Both the Ladies & Gents Dublin teams put in good performances over the weekend and the 2nd place finishes represented considerable achievement especially in the Gents event up against strong competition in the Kingdom. However when the dust settles after a busy weekend, they won’t need to scratch the surface too deep to see where it unravelled. For the ladies they can look back to Saturday afternoon’s 2nd round in the scotch. In fairness Kildare could have wrapped up the event after 1 round when they were 13 clear at one stage during the 1st round, but an untidy finish saw them come back to the field and were just 4 ahead of us after 18. However in the 2nd round as we struggled to a combined +1 the champions added -12 to their score and took a 14 shot lead into Sunday’s singles. For the ladies knowing they could outscore their rivals in the singles, they had just left themselves too much to do. They did do well on Sunday and they halved the deficit but on a very tough courses where scoring was very tough reeling in a 14 shot gap was always going to be a bridge too far. The Dubs knew barring a very bad weekend they should be contesting the championship with Kildare and that’s how it proved. There was plenty of positives not least Sheelagh Elmes shooting a wonderful round of 52 after the 60 with Glenda on Saturday and Ger Ward as well broke par on Sunday. Pauline Balfe can be proud of her debut at this level her score was comparable with the likes of Chrissie and Marion Byrne and at 70+ Philo Condron more than held her own as well.
In the gents event, the downfall can be pinpointed to one hole, rarely if ever in an Inter County has one hole cost a Dublin team so many shots. Two 6’s and a 9 were scores recorded at the notorious 16th hole during Dublin rounds at the weekend, it cost the team 12 shots in a score that left them 13 shots adrift of winners Cork. Add in the fact that the Dubs were a combined -1 for their last 15 holes after a mid-round burst of birdies and the fact our opening scotch were -8 through 6 holes and finished -11, you can clearly see where the shots were dropped. On the plus side it wasn’t a case of not being good enough for the team, they can definitely learn from the mistakes and come back stronger in 2019 where McDonagh will host the championships and that is a course no Dublin team should fear. To win in RGSC in 2016 represented a huge achievement for the Dublin team; to win yesterday would have been on a different scale and laid down a significant marker. They didn’t do that but they did plant the seeds. The guys did very well, they made mistakes they will learn and they proved to themselves they can go to places like Deerpark and take on the best in Munster and really make their mark. Well done to all on a very good weekend. Congrats to the selectors as well and the teams on all the efforts they put in. We all look forward to what 2019 has in store.