John Manning profiles the 12 players who will represent the country tomorrow in Montseny and also looks back at the previous meetings between the two countries in the Challenge outside of European or World Cup meetings.
Chrissie Byrne has represented both St. Bridget's and Ryston in the international arena, initially against Rest of Europe in the matches alongside the European Team Championships of 2003, 2005 and 2007. She played in the 2006 World Cup in Catalonia, against the Dutch in Holland in 2006 and in the International Challenge at Seapoint five years ago. Chrissie’s international record reads: Foursomes:W3 L4 H0;Fourballs:W2 L0 H0; Singles:W7 L2 H0; Total:12. World Ladies Strokeplay champion in 2009 and 2013, Chrissie’s national individual championship haul stands at eleven: one Intermediate Strokeplay, four senior Strokeplay and six Matchplay.
Mary Murray (Rocklodge) won the All Ireland Matchplay championship at Rocklodge in 2019 and was runner-up in the recent National Strokeplay championship at Riverdale. Three times Munster champion, Mary won the National O55 Strokeplay championship at McDonagh in 2018. National Inter-County winner with Cork in 2015, Mary won the 2016 British Open at Dagenham. Mary played in the last International Challenge against Catalonia at Seapoint in 2018 and her international record is: Foursomes: W0 L1 H0;Fourballs:W0 L0 H 0;Singles:W1 L0 H0; Total 1.
Holder of an incredible 25 national individual titles (12 Strokeplay, 12 Matchplay and one Over-55), Geraldine Ward (Portmarnock) first represented Ireland in the millennium year (2000) International Challenge at IGB. A multiple National Inter-County winner with Dublin, Ger went on to play for Ireland against the Rest of Europe (in 2003, 2005 and 2007) against the Netherlands in 2008 and also in the 2008, 2011 and 2018 Challenges against Catalonia. Irish Open winner at Seapointin 2018, Ger’s international record is: Foursomes:W5 L2H0;Fourballs:W4L2H0; Singles: W5 L2 H1; Total 14½.
Paula Lynch (Oldcastle) teamed-up with Kevin Carolan (Rathfeigh) at Bellewstown to win the 2019 National Mixed Foursomes, setting the all-time best-ever stableford points total for the event of 99. 2023 National Matchplay champion at St. Bridget’s and this year’s Leinster Strokeplay champion at Royal Meath, Paula was an integral member of the Meath team that were Leinster Inter-County winners in 2022 and 2023. Fourth in the 2021 National Intermediate Strokeplay championship at Tullamore, Paula will make her international debut in October.
Collinstown’s Liz Quinn has been victorious at eight international opens - French Open 2006, 2007, San Marino Open 2006, 2007, 2008, Dutch Open 2013, Australian Open 2007 and Australian Matchplay 2007. Liz claimed her maiden Irish national championship (Strokeplay at Kilbeggan) in 2020 and won the 2022 All Ireland Matchplay championship at Douglas. She has been a Leinster Matchplay finalist in each of the last two seasons and is a two-time Best Gross winner at the National Mixed Foursomes. National Mixed Foursomes winner with Paul Bray in 2001, Liz will make a first international appearance.
Breda White (Tipperary Hills) was crowned World O55 Strokeplay champion at Verin in 2018. Three-times a winner of the National Inter-County with Tipperary, Breda was 1987 and 2016 National Strokeplay champion and National Matchplay champion in 2014 at Parteen. She claimed National O55 honours in 2022. Tipperary County champion on multiple occasions, Breda holds twelve Munster Strokeplay titles and nine provincial Matchplay gongs. National Mixed Foursomes runner-up with Eddie Lonergan in 1989, Breda will officially represent Ireland for the first time in October.
Glenda Hoey (Lucan) will make her international debut following the unfortunate injury to Liz Quinn. 2018 and 2022 Dublin Ladies Strokeplay champion, Glenda holds one National Inter-County winners’ medal with Dublin and has also been on three Dublin runners-up sides.
Leinster Inter-County winner with Dublin on three occasions, Glenda has completed a trio of top three finishes at the National Ladies Strokeplay championships – junior third in 2013, intermediate third in 2014 and senior runner-up in 2022 on 104 (with a 50 second round).
2013 Dublin Junior Matchplay champion and 2014 County Intermediate Strokeplay champion, Glenda defeated Maree O’Toole in the 2021 Dublin Ladies Matchplay final at Glenville.
A Jay Barrett (Listowel) was 2022 National Juvenile Strokeplay champion at Deerpark and reached the 2023 National Matchplay final at Lakeside. Twice a Munster Juvenile Inter-County winner with Kerry, A Jay also holds two National Inter-County gold medals and was Munster Matchplay finalist at St. Stephen’s in 2023.
2023 Munster Matchplay champion at St. Stephen’s, Nathan Cronin (Deerpark) was Munster 14-15 Strokeplay runner-up in 2022 at Cunnigar and in 2023 at Larkspur Park. Twice a National Juvenile Inter-County winner, Nathan also has a brace of Munster Inter-County winners’ medals. He helped his alma mater St. Brendan’s to second spot in the 2023 Munster Schools tournament.
2022 National Juvenile Matchplay champion at Ryston Joe Franklin (Hillview) was third in the 2021 National Juvenile Strokeplay championship at Lakeside. Munster Juvenile Strokeplay (10-13) champion 2022 at Cunnigar, Joe has been a runner-up in the National Juvenile Inter-County (2022) and Munster Juvenile Inter-County (2022 and 2023) with Tipperary.
Reigning National Juvenile Matchplay champion Brian McCarthy (Deerpark) was runner-up in this year’s National Juvenile Strokeplay, a championship in which he has also twice claimed 10-13 honours. Munster Juvenile Strokeplay champion (14-15) 2023, Brian was twice a National Juvenile Inter-County winner with Kerry and also holds two Munster Inter-County medals. He follows in the footsteps of his father Derry who represented Ireland six times between 1995 and 2005.
Reigning National Juvenile Strokeplay kingpin Jack McShane (Gowran) was Leinster Matchplay champion in 2022 at Custume and in 2023 at Gowran. Leinster Strokeplay (10-13) champion in 2022 at Seapoint (also scene of his national success), Jack recently helped Kilkenny to a first-ever podium finish at the National Juvenile Inter-County championship at Seapoint.
2023 Leinster Juvenile (14-15) Strokeplay champion at Poulaphouca, Peadar O'Toole (Athgarvan) took third place in the recent National Juvenile Strokeplay championship at Seapoint, narrowly edged out of second place on the tiebreaker. Provincial Strokeplay (10-13) runner-up at Seapoint twelve months ago, Peadar has been a mainstay of Kildare’s 2022 and 2023 Leinster Inter-County winning quartets.
October 18/19 1997 at Solius, Catalonia, Spain, Ireland beat Catalonia 14.5 matches to 5.5
18 Holes Foursomes
Sean Downes and William Buckley Junior beat Mario Gimenez and Juan Martinez 4 and 3
Liam O'Brien and Johnny Campbell Junior beat Josep Pellicer and Antonio Gila 5 and 3
Sean Harkins and Paul O'Hagan beat Jesus Rodriguez and Jordi Saborit 6 and 5
Noel Joyce and Anthony Malone beat Jordi Torrent and Gines Fernandez 3 and 1
Ray Murphy and John Walsh beat Andreu Perez and Marc Perez 2 and 1
(Foursomes result: Ireland 5, Catalonia 0)
18 Holes Fourball
Sean Downes and William Buckley Junior lost to Jesus Rodriguez and Jose Atero 3 and 2
Liam O'Brien and Johnny Campbell Junior beat Josep Pellicer and Antonio Gila 1 hole
Sean Harkins and Paul O'Hagan beat Jordi Torrent and Gines Fernandez 5 and 4
Noel Joyce and Anthony Malone lost to Mario Gimenez and Juan Martinez 2 and 1
Ray Murphy and John Walsh halved with Andreu Perez and Marc Perez
(Fourballs result: Ireland 2.5, Catalonia 2.5) (Overnight Position: Ireland 7.5, Catalonia 2.5)
18 Holes Singles
Sean Downes beat Juan Martinez 3 and 2
Ray Murphy beat Jose Atero 4 and 3
William Buckley Junior halved with Jesus Rodriguez
Noel Joyce lost to Jordi Saborit 4 and 3
Paul O'Hagan beat Antonio Gila 7 and 5
Liam O'Brien halved with Josep Pellicer
Anthony Malone beat Jordi Torrent 1 hole
Johnny Campbell Junior lost to Mario Gimenez 6 and 4
Sean Harkins beat Marc Perez 3 and 2
John Walsh beat Andreu Perez 3 and 2
(Singles Result: Ireland 7, Catalonia 3)
July 22/23 2000 at IGB, Goatstown, Dublin, Ireland. Ireland beat Catalonia 18.5 matches to 1.5
Sean Harkins & Conor O'Hare beat James Marshall &Josep Pellicer 2&1
Derry McCarthy & Hubert Kelly halved with Gines Fernandez & Angel Granados
Marian Byrne & Sean Downes beat Jordi Saborit& Ramon Carrera 3&2
Ray Murphy & Niall Cuffe beat Marc Lloret and Joan Martinez 7&6
Geraldine Ward & Dennis Monaghan beat Jaume Pallares & Oscar Garcia 6&5.
Foursomes Score Ireland 4.5; Catalonia 0.5.
Sean Harkins &Conor O'Hare beat James Marshall &Josep Pellicer 3&2
Derry McCarthy & Hubert Kelly beat Jaume Pallares& Oscar Garcia 6&4
Marian Byrne & Sean Downes beat Jordi Saborit& Ramon Carrera 1 hole
Ray Murphy & Niall Cuffe beat Marc Lloret and Joan Martinez 6&4
Geraldine Ward & Dennis Monaghan beat Gines Fernandez & Angel Granados 4&3.
Fourballs Score: Ireland 5; Catalonia 0.
Overnight Score: Ireland 9.5; Catalonia 0.5.
Sean Harkins lost to Joan Martinez 2 holes
Dennis Monaghan beat Ramon Carrera 6&5
Niall Cuffe beat Jaume Pallares 4&3
Geraldine Ward beat Oscar Garcia 8&7
Hubert Kelly beat Angel Granados 7&6
Conor O'Hare beat Josep Pellicer 2&1
Marian Byrne beat James Marshall 1 hole
Sean Downes beat Jordi Saborit 4&3
Derry McCarthy beat Marc Lloret 4&3
Ray Murphy beat Gines Fernandez 3&2.
Singles Score: Ireland 9 Catalonia 1
April 5/6 2002 at Sant Cebria, Spain Ireland beat Catalonia 11.5 matches to 8.5
Ray Murphy & John Walsh lost to Toni Yuste& Angel Granados 4&3
Colin Somers & David Hayden halved with Jaume Pallares& Juan Francisco Salido
William Buckley & Eddie Carey lost to Gines Fernandez &Jaume Guardiola 2&1
Chris Scannell& John Cahill lost to Marc Lloret & Jordi Saborit 1 hole
Sean Downes& Mark Millar halved with James Marshall &Josep Pellicer
Fourballs Score: Ireland 1 Catalonia 4
John Cahill & William Buckley lost to Jaume Pallares& Juan Francisco Salido 2&1
Chris Scannell & Ray Murphy beat Angel Granados & Antonio Yuste 6&4
Mark Millar & Colin Somers lost to Marc Lloret & JordiSaborit 4&3
Sean Downes& David Hayden beat Gines Fernandez & Jaume Guardiola 3&1
John Walsh & Eddie Carey beat James Marshall &Josep Pellicer 2&1
Foursomes Score: Ireland 3 Catalonia 2
Overnight Score: Ireland 4; Catalonia 6.
Eddie Carey beat Juan Francisco Salido 2&1
Mark Millar halved with Jaume Pallares
John Cahill beat James Marshall 5&4
Colin Somers lost to Gines Fernandez 2 holes
Ray Murphy beat Jaume Guardiola 3&2
David Hayden beat Antonio Yuste 6&5
Chris Scannell beat Angel Granados 4&2
John Walsh beat Marc Lloret 5&3
William Buckley lost to Jordi Saborit 2&1
Sean Downes beat Josep Pellicer 4&3
Singles Score: Ireland 7.5 Catalonia 2.5
March 1/2 2008 at Platjad'Aro, Catalonia- Catalonia beat Ireland 10 matches to 6
Jordi Serra & Daniel Gimenez beat Geraldine Ward & Ray Murphy 1up
Marçal Moré& Marc Garcia lost to John Cahill & Darren O'Reilly 6&5
Salvador Garangou & Joan Perich lost to Sean Downes & John Walsh 3&2
Daniel Coleman & Marc Lloret lost to Chris Scannell & Sean Harkins 2&1
Catalonia 1 Ireland 3
Jordi Serra & Daniel Gimenez beat Geraldine Ward & Chris Scannell 1up
Salvador Garangou & Joan Perich beat Darren O'Reilly & Sean Harkins 1 up
Marçal Moré & Marc Garcia lost to Sean Downes& John Walsh 1 up
Daniel Coleman & Marc Lloret beat Ray Murphy & John Cahill 3&2
Catalonia 3 Ireland 1
Saturday overnight Catalonia 4 Ireland 4
Daniel Gimenez beat John Cahill 3&2
Jordi Serra lost to Sean Harkins 2up
Marçal Moré beat Chris Scannell 2up
Joan Perich beat Darren O'Reilly 6&5
Daniel Coleman beat Geraldine Ward 6&5
Marc Garcia beat Sean Downes 3&2
Salvador Garangou lost to John Walsh 3&2
Marc Lloret beat Ray Murphy 2up
Catalonia 6 Ireland 2
April 14 2011 at Tralee, Co. Kerry, Ireland- Ireland beat Catalonia 13.5 matches to 2.5
1. Tracey McGrath & Bryan Delaney halved with Fernando Cano &Paco Salido
2. Paul O'Brien & Frank Dineen lost to Daniel Giménez & Enric Sanz 3&2
3. John Walsh & Jonathan Goodall beat Amador Rodriguez & Albert Gironés 7&6
4. Ray Murphy &Ger Ward beat Marçal Moré & Marc Lloret 5&4
Result: Ireland 2.5 Catalonia 1.5
1. Bryan Delaney & Paul O'Brien beat Marc Lloret & Marçal Moré 7&6
2. Ger Ward & Jonathan Goodall beat Amador Rodriguez & Albert Gironés 5&4
3. John Walsh & Frank Dineen beat Daniel Giménez & EnricSanz 2&1
4. Tracey McGrath & Ray Murphy beat Fernando Cano &Paco Salido 1 hole
Result: Ireland 4 Catalonia 0
1, John Walsh beat Fernando Cano 2&1
2. Paul O'Brien beat Enric Sanz 5&3
3. Ger Ward beat Marçal Moré 2&1
4. Frank Dineen beat Amador Rodriguez 4&3
5. Jonathan Goodall beat Daniel Giménez 2 holes
6. Tracey McGrath lost to Albert Gironés 3&2
7. Bryan Delaney beat Marc Lloret 2&1
8. Ray Murphy beat Paco Salido 5&4
Result: Ireland 7 Catalonia 1
June 7/8 2014 at Lloret Papalus, Catalonia, Catalonia beat Ireland 13.5 matches to 10.5
Marc Lloret &Josep Martínez beat Kevin McCarthy & Ian Dillon 2&1
Enric Sanz &Dani Giménez beat Frank Ryan & Christy Broe 1 hole
Ricardo Betlinski& Salvador Moliné halved with Weeshie Murphy & John Carton
Francisco Arévalo& Abby Nachshon beat Helen Daly & Martin Fawl 2 holes
Encarnación Robledo & Núria Dalmau lost to Martha O'Brien &Maree O'Toole 1 hole
Marc Ibáñez & Jordi Torrecilla lost to Conor McCarthy & Shane Redmond 3&2
Foursomes Score: Catalonia 3.5; Ireland 2.5.
Marc Lloret & Enric Sanz lost to Kevin McCarthy & Ian Dillon 3&2
Josep Martínez & Dani Giménez beat Frank Ryan & Christy Broe 5&3
Ricardo Betlinski & Salvador Moliné beat Weeshie Murphy & John Carton 3&2
Francisco Arévalo &Encarnación Robledo beat Helen Daly & Martin Fawl 3&2
Abby Nachshon &Núria Dalmau beat Martha O'Brien &Maree O'Toole 1 hole
Marc Ibáñez &Jordi Torrecilla lost to Conor McCarthy & Shane Redmond 4&2
Fourballs Score: Catalonia 4; Ireland 2.
Overnight Score: Catalonia 7.5; Ireland 4.5.
Marc Lloret lost to Kevin McCarthy 1 hole
Enric Sanz beat Ian Dillon 2&1
Josep Martínez beat Christy Broe 4&3
Dani Giménez lost to Frank Ryan 3&2
Ricardo Betlinski beat Martin Fawl 3&2
Salvador Moliné lost to John Carton 4&3
Francisco Arévalo lost to Weeshie Murphy 1 hole
Encarnación Robledo beat Maree O'Toole 6&5
Abby Nachshon beat Helen Daly 2 holes
Núria Dalmau beat Martha O'Brien & 1 hole
Marc Ibáñez lost to Conor McCarthy 3&1
Jordi Torrecilla lost to Shane Redmond 4&3
Singles Score: Catalonia 13.5; Ireland 10.5.
August 28 2018 at Seapoint, Co. Louth, Ireland, Ireland beat Catalonia 13 matches to 5
Dylan Hudson & Glenn Towler (Ireland) beat Erik Jurri & Pau Andres (Catalonia) 3&1
Alex Albinana & Ivan Ponsdemenech (Catalonia) beat Cillian Courtney & Patrick Mitchell (Ireland) 2&1
Evan Carry & Luke Murphy (Ireland) beat Dario Silva & Joan Panisello (Catalonia) 3&1
Ireland 2 Catalonia 1
Pilar Montero & Marta Trillo (Catalonia) beat Margaret Hogan & Mary Murray (Ireland) 2&1
Marta Farres& Gloria Ruiz (Catalonia) beat Ger Ward &Noelene Bedford (Ireland) 4&3
Abby Nachshon & Maria Cucurull (Catalonia) beat Chrissie Byrne & Martha O'Brien (Ireland) 1up
Catalonia 3 Ireland 0
Foursomes: Catalonia 4 Ireland 2
Evan Carry (Ireland) beat Alex Albinana (Catalonia) 1 hole
Dylan Hudson (Ireland) beat Ivan Pomenensech (Catalonia) 4&3
Patrick Mitchell (Ireland) beat Erik Jurri (Catalonia) 2&1
Luke Murphy (Ireland) beat Pau Andres (Catalonia) 5&4
Glenn Towler (Ireland) beat Joan Panisello (Catalonia) 4&3
Cillian Courtney (Ireland) beat Dario Silva (Catalonia) 1 hole
Ireland 6 Catalonia 0.
Geraldine Ward (Ireland) beat Pilar Montero (Catalonia) 6&5
Chrissie Byrne (Ireland) beat Abby Nachshon (Catalonia) 4&3
Martha O'Brien (Ireland) beat Marta Cucurull (Catalonia) 2&1
Margaret Hogan (Ireland) beat Gloria Ruiz (Catalonia) 5&4
Mary Murray (Ireland) beat Marta Trillo (Catalonia) 5&4
Noelene Bedford (Ireland) lost to Marta Farres (Catalonia) 3&2
Ireland 5 Catalonia 1