Dunmurry's long quest for Barton success finally over


GOLF:IN CLAIMING the coveted title at this festival of golf that is the Bulmers Irish Cups and Shields, Dunmurry – with brothers Darren and Stephen Crowe, and their brother-in-law Glen McAuley, and Paddy McGlone comprising the other members of the team – ended a long quest of over 100 years in finally finding deliverance.

McGlone, who starts at the University of Ulster next week where he will study law, more than played his part. Only drafted into the team three weeks ago after Noel Murray chose to chase his dream by attending the European Tour’s qualifying school, McGlone teamed-up with Darren, the elder of the Crowe brothers, to win the top match over Joe Dillon ad Greg Mungovan by five holes, while Stephen Crowe and McAuley – who combined to produce a quite stunning up-and-down from the rough on the 16th to win the hole and bring the overall match where the combined scores of both foursomes count beyond the point of no return – halved with Rory McNamara and Brian Casey.

“Unbelievable,” said a breathless Stephen Crowe, after delivering a green pennant for a club founded in 1905, who revealed the inspiration for the win came when the team arrived here in Castlebar on Monday last for their practice rounds and saw the size and array of trophies on display in the clubhouse.

McGlone, for one, seemed to take the whole affair in his stride. Earlier this year, he’d been part of the Rathmore Grammar School team that lost out to Gonzaga College in the All-Ireland schools matchplay finals. This win, though, made up for any lingering aftertaste. “I can’t believe I have an All-Ireland gold medal,” said McGlone, who formed a strong partnership with Darren – an experienced campaigner who won the South of Ireland in 2007 – and the pair took an iron grip on their match yesterday by going six-up after nine holes and then sharing holes in birdies with Headfort for much of the back nine before securing the cherished win.

Portumna – who’d won the mixed foursomes last year – secured a first green pennant in these finals with a 3-2 win over a gallant Naas side in the final of the Irish Junior Cup, with Pat “Tiny” Quinlan providing the decisive winning point with a 3 and 2 victory over Dave Prendergast. Seán Cleary, an impressive 7 and 5 winner over Dermot Keane, and Ger Lynch, who led from the top with a 3 and 2 win over Mark Holmes, claimed the other winning points, as Naas’s fightback – led admirably by teenager Conor O’Hehir, who stretched to seven matches his unbeaten sequence in the campaign, and Gus Fitzpatrick – ran out of steam.

Quinlan, a mighty man given the monicker of “Tiny” by his team mates, out-gunned Prendergast in the decisive singles. A former Tipperary intermediate county hurler – indeed, four of the five-man Portumna team are from across the county line in Tipp – Quinlan claimed the win by putting his body and soul (“I don’t spare it,” he admitted) into the four-iron tee shot to 10 feet on the 165-yards par three 16th where he closed out the match.

Curragh, with one-time Irish lightweight boxing champion Tom Tobin in their side, packed too big a punch for Co Sligo in the Pierce Purcell Shield semi-final, winning by 3½ to 1½ to set up a final showdown today with Nenagh, who include four players who have previously won this prize in their team. Nenagh were 3-2 winners over Lisburn, with Seán McLoughlin and William Harty securing the win on the 18th in the final foursomes.

David Dunne has been forced to cry off the Co Sligo team for today’s Irish Senior Cup semi-final with Bandon. Dunne, who has four Barton Shields and three Senior Cup on his career CV, has an eye infection and his place on the team has been taken Stephen Brady, while former Dublin footballer Bobby Doyle is part of a Clontarf team chasing a second Jimmy Bruen Shield in three years.

Clontarf face Carrick-on-Suir in one semi-final, while Tandragee meet Swinford – the only Mayo club to reach the nationals – in the other.

Barton Shield

Final – Dunmurry beat Headfort by 5 holes (Dunmurry names first) – D Crowe/P McGlone bt J Dillon/G Mungovan by 5 holes; S Crowe/G McAuley halved with R McNamara/B Casey.

Irish Junior Cup

Final – Portumna 3 Naas 2 (Portumna names first) – G Lynch bt M Holmes 3 and 2; S Cleary bt D Keane 7 and 5; J Cleary lost to G Fitzpatrick 5 and 4; S Ryan lost to C O’Hehir 3 and 2; P Quinlan bt D Prendergast 3 and 2.

Pierce Purcell Shield

Semi-finals – Curragh 3½ Co Sligo 1½ (Curragh names first) – J Murphy/P Hogan lost to G McManus/J Keyes 2 and 1; E Trant/P Sullivan bt S Flaherty/J Treacy 5 and 4; Brian Daly/Brendan Daly bt N McTiernan/M Barrett 5 and 4; D Farrell/D Kelly bt P Forkan/M McNamara 5 and 4; P Hensey/T Tobin halved with A Doyle/J Finnegan. Nenagh 3 Lisburn 2 (Nenagh names first) – M O’Gara/T Finan bt C Cork/C Hill 4 and 3; P Farrell/S O’Donnell lost to B Houston/P Smyth 3 and 2; D Hickey/J Hickey lost to M Stewart/B McQuillan 4 and 3; B Hackett/PJ Hogan bt A Walker/J Kelso 4 and 3; S McLoughlin/W Harty bt R Campbell/C Jeffers 2 holes.

Today’s Draw Irish Senior Cup Semi-finals – Bandon v Co Sligo (Bandon names first) – 8.30 (and 10 minute intervals): B O’Donovan v B Anderson; G Tobin v G McDermott; K Hurley v R McNamara; D Twomey v S Brady; D O’Donovan v S Heavy. Kilkenny v Lurgan (Kilkenny names first) – 9.20 (and 10 minute intervals): G Nugent v F Tallon;C Martin v S Kelly; E Power v D Sutton; R Walsh v G Clarke; P O’Hara v J Horan.

Pierce Purcell Shield Final – Curragh v Nenagh, 10.30.

Jimmy Bruen Shield Semi-finals – Tandragee v Swinford, 12.00; Clontarf v Carrick-on-Suir, 12.50.