Muskerry claimed another Munster Pennant on Monday, they won the Munster Final of the Fred Daly Trophy in Clonmel. This was their second win in three years, having reached the final in 2017, 2018 and 2019. This year marks the third of a three year cycle with the current players, and four of the team who were beaten in last years final returned this year to win in style. Twelve months ago Eoghan O’Shaughnessy was the player who lost out on the third playoff hole at the final in Nenagh. This year he was first to finish, wrapping up his match on the 13th green with a 6&5 win. That put the first point on the board for Muskerry and Stephen Riordan added a second soon after with a 5&4 win. Fionn Hickey was three up and it looked like he would claim the winning point, but Limerick’s Patrick Naughton birdied to prolong the match.
As Hickey’s match headed down the 16th, word reached the first match that Egan had won. That third point was enough to secure the title and Hickey and Collins were called in. In the morning semi-final it was the top three who won the points. In a strange coincidence, Fionn Hickey, Jack Egan and Zak Collins all won on the 13th green. That gave Muskerry a 4-1 win over Dungarvan, the club who beat Muskerry in last years final.
A huge crowd of Muskerry members and supporters were present in Clonmel, and there were great celebrations as everyone returned to the clubhouse. With four of last year’s team still eligible, Muskerry were favourites to win their second title, and they played both matches like favourites, winning early to the delight of the supporters. Muskerry’s three Munster finals and two wins are down to the continued focus that the club puts on junior golf. Peter Fenlon, Fred Twomey, Dave Taylor and Denis Keane have all been instrumental in the successes, and the support of the officers, committee and members is clear. This year Fionn Hickey received a call up to the Boys Home Internationals team, representing Ireland at the quadrangular tournament two weeks ago. His progress has seen his handicap fall to +1 and earlier this year he won the East Cork Senior Scratch Cup. He was runner up in the Ulster Boys in April and he won the Irish U17 title at the Irish Boys in New Forest in June. Already Muskerry have started working on the next generation of golfers.
The club have a large number of younger junior golfers and in addition to regular coaching sessions, the club recently held a very successful pilot for golf sixes. While the future is bright, there’s still one more important date for this years Fred Daly team. They now go on to the national finals in Castle Dargan in September. A long trip to Sligo is ahead for the club, but they are sure to have plenty of support if the crowd in Clonmel was anything to go by.