Dundalk Golf Club.
It was a good weekend for Dundalk Golf Club on the inter-club front as four teams advanced to the next rounds of their respective competitions.
The men’s Barton Cup team, the ladies' minor and Challenge Cup teams and the boys' U18 Fred Daly Trophy team are all safely through to the next round, but the ladies Intermediate Cup team were beaten while the boys’ U15 team have a mountain to climb after their first leg.
The ladies were the busiest section with three teams scheduled to play over the weekend although only two of them actually got to tee up as the Minor Cup team, which had been due play Hollywood Lakes in Concra Wood, got a walkover.
On Saturday, the Challenge Cup team were involved in a nail-biter with Ashbourne in Laytown & Bettystown. The scores were tied at 2-2 but Marie Griffin got Dundalk over the line when she won her match on the 18th to give Dundalk a 3-2 win. The other players on the team, which is managed by Bríd Rocks and Mary Dooley, were Oonagh Quinn, Joan McKenna, Teresa Oakes and Sally McDonnell.
On Sunday, the intermediate team, managed by Olivia Cunningham and Teresa Oakes, faced Ardee in Concra Wood and, unfortunately, despite great preparation by the players and managers, they came out on the wrong side of a narrow 3-2 defeat. The team was Bernie McCabe, Theresa Connolly, Bríd Rocks, Mags Coburn and Katherina Conneally Sloan, while Jean Connolly and Maeve Ahern were the subs.
The only men’s team in action was the Carl Stewart and Alan McDermott managed Barton Cup team which faced Ardee on Saturday with three of the five matches at home.
Dundalk won the home leg 2-1 with none of the three matches going beyond the 14th hole.
In the top match, Neal MacKell and Aaron Waite got their noses in front early and ran out winners by 5&4. It was even more decisive in the next match, but it was the Dundalk pairing of Shane Hession and Donal Sheridan who were on the wrong side of the scoreline, going down 6&5 on a day when nothing went right for them.
Damian English and Ciarán Sheridan got control of their match around the turn and eventually won by 5&4 to leave Dundalk 2-1 ahead and all eyes on the action in Ardee where the two matches were a lot closer.
Going down the back nine, Dundalk’s lead pairing of Billy Cairns and Aidan Thornton had edged narrowly in front and they closed out the match when they won the 17th hole to win 2&1 with their point securing the overall victory for Dundalk.
In the bottom match, the pairings were all square for most of the round with never more than a hole in it. Ardee won the 15th to go one up, but Clem Walshe and Paul O’Callaghan rallied to win the 16th and they were called while on the 17th fairway so the match was halved.
The boys' U18 team delivered Dundalk’s only pennant last year when they won the Fred Daly Leinster title and with five of last year’s squad still underage they definitely have a chance of being in the mix again this year.
They opened their campaign on Sunday afternoon against Laytown & Bettystown and emerged 3.5 to 1.5 winners. Ireland internationals Eoin Muphy and Josh Mackin, playing in Dundalk, both won with Murphy winning 4&3, while Mackin won by 5&4.
Seán Laverty, also playing over the home course, was two up when called in on the 14th because Kyle Rafferty, playing in Laytown, had won 2&1 to secure the winning point. Debutant Óisín Conroy lost his match 7&6 in Laytown. Dundalk now play Greenore in the next round.
Finally, the boys' U15 team have it all to do in the second leg of their Leinster Inter-Club tie against Co. Louth as they lost all five matches in Baltray on Saturday and must now do a clean sweep in Dundalk on Sunday afternoon.
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