Ulster champions title for Strabane mixed foursomes team

image_02_smallSTRABANE Golf Club’s Irish Mixed Foursomes team travelled to Cookstown on Thursday last to contest the provincial final against a much-fancied Castleblaney squad and came away with the title of Ulster Champions.

To say that Strabane upset the odds would be an understatement as they completely overwhelmed their Co Monaghan opponents, winning the first three matches to put themselves in an unassailable position. Enda Kennedy and Angela Houston set the tone from the outset by inflicting a heavy seven and six defeat on their opposite numbers. That sensational result was followed by impressive victories for Aidan Boyle and Ann Duffy, and Darren Crawford and Caroline Connolly. Both of these matches ended on a three and two scoreline.

image_01_smallSuch was the dominance of the Tyrone outfit that they also led in the matches that were still on the course: Martin Roarty and Mary McCrory led by three holes and were on the verge of closing out their match, while Conal Cooke and Bernie O’Kane were quite comfortable at one up. After the nail-biting climax to their semi-final victory which saw the contest go to extra holes, this was Strabane at the peak of their powers and much credit must go to Liam Curry and Philomena Cooke for the astute manner in which they have handled their resources.

Their task is far from complete, though, as their motivational skills will be tested to the limit when the team moves on to Bandon in Co Cork for the all-Ireland finals on September 4 and 5. On the basis of last week’s performance, this team is well equipped to go all the way.

image_04_smallOn the domestic scene, Brian Cairns was in tremendous form in the Felix’s Bar Medal on Saturday last, his winning score of 61 nett leaving him a clear three shots to the good. Paul McLaughlin and Joey Roulston both carded excellent scores of 64 nett to finish second and third respectively. Paddy Doyle’s nett 66 was best in category one. The category two prize went to Martin Elliott with a nett 67, while Eddie McCrea finished on top of category three with a round of 70 nett. Ben Corry has been a formidable figure in competitions this year and he again found himself among the prizes, taking the gross award this time with a round of 74.

Ciaran Duffy has run into good form of late and his victory in last Monday’s Open was no great surprise. He posted 41 points to win by one from Letterkenny’s Fergal Callan. Ben Corry took third place on this occasion with a one over par return of 39 points, while Paddy Kennedy claimed the gross prize with a typically solid level par 69. Ballybofey’s A Fullen won the visitors’ category with 35 points.

image_03_smallThursday’s Northern Confectionery stableford went to James Patton with a best-of-the-week tally of 43 points. Gavin Reilly from Ballybofey and Stranorlar carded 40 points to occupy the runners-up berth, holding off third-placed Keith Patterson on the break of a tie. Ben Corry took the gross prize with a two over par 71. Ballybofey’s Bryan Reilly had the pleasure of seeing his tee shot a the second hole finish in the bottom of the cup.

Visiting players outgunned the locals in last Tuesday’s ‘Donna’s Flower Box’ ladies’ open event. Michelle Glasheen from Rathbane GC took the top award with a superb 39 points, a full five shots clear of the field. Marilyn Henderson from Castlerock GC and City of Derry’s Brenda Chauhan each posted 34 points, with the former claiming second place on countback. Maeve Corry finished fourth with 34 points, with Omagh GC’s Rachel Elliott taking the gross prize with 22 points.

Other winners were: category 0-18, Helen McGaughey, Newtownstewart GC, 32 points; category 19-28, Elizabeth Allen, City of Derry GC, 32 points; category 29-36, Teresa Logue, 32 points. Norma Brogan and Catherine Neeson took the nines, with Ballybofey’s Christine Lynch topping the visitors’ category.

image_05_smallThe Fir Trees/St Vincent de Paul Scramble on Sunday produced the following result: 1, Kevin McGinley, Shane McLaughlin, Pearse McLaughlin, Daniel Toland, 50 nett; 2, Paul McGill, Stephen Kennedy, Raymond Allen, Clark Klam, 52 nett; 3, Frankie Houston, Gerard Walsh, Anthony Brennan, Kieran McBride, 55 nett.

The club’s juniors bowed out of the Donegal League after suffering a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Portnoo, but they have gained much in terms of experience and hopefully will put that to good use in their upcoming Fred Daly Plate match this weekend.

Fixtures: Saturday, Pat Kirk Open; Sunday, Frylite Open Scratch Cup; Monday, Bank Holiday Open.

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