissie Sheedy’s 16th National Ladies Matchplay semi-final. She holds a 75% record. Tara Dillon played in her seventh National Matchplay semi-final. Her record is W4 L3.
It was 2019 Champion Mary Murray’s third National Matchplay semi-final. Her record is W1 L2
2019 National Mixed Foursomes victor (with Kevin Carolan) Paula Lynch is the eighth player in history to win the National Mixed Foursomes and the National Ladies Matchplay championship, following Nancy Touhy, Eleanor Walsh, Rose McCormack, Norma O’Brien, Liz Quinn, Tracey McGrath and Chrissie Sheedy.
The 2023 Ladies final was the second-ever National Ladies Matchplay Championship decider to be contested by players representing Meath and Kildare clubs. Bernadette Coffey (St. Bridgets) played Ann Hall (Royal Meath) in 2001 at Ryston.
Chrissie Sheedy is the 33rd reigning National Ladies Strokeplay champion to at least reach the National Ladies Matchplay semi-finals in the following season’s event.
For the second successive year the semi-finalists in the All-Ireland Ladies Matchplay Nett Cup were split 50/50 between Munster and Leinster.
Audrey Donnelly is the third player representing a Leinster club to win the All Ireland Ladies Matchplay Nett Cup. Munster players won the first three; Leinster representatives have now captured the last three. Audrey is the first Co. Louth player to win All-Ireland Ladies Matchplay Nett Cup.
Audrey Donnelly qualified for the All-Ireland Ladies Matchplay Nett Cup semi-finals for the second time. Audrey was also a quarter-finalist in 2019 and 2020. She is the first player in history to win the Leinster Junior Matchplay championship and the All Ireland Ladies Nett Cup in the same year.
Audrey clearly likes St. Bridgets – she claimed Best Nett in the 2019 National Ladies Intermediate Strokeplay Championship at the excellent Kilcullen venue.
Christina Foley is the first player representing a Kildare club to be runner-up in the All-Ireland Ladies Matchplay Nett Cup.
The All-Ireland Ladies Matchplay Nett Cup final was a repeat of the 2023 Leinster Junior Matchplay semi-final between Audrey and Christina, which Audrey also won.
Cork, Tipperary and Kildare have now supplied a winner and a runner-up in the relatively short history of the All Ireland Ladies Matchplay Nett Cup.
Veronica Anglim has also reached the All-Ireland Ladies Matchplay Nett Cup semi-finals on two separate occasions joining Elaine Quinn, Audrey Donnelly and Suzanne Reilly.