Ivan Morris - The voice of Mid West Golf
Castletroy's Chloe Ryan played a vital and crucial role on the Ireland Ladies team that won the Miller Shield at the Home Internationals Series at Little Aston in the English Midlands on Friday last.
Chloe halved her match against Scotland on Wednesday and then won both of her encounters with her Welsh and English opponents. She was a whopping 6-under par for the holes played.
It is only Ireland's eighth win ever in the 'Homes' since they were instituted in 1901. The last time Ireland won the Miller Shield was in 2004 at Royal Porthcawl. Chloe will be hoping to be part of the team again in 2018 at Ballybunion.
Meanwhile, the Munster Finals in the various GUI Cups and Shields have been taking place thick and fast with plenty of the usual excitement and drama included. In the Irish Mixed Foursomes at Monkstown Golf Club on the 5th of August, Adare Manor qualified for the National Finals in Castlebar on 8th & 9th September by beating Gold Coast, 4.5 – 0.5.
Details: Alan Purcell & Antoinette Meghan beat Ger Bagge & Esther & McGuckian 5&4; Martin Hayes & Breda Naughton beat Kieran Cullinan & Rosie Murphy 2&1; Barry O’Riordan & Siobhan Curran halved with Earon O’Donnell & Geraldine Hallinan, called in. Eoin Moran & Phil Mann beat Derek Power & Karen Darcy by 2 holes; Brian Murray & Deirdre Keating beat Michael White & Elaine Goss, 2&1.
At Fermoy last week, Ballybunion defeated Castletroy to win the Junior Foursomes and now travel to Rockmount in Belfast for the All Ireland Finals in that competition.
Also at the Fermoy course, which was an absolute revelation it was in such good playing condition. Muskerry defeated last year's Fred Daly Trophy champions, Limerick, and now are in a tight contest with Lisburn, Dundalk and Athenry for national honours at Bray Golf Club next week.
The AIG Jimmy Bruen Shield Munster Final took place in Killarney. Ballykisteen defeated the hot favourites, Nenagh, 3/2. It is Ballykisteen's first Munster Pennant.
Thirteen-year-old, Sean Calvert from Garryspillane was a key member of the winning team, securing the winning points in both the semi-final and the final rounds in partnership with David Cartlidge.
Sean is believed to be the youngest winning Bruen player ever. Ballykisteen qualify to go to Carlton House, County KIldare in September for the All-Ireland Finals.
Details: Olly Hodges & PJ Carey beat Ray Hurley & Padraig Hackett, 2 up: David Cartlidge & Sean Calvert beat Paddy Kennedy & James Reddan, 1 up; Gavin Downey & Kevin O’Hora lost to Tom O’Gara & Mathew O’Gara, 4&3; Alan Murphy & Denis O’Brien beat TJ Burns & David Hickey, 6&5; Michael Kennedy & John Hoare lost to Morgan Conway & Bernard Hackett, 7&6.
Thurles GC will represent Munster in the Pierce Purcell Shield.
There was no joy for Castletroy in the Munster Final of the Barton Shield, losing out to Tralee playing over their home course. Details: Darren O’Sullivan & Eoghan O’Donnell beat Andrew McCormack & Darragh Walsh, 2 holes; Ger Deegan & Fergal O’Sullivan beat Jack Ryan & Dean McMahon, 6 holes.
Limerick Golf Club's outstanding record in the Irish Senior Cup makes them always hard to beat in a close match even if the personnel keeps changing.
Under the captaincy of former gold medalist and veteran campaigner in this competition, Ger Vaughan, a new team filled with new faces scraped past Mallow at the 19th in the morning semi-final. As darkness began to fall in the afternoon's tense Munster Final, Limerick defeated Ballybunion in equally close and nerve-wrecking circumstances.
Owen O'Brien operating at No. 1 won a great battle with Ed Stack, the match finished on the 18th. David O'Driscoll (Ballybunion) played too solidly for Sean Poucher at No. 2. Teenager Ciaran Vaughan played blistering sub par golf to defeat the experienced, Hannes Boch in the pivotal, middle match to restore Limerick's lead.
The ever-steady, Senan Carroll levelled matters at No. 4 by beating Mike Reddan.
The deciding match between two former South of Ireland champions in the No. 5 tailgunner cockpit was a thriller. In the end, Justin Keogh's tidy short game made the difference and he eked out a hard fought victory on the seventeeth green.
Details: Munster Final - Limerick 3-2 Ballybunion. Owen O’Brien beat Ed Stack, 2 up; Sean Poucher lost to David O’Driscoll, 3&2; Ciaran Vaughan beat Hannes Boch, 3&2; Mike Reddan lost to Senan Carroll, 3&2; Justin Kehoe beat Peter Sheehan, 2&1.
Semi-Final results - Ballybunion 4-1 Dungarvan. Limerick 3-2 Mallow - Owen O’Brien lost to Paul McCarthy, 3&2; Sean Poucher lost to James Sugrue, 5&4; Ciaran Vaughan beat Conor Dowling, 6&5; Mike Reddan beat Brian Attridge, 2&1: Justin Kehoe beat Adam Boland at 19th.
The AIG/GUI All Ireland Cup & Shield finals take place at Carton House from September 20th-23rd.
Words of the Wise
The proof of any golf club is in the hitting, i.e. trust nothing and test everything. Some clubs that shouldn't suit - do, and some clubs that should suit - don't. Experiment, experiment, experiment! If you make a happy union, stay loyal and true. Don't be tempted! Did I always take my own advice? No! Did it cause me regret and unhappiness? Yes!