Shaun Carter ready to drive Royal Dublin’s quest to regain Barton Shield
Royal Dublin go head-to-head with defending champions Muskerry in semi-final
The AIG Irish Cups and Shields finals take place over the O’Meara Course at Carton House. Photograph: Inpho
The famine has stretched to 47 years for The Royal Dublin Golf Club in their quest to regain the Barton Shield, but the famed north Dublin club hopes the acquisition of a new player this year will serve as a not-so-secret weapon when the AIG Irish Cups and Shields Finals take place over the O’Meara Course at Carton House.
Royal Dublin go head-to-head with defending champions Muskerry in today’s semi-final of the Barton Shield with Shaun Carter – who joined the club after graduating from Maynooth University where he was on a Paddy Harrington Golf Scholarship – strengthening the team line-up. The O’Meara course is a regular playing ground for the scholarship students.
“You go into the clubhouse (at Royal Dublin) and there’s pennants everywhere but, before last year, it was 1968 since we won one. The team is there now, we just have to keep everybody going,” said Carter, who grew up playing his golf with Stackstown, and who has formed a strong partnership with Jeff Hopkins in their successful run through Leinster.
Carter and Hopkins come up against the strong Muskerry pairing of former international Niall Gorey and Dave O’Donoghue in the first match whilst Ian O’Rourke and Barry Anderson featured against Daniel Hallisey and Shane Whooley in the second match, with the combined scores contributing to the overall result in this unique format. Muskerry’s victory last year ended a 61 year drought since their last success.
North-West Golf Club also have an imported player in their ranks, with Ryan Gribben – who featured on the Warrenpoint team which lost out to Muskerry in last year’s dramatic final – involved with the Donegal club since moving to Derry.
Gribben and Kealan Quigg form the top partnership in their semi-final against Galway, with veteran Joe Lyons and Stephen Brady providing the opposition. Garrett Mallon and Kyle McCarron anchor the North-West team against Ronan Mullarney in the second match which is also expected to be a close affair.
McCarron and Mullarney are both Paddy Harrington scholarship students and will turn from foes in the Barton Shield into colleagues later in the week, when forming part of the NUI Maynooth squad seeking Senior Cup glory.
Barton Shield – Semi-Finals Galway v North West (Galway names first)
10.30: Joe Lyons & Stephen Brady v Kealan Quigg & Ryan Gribben; Ronan Mullarney & Colm Hughes v Garrett Mallon & Kyle McCarron
Muskerry v Royal Dublin 10.48: Niall Gorey & Dave O’Donovan v Shaun Carter & Jeff Hopkins; Daniel Hallissey & Shane Whooley v Ian O’Rourke & Barry Anderson
Irish Junior Cup Dundalk v Westport (Dundalk names first) 11.06: Ciaran Sheridan v Tony Bree; Eoin Murphy v Anto Browne; Ricky Newell v David Scott; Josh Mackin v Sam Gillivan; Aaron King v Fergus Rothwell
Greenisland v Douglas (Greenisland names first) 11.51: Andrew Ervine v Darren Hourihan; Jamie Campbell v Adam McSweeney; John Armstrong v Philip Quinn; David Winning v John Boylan; Michael Hayes v Barry O’Sullivan Geaney