There was great excitement in Douglas on Sunday evening as Fota Island overcame Mahon in an exciting Fred Daly Trophy quarter-final match. The match was a repeat of last year’s competition when Mahon came out on top. The course in Douglas was in great condition for the match although heavy rain and strong winds during the first hour of play hampered the golfers. Heading into the back nine the match was very balanced with neither side having a strong advantage in any of the seven matches.
The first point was decided on the 17th green when Fota’s Paul Twohig beat Eoghan O’Shea. Pat Hayes put a second point on the board for Fota with his win over Conor Clarke, also on the 17th green. Mahon’s Conor Twomey was the only golfer to wrap up his match early when he closed out against Don McKenna on the 15th. At the same time Fota added a third point on the 17th green when David Howard saw off Mahon’s Cathal Browne. Jim Coffey gave Mahon a second point when he beat Fota’s Luke O’Connor also on the 17th hole. The 16th in Douglas proved to be a decisive hole in the match with very few golfers making par on the long par four. Fota’s Josh Hogan played an approach to the green that ran over the back, he was very unlucky that the ball ran down a path and into a tree stump. Hogan had to take a penalty drop but the only point of relief available was on the path. The Fota player did well to keep the ball on the green with a delicate chip but he was left with a 20 putt back. Mahon’s Donagh Gribbon put his fourth shot in to a few inches to win the hole and level the match for the city club.
The result was set to be decided by the final pair on the course, Mahon’s James Daly and Fota’s Colm Power. Both players were all square leaving the 14th hole. Power won the par three 15th and doubled his lead with a great par on 16, leaving him two up with two holes to play. Both players hit great drives on the 17th, their approaches were good too, with Power leaving himself an easier chip from the edge of the green. Unfortunately for Daly, a testing chip left him with 14 feet for par, and the putt back just shaved the hole. Colm Power chipped on to inside three feet and calmly holed the par putt to claim the match and see his side through to the next round. They will face Cork who beat East Cork in a match that took two additional holes to see the island side beat their neighbours.
On the other side of the draw Kinsale advanced to the semi-final on Saturday, accounting for holders Douglas in an entertaining match at Monkstown. Wins for Mark Healy, Eric Rumley and John Murphy in regulation were added to by Gary Ward on the 19th hole to see the fancied South Cork side through. Blarney made the most of home advantage as they beat Muskerry and take the last spot in the semi-finals. Mallow and Kanturk both advanced in the West section and Charleville also made it through in the North section.