There was great excitement in Doneraile last week when the club secured its first international title. The juniors won the Junior Home Nations in England. The team qualified for the competition thanks to the Doneraile U19 Girls team finishing second in the All Ireland finals last August. The girls were joined by the Doneraile Boys Fred Daly team to form the team of eight. Brendan O’Sullivan, Chairman of the Doneraile junior Academy was delighted with the success, “It was an outstanding performance over the 4 days to win the Junior Home Nations 2023.”
“By combining our U19 Girls team; Muireann O’Sullivan (Captain), Niamh O’Sullivan, Anna O’Brien & Caoimhe O’Shaughnessy (Junior Girls Captain 2023) and the Boys Fred Daly team; Ryan Carleton (Captain), Cian O’Brien, Sean Williams and Ben O’Shea, under the management of Anna Cotter and Liam Carleton, we met the entry criteria to compete in the Home Nations Final 2023.”
“The team’s hopes were to quality for the top flight but to go and win it outright was just sensational. Every young golfer’s dream to play for your club and then represent your country had been realised. The Doneraile Golf Club Junioe Academy committee were delighted with the golf etiquette and level of sportsmanship displayed by our young players over the four days of competition.”
The competition started with two days of Strokeplay qualifying. Doneraile got off to a great start and were second overall after the opening day. Playing on a new course on day two proved challenging but the team finished the Strokeplay phase in third place and qualified for the top section of the playoffs. Doneraile faced Carrickfergus in the championship semi-final and although most matches went to the 17th or 18th, Doneraile won 4.5 to 1.5. That meant they were into the final, facing English favourites Overstone.
The English side took full advantage of a slow start from Doneraile but by the turn the match was back on a level footing and by the time it was over Doneraile had won four of their seven matches to secure the win. And with that the Nigel Dalton Trophy was presented to captains Muireann O’Sullivan and Ryan Carleton.
The champions received a warm welcome back to the Doneraile club house on Friday morning having travelled overnight from Chester. The team procession was led by piper Philip Cotter and it was a wonderful opportunity for families, members and friends to congratulate the victorious team.
Images courtesy of Pauline O’Dwyer