Gavin Carty Triumphs at County Board Scratch Cup

The Dublin County Board Scratch Cup took place in Lucan on Sunday, the 4th stop on its journey after trips to Shandon, Portmarnock & RGSC. The cup is named after one of the greatest ambassador in the sport John Smith. John & Peg were present throughout the day as the action unfolded. The expectations were that the host club would content strongly for the top prize and these predictions were to appear on the money. The weather was less than favourable with swirling winds and tricky greens made for some difficult scoring. Most of the early starters struggled with all but one breaking 100. Gavin Carty was the exception to this rule as he shot an impressive 48 and 44 to lead the way on 92. The afternoon would see some of the heavy hitters take to the course including reigning Dublin champions Tom O’Reilly and Keith Redmond and the defending champion John Crangle as well as Junior Smith who was desperate to get his name on the cup. Tom O’Reilly failed the make the cut and Keith Redmond posted 103 the same as John Crangle. Junior Smith found the putting tricky but kept in touch with two 50’s to finish on -8. Another home player to be in the mix was Chris Gallagher on -7. Mark Millar too finished on -7 and the evergreen Skinner Malone was to finish on 102. Second to Gavin just on back 18 was Shandon’s Jim Judge, fresh from an impressive 93 in the Dublin trial in Cement on Saturday, he finished on -8 and meant Gavin would take an eight shot lead into the final round.
With Gavin in the box seat, it was proving to be a red letter day for the host club with their members almost sweeping the boards. Christopher Byrne finished the top junior on 109 and Barbara Furlong on 113 was to bag the best Ladies Senior prize. It was a McDonnell double in the Inters & juniors with Siobhan & Kathleen taking the honours here.
The only prize not to stay with the home members was the gents inters with Bellewstown’s Peter Reilly prevailing here on 105.
In the final 18 it was Darren Kane & Keith Redmond who led off the final twelve a distant twelve and eleven shots behind the leader. Neither was to find their form and struggled to 54 and 55 respectively. John Crangle is no stranger to shooting low scores but even he must have imagined an eleven shot deficit  was a bit too much to bridge and he added a 52 to his earlier score to finish on 155 and a decent defence of his title. This score was matched by Bellewstown’s Ian Farrelly. Anthony Malone enjoys the grandstand finish putting on a show for the watching galleries but a clearly tiring chairman had little left in the gas and he too had to console himself with a 52. The final 18 prize was wide open and Darren O’Reilly was to take advantage and his 51 took him to 153 (-9) and gave him the early clubhouse lead. If there was to be any challenge to Gavin’s lead it would likely from the final two pairings. Chris Gallagher started with a birdie to briefly join Junior and Jim on -8, but Junior moved to -9 with a birdie on his own on the 2nd. Gavin could well have been nervous after his long enforced absence from the game but he dispelled any ideas the field may have had  that he would  squander his big lead by starting with two birdies to move to -18. He briefly gave the chasing packs momentary hope with bogeys on the 4th and 5th but his sizeable lead was restored with a birdie on 7th. Chris Gallagher was the only one making any in roads into Gavin’s lead and further birdies on 7th, 8th and 10th saw him move to -11. Junior was struggling with his putting and he hit a bogey on 6, but salvaged a par from the gully at the back of the 7th. Gavin was keeping Jim at arms length and Jim had to make a charge knowing Gavin was not faltering. He finally found some momentum with a birdie on 10 and a hat-trick of two’s on 12, 13 and 14 to move to -13. Chris was matched Jim’s score with a superb two on the 13th to go to -12. Gavin though found a two on the 12th to move to -18 and when he rolled in a 10 foot putt on the long 15th, he dispelled any lingering doubts that this would not be his day. The battle for second was an intriguing one, Chris was long on the devilishly difficult 16th and thanks to a precise chip he salvaged a par, however Jim playing just behind him was very big and he was unable to save par and the duo were level on -12. Both had pars on the 17th, but Chris’s tee shot on 18 shot forward at the back of the green and almost landed onto the 1st tee box. His chip was to go through the green and when his par effort landed just short, Chris’s expression showed he  knew the shot had most likely cost him the runner up spot. He was to be proved right. Jim took full advantage and his pitch to three feet was to land him second place as he rolled in the birdie. Gavin’s procession to victory was completed on the last, he finished with a bogey 4 but that would not sour this success. It was an extraordinary achievement for a man only recently returning to the game from an injury that threatened his career in the sport.
In his speech a clearly emotional Dublin County Board Chairman expressed his delight at seeing Gavin land the top prize. John Smith too said he was overjoyed for Gavin and was delighted with the support for the event most especially from the host club who had come out in such large numbers. Lucan Gents Captain Hugh Rooney in his address expressed the club’s honour in hosting this championship for a man so dear to the Lucan club’s heart and he sparred a though for DCB comp secretary Breda Boyle who sadly missed the occasion due to illness. Gavin was clearly bowled over by the victory and was delighted to land this prestigious victory
So another stop on the tour is complete. A very successful DCB scratch Cup and all eyes now turn to the Dublin Ladies Strokeplay which takes centre stage in Old County next weekend.
Final Leaderboard:
Winner: Gavin Carty (Lucan): 144
Runner up: Jim Judge (Shandon): 149
Third: Chris Gallagher (Lucan): 151
Final 18: Darren O’Reilly (CPM) 51:
Other Scores: Junior Smith(RGSC) 152, Darren O’Reilly(CPM) 153,Ian Farrelly(Bellewstown), Anthony Malone(Lucan), Mark Millar(Shandon 154 , John Crangle(Loughlinstown) 155, Terry McMorrow(Lucan) 157, Darren Kane(Lucan), Keith Redmond(Shandon) 158.
Gents Inter Prize Winner: Peter Reilly(Bellewstown) 105,
Gents Junior Prize Winner: Christopher Byrne(Lucan) 109
Ladies Senior Prize Winner: Barbara   Furlong(Lucan) 113,
Ladies Inter Prize Winner: Siobhan McDonnell (Lucan) 126
Ladies Junior Prize Winner: Kathleen McDonnell(Lucan) 148