What started out a sunny afternoon in kiltipper ended in a monsoon as Loughlinstown celebrated their 50th year with a deserved win over Old County in the final. Loughlinstown started out the stronger as JR Crangle and Hubert Kelly were to prove too strong for Kevin Corcoran and Kevin Bermingham and they extended that lead further when Al Mithen and Trevor Ward defeated our two young guns Conor O’Shea and Lennon Blake. Old County managed to avoid a whitewash in the doubles as Tom Byrne and Rob Ryan prevailed on the 1st tie hole against Noel Flanagan and John Crangle. 2-1 to Loughlinstown at the break. Stephen Power was first out for us in the singles and he duly delivered with a victory over Eoin Mithen and the scores were level. The rain was now bucketing down with some matches sheltering and others on going on the course. Loughlinstown were to restore their lead with JR Crangle defeated Kevin Bermingham. That lead was extended further when Kevin Corcoran was to lose out to Hubert Kelly. Old county needed a response and Gerry Clarges delivered with a comprehensive win over Paddy Kelly 4-3 and lots to play for. The Junior matches were now ahead of the last 2 Inter ones and Rob Ryan was next to finish but alas he was to lose 3 &2 and Loughlinstown were 5-3 up. Sean O’Shea and Tony Byrne were involved in very tight matches and it looked like we might win both but unfortunately they turned for the man from the N11 and firstly Hughie O’Keeffe beat Sean O’Shea and with us needing the last 3 points to force a play-off, Noel Flanagan delivered the winning point for the men in blue. Alas Lennon and Conor were in front on the course but Loughlinstown had got the 7th point needed to win it. It was naturally great dissappointment for a very wet team and JR Crangle paid tribute to the Old county team in his speech. The DCB were brave with the new format and although it went on longer than people wanted, it was a good success and should encourage more to get involved next year.
It was a great run that just came up short. The team received wonderful support as always especially with the rain coming down in torrents. Well done not just to the nine who played on Sunday but Karl Murphy, Frank Gallagher, Patrick Charles, Tom O’Reilly, Joe Canning and Darren Egan who had all contributed to the team getting to the final and to Harry holmes who captained the side. Manager Paul McGreal put a lot of time and effort into looking the whole campaign and was very dissappointed to miss the final. However the club should be proud of another great run in the leagues, 2019 was not to be our year, we congratulate and salute Loughlinstown on their win and look forward to 2020 where hopefully team can go one step further.
Thanks to Old County for the report.