East Cork through Pierce Purcell Finals
By Niall O’Shea
East Cork GC booked their place in the Pierce Purcell Munster Finals on Sunday with an impressive win over Bandon Golf Club. Monkstown was the venue for the area final and both side were hoping to advance after they both had overcome strong opposition in the area matches. East Cork stuck with the same team that won the venue final in Mahon two weeks ago, and selectors Mick Hayes, JJ Sheehan and Maurice Conway were rewarded with some great golf from their team. The Midleton club took control of the match early on, with four of the five pairs taking the lead. James Murray and Rory Naughton were the second East Cork pair out on the course but they were the first to finish, closing out their match on the 12th hole. With one point on the board a second soon followed with Pat Kerrigan and Paul O’Keeffe winning their match 8&7. As it stood East Cork were ahead in the remaining three matches and the winning point came when Paul Cashman and Ger Crowley halved the 17th to take a 2&1 win and put their club through to the Munster semi-final in Faithlegg next month. For the record, Jimmy McCarthy and John Hogan were one up through 14 and Cian McCarthy and Ronan Curtin were two up through 10.
This weekend the Irish Mixed foursomes takes place at Lee valley and East Cork, with ten clubs in action at each venue. The format has changed slightly this year, handicaps are now based on each player’s lowest handicap in the previous year and the maximum combined handicap is now 27, if the combined handicap of a pair exceeds 27, the pair must play off 27.