Lee Valley Capture National Pennant

Lee Valley Minor Cup Team2There was delight in Belfast and Cork yesterday as Lee Valley Ladies won another All-Ireland title.  The Cork club captured the AIG Minor Cup in Belfast, their first time winning at Minor level.  After several close calls this year, the final ended up being a clean sweep for Lee Valley as they beat Mountbellew.  Rosemary Driscoll won the first point for Lee Valley on the 17th green when she won 2&1, while Deirdre Lee saw her match go to sudden death before she won and added a second point for Lee Valley.  The winning point was secured by Breda O’Callaghan, she had a 2&1 win on the 17th to win the third match and secured another national pennant for Lee Valley.  Both Jane O’Neill and Helen Gough were called in, their matches were considered as halves meaning the final score was 4-1 to Lee Valley.  On Thursday, Helen Gough was the hero for Lee Valley, securing the winning point in the final match on the final green.  Jane O’Neill and Breda O’Callaghan had secured the earlier points and their way to the final in a tough match against Donaghadee.  Lee Valley Team Captain Angela Corcoran summed up the feelings of the Lee Valley members: “We’re absolutely thrilled, it could have gone either way right up until the end, it was an amazing contest,” said Angela. “This is our third All-Ireland, we have won two Intermediate Cups and now a Minor Cup in the last 5 years, it’s a huge honour for our 25-year-old club!”  The Cork club last won a national title in 2015 when they won the AIG Intermediate Cup in Knightsbrook.  The team along with a large number of members and supporters made the long trip from Belfast last night.  And the winners were treated to a great reception back in Lee Valley when they arrived home to Ovens.

 

National win for Barry & Coughlan, ILGU Australian Spoons

Australian Spoons at Co Longfort Golf Club

Winners of the 2017 Australian Spoons Claire Coughlan Ryan and Oonagh Barry (Cork) after the 2017 Australian Spoons All-Ireland Final at Longford Golf Club. Pic: Jenny Matthews (www.cashmanphotography.ie)

Claire Coughlan Ryan and Oonagh Barry win the Australian Spoons at Co. Longford Golf Club earlier this week.  Despite wet and heavy conditions the Cork pairing of Claire Coughlan Ryan and Oonagh Barry were a model of consistency with 19 points on both the front and extremely tricky back nine at Co. Longford Golf Club in a round that had birdies at the par 3 8th and par 4 15th.  Last years winners Helen Jones and Vivienne Houston (Royal Portrush) won the best gross.  Presented to the ILGU in 1967 by the Australian Ladies Golf Union to support players representing Ireland at International Competitions, the Australian Spoons is contended for by clubs across Ireland.  Clubs hold an 18 hole stableford greensomes qualifier, in which their nett and gross winners progress to the District Finals.
Results:
​​1st  38 pts  Claire Coughlan Ryan (1) & Oonagh Barry (14) – Cork

Gross  30 pts Helen Jones (3) & Vivienne Houston (5) – Royal Portrush
2nd 36 pts Christina Rush (19) & Hannah Grant (20) – Claremorris
3rd  35 pts  Caroline Delaney (21) and Mary Dolan (30) – Mountbellew
4th  35 pts  Carmel Mullan (33) and Maura Ryan (25) – Elm Park

Clancy & Martin help Killarney to Senior Cup title

Killarney ILGU Senior Cup

Killarney who won the ILGU Senior Cup on Saturday.  Pic: Pat Cashmn

Mairead Martin and Valerie Clancy played a key part in Killarney’s Irish Senior Cup win over the weekend.  The Cork girls were playing in the ILGU finals at Royal Curragh and they helped Killarney pick up their first national Senior Cup pennant.  Mairead who is playing out of Kanturk and Valerie who is from Mitchelstown have been attached to Killarney for several years and while both have had plenty of individual success, this team win was their first at national level.  Both have been capped at international level this year so the Senior Cup winners medal is a great finish to a very busy summer season for the pair.  Kilkenny were the quarter final opponents and the Cork girls led the playing order with both girls winning their matches.  There was more of the same on Friday afternoon when another two wins helped Killarney overcome The Island.  On Saturday morning they faced Continue reading

Super 67 for Sara Byrne

2017 Irish Girls Close Championship at Mallow Golf Club

Sara Byrne pictured during the Irish Girls Close, picture: Pat Cashman

Sara Byrne shot a career low round of 67 in Douglas on Sunday, and won the Girlie Hegarty Trophy in the process.  Six birdies and just one bogey saw Byrne finish well ahead of the field.  The sharp shooter was on form, helped by the fact that Douglas is her home course.  Sara finished four shots clear of the field with her 65 nett, Aoife Ni Thuama won the best gross with a 73.  Bandon’s Sarah Higgins won the 18 hole stableford competition while Aoife Keating (Douglas) won the nine hole competition.  It’s been a solid year for the Sara Byrne.  The teenager has had a very busy summer and her five under par round was yet another milestone in a year that saw several improvements.  Byrne was in action Girls Home Internationals recently, where Ireland narrowly lost out to England, and prior to that she was representing Great Britain and Ireland in Italy at the Junior Vagliano Trophy.

Next up for Sara is the British ladies Strokeplay which takes Continue reading

O’Keeffe leads the way in Moortown

Home Internationals 2017

Peter O’Keeffe and Robin Dawson (Ireland) on the 4th tee during Day 2 Foursomes of the Home Internationals at Moortown Golf Club, Leeds, England. 17/08/2017
Picture: Golffile | Thos Caffrey 

There were mixed results for the Cork golfers in action in England and at home today.  Peter O’Keeffe recorded two wins today at the Mens Home Internationals, while Valerie Clancy won her first round match in the British Girls but lost in this afternoon’s second round.

It was a good day for Ireland at the Home Internationals in Moortown today.  Peter O’Keeffe combined well with Robin Dawson this morning to win an important foursomes match against Scotland.  The pair had lost yesterday so this morning’s result was a boost and came as part of a 4-1 win in the morning session.  He followed up this afternoon with another win in the singles.  O’Keeffe was one down at the turn but mounted a comeback and was two up after 12 holes.  He closed out his match on the 16th with a 4&2 win over Scotland’s Sam Locke.  Ireland now have a great chance to create history tomorrow, a winner takes all match with England give’s Ireland the chance to win the title for the fourth straight year.

Valerie Clancy was the only Cork girl to make it through to the matchplay stage of the British Girls.  Clancy made it though on the cut mark (+8) after the 36 hole qualifier and she won her first round match this morning, beating Celilie Nielsen 3&2.  She lost out this afternoon though, losing 2&1 to Mayka Hoogeboom.  Rachel Thompson and Continue reading

International Action for Cork Girls

2017 Irish Girls Close Championship at Mallow Golf Club

Mairead Martin (Kanturk) Picture: Pat Cashman

Four Cork Girls are in action for Ireland today in the Ladies and Girls Home Internationals.  Little Aston Golf Club near Brimingham is hosting the both events which get underway today.  Despite being eligible for the Girls team, Mairead Martin has been selected for the Ladies team.  The Kanturk native has been in great form recently, she won both the Irish Girls Close and the Leinster Ladies Championship in the past three weeks.  Mitchelstown’s Valerie Clancy (representing Killarney) will feature on the Girls team alongside Cork’s Rachel Thompson and Douglas’ Sara Byrne.

Last year, Ireland were victorious in the Girls Home Internationals with the Ladies’ honours going to England.  Three of the victorious 2016 Girls’ team have returned to defend their title. Clancy, Thompson and Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden) will be a source of experience for Captain Gemma Butler, who will be relying on them to lead their fellow teammates.
Ireland take on Scotland today, they face Wales tomorrow and England on the final day.
Home Internationals Little Aston Aug 2017

The combined Girls and Ladies teams (Pic: Derek Byrne)

Ladies Home International Matches

Little Aston, 9 – 11 August
Ciara Casey (Hermitage)
Maria Dunne (Skerries)
Paula Grant (Lisburn)
Mairead Martin (Kanturk)
Julie McCarthy (Forrest Little)
Chloe Ryan (Castletroy)
Annabel Wilson (Lurgan)
Reserve: Sinead Sexton (Lahinch)
Team Captain: Danielle McVeigh (RCDL)
Team Manager: Clodagh Hopkins (Woodbrook)
Team Coach: Donal Scott
Girls’ Home International Matches
Little Aston, 9 – 11 August
Sara Byrne (Douglas)
Valerie Clancy (Killarney)
Beth Coulter (Kirkistown Castle)
Emma Forbes (Royal Portrush)
Maeve Rooney (Co. Sligo)
Rachel Thompson (Cork)
Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden)
Reserve: Georgia Carr (Milltown)
Team Captain: Gemma Butler (Birr)
Team Manager: Helen Jones (Royal Portrush)
Team Coach: Chris Jelly

Second Leinster Women’s title for Mairead Martin

2017 Irish Girls Close Championship at Mallow Golf Club

Mairead Martin (Kanturk) Picture: Pat Cashman

Mairead Martin is currently on a great run of form, the Kanturk teenager picked up another major championship at the weekend in Dublin.  Fresh from her win at the Irish Girls Close last week, Mairead headed to Donabate with hopes of winning the Leinster Womens Championship for a second time.  She came through the 36 qualifier in 4th place, just two shots off the lead which was set by Shannon Burke.  Martin had a 6&5 win over home favourite Nicole McGavisk in the first round and followed that with a 5&4 win over Castlewarden’s Clodagh Walsh on Saturday afternoon.  She had a 2&1 win over Maedbh Doyle in the semi final and despite a slow start in the final she wrapped up a 2&1 win over Rachel McDonnell.

“My game was really solid all week and I holed a lot of good putts” said a happy Mairead after her win.  “I felt a bit under pressure in the last matchplay game, especially as I was 3 down through 9, but I managed to bring it back with 2 birdies in a row to gain some momentum, and then I played really well on the home stretch.”   This is the second time Mairead will have her name engraved on the trophy having beaten Maria Dunne in the final in Ardee as a youngster in 2015.  The busy summer continues for Martin, she’s off to play in the Home Internationals in Little Aston on Friday and after that it’s on to the British Girls in Enville Golf Club near Birmingham.

 

Mairead Martin wins Irish Girls Close Championship

2017 Irish Girls Close Championship at Mallow Golf Club

Mairead Martin (Kanturk) with the Girls Close Championship (Blake Cup) trophy after her victory at the 2017 Irish Girls Close Championship at Mallow Golf Club today. Picture by Pat Cashman

Kanturk’s Mairead Martin claimed her first national title today, and did so in front of a huge crowd of supporters in Mallow Golf Club.  Martin claimed the Irish Girls Close title after five days of golf in Mallow, and did so in style – never going beyond the 15th hole in the five matchplay rounds.  After confidently striking her first tee shot down their middle of the fairway, Mairead went 1 up through1 and didn’t ease up from there. Four up at the turn, birdies at the 10th and 11th saw Martin go 6 up with 7 holes to play. The match was finished in style with an eagle from Mairead at the 444-yard par 5 12th to close out the game 7&6.

“I’m delighted to win, my short game was on form this week, I pitched in for eagle on the 12th this afternoon to win the match which was a good way to finish”” said a happy Mairead.  “I was at home in my own bed all week too which was also nice and to have so much support from the club was class! I had my sister on the bag too this week which was entertaining! She doesn’t play much golf but I hope she might Continue reading

Cork challenge continues in Mallow, Irish Girls Close

Rachel Thompson Baltray May 2017Cork’s Rachel Thompson is through to the final four in the Irish Girls Close.  Thompson came through two tough rounds in Mallow today, and the leading qualifier is safely through to tomorrow’s semi-final.  The Cork golf club member wrapped up yesterday’s first round match on the 13th winning 7&5 but today she went to the 19th before getting past Emma Forbes from Portrush.  This afternoon her match with Georgina Carr went to the 17th with the Cork girl taking the match on a 2&1 margin to put her through to tomorrow’s semi-final with Maeve Rooney.  There were wins too for Mairead Martin and Valerie Clancy, both golfers also come through two matchplay rounds today to qualify for the semi-final.  They now face each other in the second semi-final tomorrow morning.

Sara Byrne is the fourth Cork golfer in action in Mallow, she’s through to the semi-final of the plate competition after losing her first round match yesterday.  The Douglas golfer needed an extra hole this morning to claim a place in the quarter finals.  She had an impressive 7&6 win this afternoon beating Chloe O’Connor from Roscommon.  She will face Nicole McGavisk Continue reading

Sara leads the way in Douglas

Munster Senior Championship_Sara Byrne

Sixteen-year-old Sara Byrne is set to represent Ireland again later this month.  The Douglas golfer has been selected to represent Ireland at the European Young Masters later this month.  Oslo Golf Club in Norway will host the event over three days and Byrne along with Annabel Wilson were selected as Ireland’s two representatives by the ILGU.  Byrne has enjoyed a great season so far, and representing GB&I and Ireland in addition to several impressive individual performances.  On the representative front, Byrne was in Italy last week as the GB&I side took on Europe in the Junior Vagliano Trophy.  She also represented Ireland in the annual matches against Wales.  A large number of notable individual performances has seen her handicap drop from four to one over the first half of the season.  She hit the 1 mark in April while playing in the Munster Senior Open in Cork Golf Club.  That was an impressive result considering that the Douglas member opened with a disappointing 80.  She followed that with rounds of 75 and 73 to take second place overall.  She also captured the Munster Girls trophy as the best under eighteen golfer in the field.

In May she travelled to the Fairhaven Trophy in Lancashire where she finished in third place in the girls competition against an impressive international field.  She also recorded top three placings in the Lahinch and Carlow scratch cups in the early part of the season.  Most recently she had a top ten finish in the Irish Women’s Close.  Last week Sara represented Continue reading