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Caption: 2016 Senior Foursomes All-Ireland Champions (L:R): Helen Jones, Vivienne Houston, Shauna Park, Heidi Simpson, Carol Corrigan & Naoimh Quigg - Photo Courtesy of Pat Cashman
Senior FoursomesIt was tantalising golf in the AIG Ladies Cups and Shields Senior Foursomes Final at Dundalk Golf Club. The advantage was with East Cork on the front nine as they were 1 up, 2 up and 1 up, respectively. Royal Portrush never gave up but East Cork's Grace McGrath and Sarah O'Brien held their nerve in the top match and secured a 1up victory. The game changed in the final few holes for the second and third matches, in favour of Royal Portrush. Past Girls International Naoimh Quigg and partner Carol Corrigan went down the 19th, Quigg stitched her chip, guaranteeing a five for the win after an unfortunate three putt from East Cork.
The final match also went down the 19th and the Royal Portrush pairing triumphed again, with Vivienne Houston and Shauna Park securing the vital point. The National interclub stage is a first for the Ulster side and an elated team manager and past international Helen Jones commented on the win "I am so proud of the team, it's a first for the club. Being part of this team means so much".
Results Final - 23 September East Cork 1 Royal Portrush 2 Grace McGrath & Sarah O'Brien (14) beat Helen Jones & Heidi Simpson (14) 1up Lillian Harrington & Deirdre Ryan (16) lost to Naoimh Quigg & Carol Corrigan (15) on the 19th Deirdre O'Mahony & Mairead Ní Mhurchu (18) lost to Vivienne Houston & Shauna Park (16) on the 19th
Intermediate Cup Wicklow didn't get a look in against Portumna in the AIG Ladies Cups and Shields Intermediate Cup final. Portumna's Kathleen Lynch got the day off to a great start, having secured a 6&4 win. Carmel Cunningham replicated this win for the Galway team as she also closed out her match on the 14th. With one point left to secure for the AIG All-Ireland title, Sinead Lohan stepped up to the plate as she approached the 18th 1 up. She hit a perfect drive and approach shot and finished with a stunning par, and as the middle and bottom matches were called in, the celebrations ensued for Portumna.
Results Final - 23 September Wicklow 1 Portumna 4 Niamh Murphy (14) lost to Sinead Lohan (15) 2 down Doreen McGettigan (16) lost to Kathleen Lynch (16) 6&4 Trish Shannon (17) halved with Mary Kelly (17) (called in) Una Doyle (17) lost to Carmel Cunningham (18) 6&4 Katie Roche (18) halved with Mary McElroy (21) (called in)
Minor Cup Ballinrobe, another Connacht team, proved a force to be reckoned with. Maria Burke had an astonishing win against Katherine Steenson, as the match finished on the 11th. That set the tone for the matches to follow and Louise Cribbin played flawless golf to secure a 5&3 win. Not long after, Eileen Byrne added the essential point on the 13th hole. The middle and final matches were called in. Ballinrobe are crowned 2016 AIG All-Ireland Minor Cup Champions.
Results Final - 23 September Co. Armagh 1 Ballinrobe 4 Katherine Steenson (21) lost to Maria Burke (22) 8&7 Eileen Fitzsimons (22) lost to Louise Cribbin (23) 5&3 Vera Ellingham (24) halved with Joanne Hynes (23) (called in) Anne McDonald (25) lost to Eileen Byrne (24) 7&5 Elizabeth Mawhinney (26) halved with Breege Costello (26) (called in)
Junior Cup The first of the Junior Cup matches got underway early this morning between Castletroy and Wexford. Wexford had a good win in the quarter-final yesterday but a fresh Castletroy team got the upper hand from the off and never let go. Top Castletroy player Fiona Corbett finished her game on the 16th, recording a 3&2 win and it was quickly followed by Leonie Campbell with a 4&3 victory. The Munster champions only needed one more point which came from Sarah Vaughan, on the 17th. The other two matches were called in and Castletroy will prepare for the final tomorrow.
Castle Golf Club were next to grace the course in the semi-final as they took on Roscommon. The Dublin Club and 2015 All-Ireland Senior Foursomes Champions dominated from the start. Aly Doyle recorded a 2&1 win and Amy Jones, whose putter was on fire, made it look easy as she secured a 7&5 result for her team. The third point came from Ger Moran in the fourth match, as she finished on the 14th, with a 6&4 win. Amy Jones's Mother, Martha was called in, as was Deirdre Hoey in the middle match. A 'Castle' battle looms tomorrow for the final.
Results Final - 24 September 10:40 Castletroy V Castle
Semi-Finals - 23 September Wexford 1 Castletroy 4 Rachel O'Connor (7) lost to Fiona Corett (8) 3&2 Carmel Murphy (8) lost to Leonie Campbell (8) 4&3 Sheila Richardson (9) havled with Ethna Leonard (8) (called in) Margaret Atkinson (10) lost to Sarah Vaughan (9) 2&1 Irene Bolger (11) halved with Eimear Costelloe (10) (called in)
Roscommon 1 Castle 4 Paula Keane (10) lost to Aly Doyle (7) 4&2 Mary Lalor (12) lost to Amy Jones (8) 7&5 Joan O'Gara (13) halved with Deirdre Hoey (8) (called in) Marie McManus (14) lost to Ger Moran (10) 6&4 Paula Connaughton (16) halved with Martha Jones (12) (called in)
Junior Foursomes Hard work and dedication payed off for Castlebar in the semi-final of the Junior Foursomes. The lucky Carlingford heather worked a treat for the Castlebar team also, as they prepare for the final first thing in the morning. No matches made it past the 14th hole, as the top game was taken by the East Leinster side 5&4, however the middle and final games were won by Castlebar 6&4 and 5&4, respectively.
Cahir Park were favourites in the second semi-final against Tramore but it wasn't to be for the Tipperary Team. Bernadette Carroll and Michelle Keating impressed for Cahir Park as they secured a 4&3 win and things looked bright early in the day. Tramore took charge of the final match and won on the 13th, 6&5. All eyes turned to the penultimate middle game and Cahir Park were up for the majority of the match before the tides turned and Tramore won three holes in a row. Tramore's Sarah Howard and Lucia Ahern O'Flaherty kept their cool and secured the 2 up win. Tramore will take on Castlebar tomorrow.
Results Final - 24 September 10:00 Castlebar V Tramore
Semi-Finals - 23 September Castlebar 2 Stackstown 1 Derval Molloy & Margaret Tighe (34) lost to Anne O'Connor & Jean Constant (35) 5&4 Ann Gallagher & Marian Martyn (36) beat Veronica Clarke & Rebecca Rush (37) 6&4 Breda Gilvarry & Regina Kerr (37) beat Avila Mairtin & Joan Moore (43) 5&4
Tramore 2 Cahir Park 1 Collette Palmer & Mia Maughan (36) lost to Bernadette Carroll & Michelle Keating (35) 4&3 Sarah Howard & Lucia Ahern O'Flaherty (37) beat Catherine Costigan & Chris Noonan (39) 2 up Rachel Mulcahy & Mary Cantwell (39) beat Yvonne Morrisson & Patricia Browne (39) 6&5
Challenge Cup Ballybunion arrived at Dundalk Golf Club in force this morning as they unpacked and prepared for battle against Co. Armagh in the Challenge Cup semi-final. It didn't take Anne O'Reilly (Co. Armagh) long to get in to the swing of things as she beat Mary Hickey Keane 6&4. The course however, favoured the remainder of the Ballybunion team as Margaret McAuliffe was 3 up in the early stages and held the lead to close out her match, with a 3&2 win. Hole 16 seemed to be the magic hole for the Kerry side as Dori Cotter and Tess Noonan added 3&2 wins, securing overall victory and booking their place in the final.
After sailing through the quarter-final yesterday against Co. Sligo, Headfort once again showed their determination against Wexford in the Challenge Cup. Wins in the first, second and fourth games booked them a place in the final, where they will face Ballybunion tomorrow.
Final - 24 September 11:30 Ballybunion V Headfort
Results Semi-Finals - 23 September Co. Armagh 1 ½ Ballybunion 3½ Anne O'Reilly (28) beat Mary Hikcey Keane (28) 6&4 Jacqueline Kelly (29) lost to Margaret McAuliffe (28) 3&2 Eilish Grimes (30) halved with Elva Clancy (30) (called in) Sheila Stinson (30) lost to Dori Cotter (33) 3&2 Sylvia Ashe (31) lost to Tess Noonan (34) 3&2
Headfort 3 ½ Wexford 1½ Oonagh Clarke (27) beat Mary Walsh (27) 2&1 Susan Reilly (28) beat Mary Fallon (28) 4&3 Mary Bowler (30) lost to Deirdre Greer (30) 3&2 Ita Cribbin (31) beat Pat Flanagan (31) 4&3 Helen Stafford (33) halved with Bernie Power (32) (called in)