Chris Clarke and Eoin Purton, two members of the Dundalk Golf Club Jimmy Bruen team. Pic: Dundalk Golf Club Twitter
Dundalk Golf Club head to Belfast this week in search of what would be the club’s second national title in its 116 year history.
The club’s sole green pennant was claimed in 2004 when they won the Jimmy Bruen Shield and it is this competition that will be in their sights at Shandon Park Golf Club.
“The victory in 2004 is still fondly remembered around the Club and it would be great to bring back a second national pennant from Belfast this week,” said Club Captain Trevor Giff.
The Jimmy Bruen Shield is a foursomes competition for golfers with a handicap of no less than 3.5 and no more than 10.5 as the maximum handicap for any pairing is 14.0. It is played off scratch between five two player pairings.
The formation of Golf Ireland has led to changes in the structure of inter-club golf in Ireland with Leinster being broken up into three regions, Munster and Ulster being divided into two and Connacht remaining as one region. The All-Ireland series now comprises of eight teams instead of the four provincial winners as in previous years.
This has given clubs in the bigger provinces a better chance of qualifying for the All-Ireland series and Dundalk’s Jimmy Bruen Shield certainly took full advantage of this opportunity.
After getting a bye in the opening round of the Leinster North region, Dundalk beat Royal Tara 3-2, Headfort 3-2, Co Meath 3.5 to 1.5, and Donabate 3-2 before seeing off Castleknock 3-2 in the Leinster North final to claim the regional pennant.
That has earned them a quarter-final meeting with Ulster North champions Strabane which has been ongoing since 8am this morning.
The Tyrone club have certainly clocked up the miles in their journey to the All-Ireland series with wins over Faughan Valley, City of Belfast, Rosapenna, Balmorral, Cloughaneely and Fortwilliam on their way to the regional title.
Should Dundalk win they will face the winners of the quarter-final between Co Cavan and Beech Park in the semi-finals. The other half of the draw sees defending champions, Berehaven from Cork, face Gowran Park while Carrick on Shannon meet Tramore.
Dundalk managers Terry Sloane and Fergal Harte left no stone unturned in their efforts to guide the team to regional title and they have also been meticulous in their preparations for the All-Ireland series.
They are working off a squad of 30 players and have not been afraid to chop and change in the previous rounds with a clear emphasis on selecting players in form.
The squad is a mixture of youth and experience with Alan McCabe the only survivor from the 10 players who took part in the 2004 All-Ireland Final.
“The players and the managers have put in tremendous work all year to get this far and are determined to give it everything they have got over the next few days. Chances to win national titles don’t come around often so they’ll be mindful of that as they head to Belfast,” said Club Captain Trevor Giff.
Dundalk Golf Club Jimmy Bruen Shield Panel: Aidan Thornton, Alan McCabe, Ben Cahill, Billy Cairns, Bobby McCarthy, Chris Clarke, Ciaran Johnson, Conal Mullins Shortt, Conor Dunn, Damien Garland, Darren Murphy, Dennis Cunningham, Donal Sheridan, Emmet Savage McCabe, Eoin Purton, Fergal Harte, Gerard Carroll, Jack Arthur, John Paul Casey, Lee Egan, Mark Cumiskey, Michael Staunton, Niall Martin, Páidí Ó Gallachóir, Pat Purton, Ricky Newell, Robbie O’Hanlon, Ronan Farrelly, Ruairí Gogarty, Shane Byrne, Ultan Gaughran. Managers: Terry Sloane and Fergal Harte.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.