St. Mary’s Diocesan School from Drogheda captured the All-Ireland Schools title today at St. Bridget’s. Their twenty four under par total saw them clear of St. Joseph’s, Rochfortbridge and De La Salle, Bagenalstown who completed a Leinster 1-2-3.
In a change to the format of previous years, fourteen teams commenced play with a shotgun start at 11.30 am and the Kilcullen venue was a hive of activity and great shot making for the next three hours. The weather held out and play was completed in dry conditions but a bitter wind made sure the cold was felt by spectators and players alike. As ever, the host club excelled in providing superb hospitality and a brilliant course, especially considering the time of year.
The Munster challenge was led by the top two at the recent Munster finals. Davis College from Mallow, the victors on that occasion, posted a team total of 321; including a 99 (46, 53) from Greg Barrett. This was slightly bettered by their Cork rivals and holders of the National title, Coláiste an Chraoibhín from Fermoy. A team containing just one of the 2011 squad totalled 320, Justin McCarthy leading them home with a 101 (49, 52).
This was to prove agonisingly just outside the podium positions for both Cork Schools. De La Salle Bagenalstown showed great improvement from their Leinster Finals showing to claim third spot. Patrick Robinson’s 106 (53, 53) coupled with a great 100 (51,49) from Roy O’Neill put them in a great position with Thomas Maher’s score still to count. In the last group remaining on the course, he needed 113 to clinch third spot and that’s exactly what he delivered, thanks to a closing 3 at the short 16th.
Many had predicted a duel between the St. Joseph’s and St. Mary’s after such a close result at the Leinster Competition when the Westmeath lads prevailed by a shot. The Rochfortbridge boys delivered an extremely consistent performance, all three players shooting 104. Martin White (53, 51), Jonathan Daly (52, 52) and Liam Metcalfe (52, 52) delivered six fine rounds between them in difficult, blustery conditions.
They would however be defeated by six great rounds! Darren Heeney got things underway with a 98 (48, 50) that would prove to be the best total of the day. The second of the three Bellewstown members in the team was Luke Heeney. Sub par rounds of 50 and 53 produced an excellent 103 total for the current All-Ireland Boys Championship Runner-Up. The team was anchored by captain, Peter Reilly. A solid first round 52 put him in a good position but he really turned on the style with a second round 47 to seal a nine under par total of 99 and a commanding team victory by 12 shots.
Luke, Peter and Darren are pictured above after capturing their title. For pictures of all the prize winners, please click on the following link – Schools Competition on Flickr.
Congratulations to all the teams who took part, both today and in all the earlier rounds of the competition. The PPUI would like to thank all the schools, teachers, clubs and parents who make it possible to run this competition each year. We’re already looking forward to 2013.