The strong, cool wind that both teams had to contend with on Saturday, June 4 th , blew our Pierce Purcell team off course as they bowed out of the competition with a loss to Portlaoise. The Portlaoise team manager indicated that it was very difficult for any team to come away from Portlaoise with any points in inter-club competitions due to the course layout with local knowledge being a distinct advantage. And so it proved for our two away pairings, Paul Birchall & Mark Corcoran and John Beirne & Gavin Condon as they both suffered defeat. This meant that we had to win our three home matches to advance in the competition. Our first pairing of Keith Barnes and Richie Quinn started brightly and turned 2 up after 9, which went to 3 up after 10. They were odds on to win 11 and establish a 4 hole lead when the opposition holed a monster putt from off the back of the 11 th green for an unlikely win. Momentum, which is key in these matches, went to Portlaoise and they won 12 to be only 1 down playing 14. Meanwhile, our second pairing of Niall Galvin & Aaron Devereux had a very tough start losing the first three holes. While they kept battling away manfully they could never close the gap to less than 2. Turning 3 down they lost the 10 th and Portlaoise closed out the match on the 13 th . Our final pairing of Dave McDonagh & Pat McGrath turned an early 1 hole deficit into a 2 up lead after 9. Portlaoise battled back and were 1 up playing 13 when the match was called in.
In truth it was a comprehensive victory to Portlaoise and we wish them best of luck in the competition.
A big thank you to managers Keith White and Luke Minogue for all their hard work in managing the team. Well done to the Pierce Purcell panel for all their efforts. A positive note to take from this year’s competition is the number of players who represented Castlewarden for the first time in inter club competitions. I know, from speaking with them, that they thoroughly enjoyed the experience and will be back next year for another bite of the cherry.
We have two matches upcoming next Sunday, The Barton Shield, vs Co. Longford, with 1 home match @ 2.30pm and the Jimmy Bruen, vs Palmerstown House with 3 home matches starting @ 3.30 pm. Hope to see as many supporters as possible lining the fairways to support the teams.
Des O’Neill (Captain)