Lisselan and East Cork through to Bruen Final
By Niall O’Shea
Cobh and Kinsale played host to the Jimmy Bruen Shield area matches over the weekend as the AIG Cups and Shields got underway. The wind blew hard on Saturday and the elevated nature of both courses tested all players. The conditions were not ideal but it provided all teams with a requirement to think their way around the course. Although conditions were a bit better on Sunday, the weather helped to set the scene for classic matchplay, whoever made the least errors would progress.
Fota, Douglas, Muskerry and Mallow all made early exits at Cobh on Saturday and the afternoon matches saw Castlemartyr beat Raffeen Creek, East Cork beat Fermoy and host Cobh advance at the expense of Mahon. Based on previous form and home course advantage, the favourites were Cobh and East Cork, and both obliged in making through to the venue final. Play on Sunday afternoon was hampered by strong winds and heavy showers. East Cork took an early lead and at one point they had a lead in all five matches on the course. They held on to that lead as they enters the back nine and the beat the hosts on a comprehensive final scoreline of 4-1. Much credit must go to Cobh for hosting the area qualifier, the relatively new course was in great condition for their first hosting of a Cups & Shields qualifier. In Kinsale, 12 clubs took part in a full schedule with four matches taking place on Saturday morning. Dunmore, Blarney, Skibbereen and the hosts went forward for the second round with three of teams with first round byes winning on Saturday afternoon. Monkstown, Fernhill and Lisselan were joined by Skibbereen in the semi-final stage. Sunday’s venue final was a battle between Lisselan and relative newcomers Fernhill, with the West Cork’s Lisselan edging out their South Cork opponents. The area final will take place on Wednesday next in Lee Valley.
In the Ladies Munster Senior Cup, Douglas had a very narrow loss at the hands of hosts Killarney on Sunday. Karen O’Neill and Tara Gribben put the first two points on the board for Douglas but both Kate McCann and Julie Coyne lost on the 18th. With match tied Eavann Higgins match against Killarney’s Catriona Griffin went all the way to the 20th. Griffin holed an impressive downhill putt to deny Douglas and capture the Munster title for Killarney. Muskerry and Cork were the semi-final losers, Cork went out to Killarney in similar fashion to the final, Claire Coughlan Ryan and Ailish Thompson put points on the board early for Cork but Killarney battled back to win the three remaining matches and get through to the final. While Killarney go forward to August’s national finals in Mount Wolesley, Douglas are likely to qualify as three of the runners up will also make up the quarter finals.