Communications & Press Officer Jason O’Connor reports on the second day in Cloghogue & St Stephens where no less than 70 years separated the winning ages of our Champions in both venues today!
A dream weekend for Cloghogue on their anniversary hosting of the PJ and Catherine Bell Championships as Matt McArdle (Junior) and Ronan Hollywood (Intermediate) followed on from the success of Nora O’Hare in the Ladies Junior event yesterday in ensuring the Newry club won half of the competitions it hosted this weekend.
At the ripe young age of 85 McArdle had a two shot winning margin in the Junior Gents this morning putting rounds of one and three under together for his winning total of four under par. Last year’s winner Dutch native Martin Verbeek had to settle for second on this occasion in the Lough Owel colours as he finished the tournament on two under par with his fellow Lowlands native Ed Janssen third on one over par. This was Ed’s second time finished third in this event having done so in Old County as well two years ago. The Nett prize would also go to Cloghogue in this grade as Finbarr Oakley won it with a score of 87.
All the winners today shot under par scores as the only need of a playoff during the weekend would come in the Intermediate Gents after both Ronan Hollywood and Riverdale’s Sean Minogue finished on nine under par. Ronan had the best 18 hole round in the Intermediate with seven under par for his first 18 but could only finish nine as Sean had rounds of four and five under par respectively to force a playoff. Ronan was three shots better in the playoff however with three under to claim the title as club-mate Denny McGuinness was one shot away from joining them, finishing the tournament in third on eight under. The Nett prize was won by Loughlinstown’s Dave Maloney with a score of 93.
The Senior title was also claimed by the LDM Region however it was a bit down the road from Newry in Seapoint as Pat Greene once again reached the summit at this level. Rounds of six and eight under par gave him a winning score of 14 under as he won by three shots from Michael Concannon from the host club on 11 under par. Michael started with an eight under par round before eventually improve his score by three after the 36 holes. Barry Morrissey of Raffeen Creek had two solid 49’s meanwhile in finishing third on 10 under par, one ahead of last year’s winner Wally Sheridan and Athgarvan’s Frank Ryan on nine under each.
The Nett prize would also go to the Raffeen Creek club as Richard Jordan won it with 102 as he followed on from his son Mark being amongst the prizes in the National Junior Gents Strokeplay in Hillview two weeks ago.
Click on the link above to see how all the other Gents fared today in the three grades.
National U-16 Matchplay
Plenty of excitement in the National U-16 Matchplay Championships in St Stephens today as while the entry numbers didn’t favour a Leinster winner in advance, Castletown’s Seanie Bellew won the Helen Persson Memorial Cup after coming from two down with three to play over Ballinlough’s Iain Aherne to win a dramatic conclusion to the Championship Final at the second playoff hole. Iain had controlled the match for the large part even if there were no major gaps between either leading 1up throughout the second 18. He looked on course for victory however approaching the end when he extended the margin to 2up.
Seanie never gave up however getting the two hole wins he needed to force sudden death and after both players could not be separated following the first playoff hole, Seanie got a par on the last with Iain missing a putt to match him and force another tie hole. In the earlier Semi-Finals Seanie had a 3&1 victory over Deerpark’s Cillian Courtney in a match he led pretty much all the way but for Iain he had to come from the position he would lose the Final in as he came from two down with three to play over reigning champion Glenn Towler of St Annes to win at the 38th hole and avenge last year’s loss to Glenn at the same stage.
The Plate competition went to the host club as Aaron Roche used local knowledge to good effect in getting the better of Deerpark duo Erin Moloney and Adam Kelly in winning out the event. Aaron recovered from a one down deficit after the first 18 over Erin to win by 4&3 before he put in a strong second 18 over Adam after both players were A/S after the first 18. He led 5up with six holes to play before Adam did reduce the deficit to three but Aaron halved the 16th hole with Adam to secure a 3&2 win.
Adam had earlier defeated his Deerpark club-mate Ryan Neeson 7&5 to make it into the decider having led by four after the first 18.
Click on the scoresheet for match results from all the weekend's games.