What a weekend in Ierne for the 2018 Ladies & Gents Dublin Strokeplay! The pitch & putt was just as scorching as the weather for the entire weekend.
Big shout out to the host club, who presented the course in great condition and looked after the players and officers superbly.
The weekend kicked off with the Ladies on Saturday and the Seniors were out first. Ger Ward opened with a 54 and was the benchmark score for the day according to many of the ladies. Glenda Hoey from RGSC, posted a solid 55 to be in touching distance of Ger and the pair pulled away from the rest of the field. Sheelagh Elmes produced a nice little 53 in the 2nd 18 to boost her score but would have been disappointed with the opening 60 that ultimately gave her too much to do. Sheelagh finished joint 3rd with Helen Greagsby on +5. Glenda finished and posted a 54 this time, leaving her on a total of 109 knowing that any slip ups from Ger Ward could leave her with the title. That slip up did come in the form of a double bogey halfway through the back 9 for Ger but as national Champions tend to do, found two birdies on the way in to win by three in total!
1st: Ger Ward (Portmarnock) 106
2nd: Glenda Hoey (RGSC) 109
The Inter Ladies were out next and was the tightest Grade all the way through the day. Ger Holland, Pauline Balfe and Barbara Furlong, to name but a few, were some of the names mentioned that could go all the way and they didn’t disappoint. Barbara Furlong being the leader after round one with a score of 57. Brenda Purcell from Lucan, hit 58 to be right in the mix with Tracey Smith and Ger Holland closely behind on 60. Lucan were starting to dominate the leaderboard and this was to be the case in the end. Brenda added another solid score of 59 to finish on +9 with Barbara unable to match her first round score and had to settle for a total of +10. Tracey Smith (Lucan), Laura Whelan (old county) Ger Holland (RGSC), Pauline Balfe (Old County) & Kathleen Croke (Lucan) all pushed hard and beat or matched their first rounds scores but ultimately couldn’t quite get to Brenda or Barbara. Brenda being the winner with Barbara the runner up.
1st: Brenda Purcell (Lucan) 117
2nd: Barbara Furlong (Lucan) 118
Last but by no means least, we had the Junior Ladies. The biggest field of the day made for an interesting competition with names like Miriam Salmon, Catherine Fox, Christine Mulvey, Ann O Shea and Susan Ritchie, all obvious names reckoned to be in with a chance. However it was the home player of Oonagh Comerford that left them in her wake after a scorching 59 to leave her three shots ahead of Susan Crinion and at least 8 shots ahead of everyone else. A solid 64 in the 2nd 18 ensured victory by 10 shots with Susan slipping down the field after her second round. Christine Mulvey battled away to beat her first round score by three shots and the reward was second place. Laura Murphy, Deirdre Curran and Susan Crinion finishing 3rd, 4th & 5th respectively.
1st: Oonagh Comerford (Ierne) 123
2nd: Christine Mulvey (Glenville) 133
I think most would agree though, that the highlight of the day was to see our long time friend, sponsor and leader for so many years, Mr. Eamonn Birchall, attend the presentation like so many years before, after he took ill recently. Eamonn was letting nothing get in the way from attending and was flanked by members of his family. To see Eamonn and his fighting spirit alone was inspiring enough but he topped his appearance with a very emotional speech which led to a standing ovation. Eamonn talked about the game, the courses, the administration and most of all the friends he has made along the way. Eamonn’s spirit and love of the game was inspiring and if you don’t play the game and support the game in every way possible – we would be letting down great men/women like this who helped put the game on the map. Thankyou for attending Eamonn and everything you do for us.