Muskerry have booked their place in the Munster finals of the Fred Daly Trophy. The Cork side will be hoping to repeat the win of 2017 and remove the memory of the final loss of 2018 when they head to Clonmel in just over two weeks time. To reach the finals three years in a row is a sizeable achievement, they faced Douglas in the area final last Sunday which was held in Cork Golf Club. With a large crowd watching Muskerry took the lead and held on to claim the win and book their place in the Munster finals with a positive performance from the team. Fionn Hickey put the first point on the board for Muskerry with a win over Kevin Collins, and Jack Egan added a second point when he beat Ross Higgins. Mark Hill won a point for Douglas when he beat Eoghan O’Shaughnessy but the match was over when Stephen Riordan beat Shane Williamson. The match between Zak Collins and Jack Murphy was called in. The panel also includes Max O’Leary and Peter O’Mahony. The team manager is Denis Keane, he took over the successful programme from Peter Fenlon and Dave Taylor.
The progress that Muskerry hasn’t been by accident, and reaching a third successive Munster final is a measure of the work that has been put in by the club. “Our Club Professional and Munster Senior Coach Fred Twomey has been working with the boys over the winter in his Golf Studio here in Muskerry” said Denis Keane. “This spring they completed a golf specific fitness program with Peter O’Keeffe. Under Fred’s tutelage the boys have worked very hard on all aspects of their game, and they have reaped their rewards in many ways. The handicaps last year ranged from 2 to 5 whereas this years range is +1 to 3. Fionn Hickey has been selected on the Irish Boys Team to play the Home Internationals in Wales next week. Jack Egan & Zak Collins along with Fionn and Coach Fred represented Munster in last weeks interpros In Athlone” added Keane. Muskerry’s campaign started with wins over Blarney & Bandon in Blarney Golf Club which set up a venue final against Kinsale also in Blarney. This was a close encounter with Muskerry emerging 3-2 winners.
Keane knows that the success is part of a much wider junior golf initiative to develop junior golf. “The club has made great progress in recent years with our Junior Golf Programme” explained Keane. “Three years ago our current club Captain Diarmuid Lenihan was tasked with setting up a Juvenile Golf Commttee as required by the Confederation of Golf In Ireland. The six person committee has introduced a Junior Safeguarding Policy, restructuring entrance fees for juniors and increased junior membership from 30 two years ago to 120 juniors today.” The work of successive captains and committees, and in particular Fred Twomey and Peter Fenlon have been key drivers. Muskerry will face 2018 winners Dungarvan in their semi-final. Dungarvan got the better of them last year but only when they holed an eagle putt on the third tie hole. With a strong squad, hopes are high that the Cork side can bring another pennant back to Cloghroe.