Castlemartyr Links was covered in a welcome sunshine yesterday as the Ron Kirby designed links played host for the Munster finals of the Irish Schools Senior Championships. Castlemartyr was a late replacement venue as the original venue was deemed unplayable due to the recent adverse weather. The inland links provided a fair challenge for the 20 golfers, mostly single figure handicappers who relished the tight fairways and fast greens.
Patrician Academy Mallow won their second Munster title after a nail-biting finish with Colaiste an Spoiraid Naoimh. The all Cork-final started at 2pm and the stretch in the evenings was tested as the close match didn’t conclude until after 6.30pm. The morning’s semi-finals saw the Cork sides advance at the expense of De La Salle Waterford and Crescent Comprehensive.
As the five singles matches got underway in the afternoon, Patrician Academy took a slight lead. However Spoiraid Naoimh were back in even terms soon after the turn with Brian O’Neill and Sean O’Herlihy leading the charge for the city school. At the back of the field Eoin Ahern and Daniel O’Sullivan were building strong leads for Patrician Academy and it looked as if the match would go the full distance. Patrician Academy secured the first two points with matches four and five. Academy’s Conor Roche had to win the 17th and 18th to keep his match with Brian O’Neill alive, and O’Neill eventually won on the 19th green. Around the same time Sean O’Herlihy beat Liam Dowling on the 17th green to level the match 2-2.
After several close calls, Patrician Academy finally secured their second title, their only previous win came in 2007. Team Manager Arthur Murphy paid tribute to his side and thanked Spioraid Naoimh for a very tough match in the final. Patrician Academy now advance to the national finals in Athlone in April.
Munster Final: Patrician Academy Mallow beat Colaiste an Spoiraid Naoimh 3-2; Conor Roche lost to Brian O’Neill 19th. Liam Dowling lost to Sean O’Herlihy 2&1, Chris Taylor beat Cian Linehan. Eoin Ahern beat Brian McCarthy 4&3, Daniel O’Sullivan beat Oisin O’Keeffe 5&3.
Semi Finals: Colaiste An Spioraid Naoimh Bishopstown bt Crescent College Limerick 4/1
Patrician Academy Mallow bt De La Salle Waterford 3/2