Darragh Cox spoke with two members of the victorious County Sligo Golf Club Connacht Junior Foursomes team – 15-year-olds Niall McDermott and Daniel Ford – as well as the team captain and club junior convenor Robert Fitzpatrick and club captain Joe Keyes about their success in defeating Castle Dargan in the Connacht final and advancing to the All-Irelands in Tramore in September. The team also included 15-year-old Tom Flanagan and 12-year-old Aoghdan Brady for the U18 competition.
It was not the only success for the club’s young golfers in recent weeks.
On Wednesday August 1, Co Sligo Team B (Maebh McLoughlin, Ruth Flanagan & Grainne Brady) travelled to MountBellew Golf Club, Co. Galway to face Enniscrone Team B in the quarter final of the Connacht Girls Interclub.
The girls played in heavy rain for the entire match to such an extent that on the sixth hole the greenkeeper had to be called to move the pin position as the hole was filled with water. Had the event been strokeplay the competition would have had to be abandoned.
Fortunately despite the weather the Co. Sligo Golf Club girls prevails 2 – 1.
Thursday the 2ndAugust was a 5.30am start with Co. Sligo Team B on the tee at 8.30 versus Roscommon Golf Club. Again the matches were closely contested with the deciding match going up the 19th. Ruth Flanagan managed a birdie 2 to win her game and the match 2 -1 for a place in the final.
The girls teammates Co. Sligo GC Team A (Jenny Demmel, Anna Flanagan & Sophie Reynolds) faced Enniscrone GC Team A in the second semi-final. Unfortunately the Enniscrone team with 4 Inter-provencial players on their team were just too strong for them on the day losing 2.5 – 0.5 with the final match called in before concluding.
The final in the afternoon saw the rain back. The Co. Sligo girls got off to a strong start with Maebh McLoughlin quickly going up in her match and was 4 up after 9 holes and won her match on the 13th 6&5.
Ruth Flanagan had her hands full with in-form player Annabel Graham and did well to bring the match to the 15thwhere despite having a par putt she lost the hole & the match to a birdie.
All the support turned to the final match where Grainne Brady was 2 down with 3 to play. Because of the handicap difference Grainne had shots on the 17th& 18thholes but she knew she had to half the 16thto extend the match and benefit from the shots.
Enniscrone hit a super shot into the par 3 16th, Grainne with nerves of steel hit a magnificent shot to 5 feet. Enniscrone putt first to 2 feet. Grainne sunk her birdie putt to win the hole and go 1 down with 2 to play.
Grainne won the 17th with a par (net birdie as she had a shot) to go up the 18 level. Both girls hit super drives and Grainne chipped close in 3 with Enniscrone on the green in however Grainne manage to 2 putt and with a shot she won the hole and the match for Co Sligo Team B 2 – 1. The All Ireland will be on in Knock G.C (Belfast ) on Thursday 23rd August.
The Girls Interclub event is a team of 3 under 19 on the 01 January. You can have 1 reserve, Co Sligo did not have a reserve but Enniscrone did. All 3 of the Co Sligo team are 12 years old. Also County Sligo won this event last year but with 3 different girls showing the depth of talent in the girls club.
Co Sligo Girls have 2 matchplay events in the club (The Amy Ormsby Cup – 18 Holes and The Ann Bradshaw Challenge Cup – 9 Holes ). This is very beneficial to the girls when playing the event and is instrumental in the club’s success.