There was great excitement in Douglas on Monday as the final of the William Dwyer Inter-Society Trophy took place. Midleton CBS Past Pupils Union were aiming to win the trophy for a third year in a row, but in their way were seven other teams who all had eyes on the trophy. Douglas was in great condition for the annual event, two qualifying rounds took place in Mahon last month and the top eight qualifiers lined out for the final. The format is scotch foursomes with each team fielding four pairs. This was the 78th staging of the oldest inter-society event in the country. The winners on the day were Senior Circle, in a very close contest that went to the final card to determine the winner. Barry Ryan and Ray Duane were first out for Mahon’s Senior Circle and they came home with a respectable level par 72. Sean Hosford and Denis O’Sullivan were second out and they shot a very impressive 68. Ger Sheehan and Pat Lester were also under par with a 69 and the final pair of Joe Downey and Anthony Power shot a 74. With the first three cards totalling 209 strokes, the Senior Circle found themselves tied with Jack Spratts. The winner would be decided on the fourth card, and the 74 from Downey Power was better than the final card from Spratts, giving Senior Circle the win. The low round of the day came from Jack Spratts, Anthony Murphy and Eoin O’Mahony combined for a five under par 67. Previous winners Wilton Shopping Centre were third and Bluffers took fourth place. The other finalists were The Lada Tour, Eli Lilly, Senior Circle B, and the 2017 and 2018 winners Midleton CBS. Pat O’Leary, the manager of the winning team thanked organisers Finbarr O’Callaghan and Paddy Brazill. The pair have been looking after the event for several years, and as custodians they have ensured that the legacy of the longstanding event continues.
The William Dwyer Trophy is a living history of commercial Cork. The trophy boasts 73 separate silver plates detailing the winning team and players from every year since 1943. Originally there were eight team members (4 foursomes pairs) but this was later increased to ten. Around six years ago the number was again reduced to the original eight, reflecting the smaller number of golfers playing with societies. In all there are around 700 names on the trophy. Indeed the trophy is well over a metre tall, and has several wooden bases added over the years to accommodate the names. The Munster & Leinster Bank were the original winners back in 1943 and won the competition a record five times. Cork University also won the competition on five occasions, between 1945 and 1961. Although the Munster & Leinster is now known as AIB Bank, some of the winners names are consigned to the history books; the names Dunlop, Verolme, Ford and Byrne Butchers all feature on the trophy. More recently the ESB (Marina & Wilton) have featured as winners on a few occasions, as have Midleton CBS, Wilton Traders and GSK. In all there have been 45 different winners over the past 74 years. Now there are 11 separate silver rings on the base of the trophy, listing all of the winning teams and golfers. The trophy itself was made by a well renowned silversmith M Roche who traded from Patrick Street at the time. Roche was a popular silversmith who had a great reputation for sporting medals and trophies. He registered M.R as his hallmark with the Dublin assay office and this along with Roche Cork is inscribed on the trophy. The trophy was donated by William Dwyer of the famous Sunbeam textile business based in Blackpool. Dwyer was a member of Cork Golf Club, and also donated the Cork Scratch Cup in 1923. That trophy is also still played for, and is awarded to the winner of the Munster Strokeplay each year. The Dwyer’s are still very involved in Cork Golf Club, and in several different areas of Cork business. Unfortunately neither the Sunbeam or Eurostyle names feature on the trophy but the associated Woollen Traders did win in 1962. More recently names like GSK, Eli Lilly, SIFCO and DePuy have appeared on the trophy, signalling the emergence of new industries in the Cork area.