There was agony and ecstasy for Mayo clubs as the Underage All-Ireland Inter-Club Finals concluded in Ballina on Wednesday.
Westport won the Girls’ Inter-Club title, while Castlebar were defeated by Royal Belfast in the Final of the Boys’ Foursomes. Carton House and Carrickfergus were also victorious, winning national pennants.
Westport defeated Doneraile 2-1 in an entertaining final. Coming down to the top match on the 18th green, Mary-Kate Lonergan defeated Niamh O’Sullivan to win the All-Ireland title on home soil.
It is the second All-Ireland title for the four-person team this year, after they won the Irish Girls' Junior Schools National Finals with Sacred Heart, Westport earlier this year.
“It’s surreal to be honest!”, Lonergan said after the win. “It’s a great achievement for the club and the four of us. It’s a nerve-wracking experience. It’s great to play with friends from school. We push each other on.
Hopes for a Mayo double were dashed in Ballina, as Royal Belfast defeated Castlebar to win the Boys’ Foursomes by two holes.
Team captain Max Carson, said it was a fitting way to end his time in junior golf.
“It was a very tough two days, but it was worth it. The course was amazing. The team was brilliant. My partner Ben carried me on a lot. I’ve known these guys since I was 7. It was a brilliant way to end my junior golf career.
Carton House won the main boys’ competition winning the Fred Daly Trophy for the first time since 2014. A dominant 4-1 win over Massereene ensured the title, with Nicholas McCormack getting the winning point.
James Heavey is Carton House’s Junior Captain for 2022 and was part of the seven-man squad that played throughout the year.
“We’re delighted to win. We were eliminated early last year, but it was great to have the same group this year win the title. It was our aim at the start of the year, and we’re delighted to get it done. Five of the seven of us will be overage next year, so it was a great way to end our junior careers”
The Boy’s Inter-Club competition was played over 18 holes, and was the only competition played over stroke play. Carrickfergus won the title on 112 points. The team of Luke Weatherhead (13), Reuben McIlwrath (13), Harry Kidd (12), Charlie Arthur (13) and Jack Scott (15), finished four points clear of Tralee, with The Island finishing in third place on 104 points.
Speaking after the competition, Team Captain Graeme Arthur said it was a historic win for the club, winning their first national title since 1989.
“We had two teams here this week. We have a really small junior section, so to come away with a win is fantastic. We were here for three days, and to come away with something is tremendous. The five boys are fantastic. They have been in the club all summer practicing and playing. They work on their own games, so this is brilliant for them.”
The event was the first time Ballina has hosted a national competition, and club chairman Gerry Mulligan said it was a massive honour for the club.
“On behalf of the committee of Ballina Golf Club, I would like to congratulate all the Underage Inter-Club finalists and especially the four winning clubs Carton House, Westport, Royal Belfast and Carrickfergus. Over the last three days we have been delighted to watch more than 160 young people from all corners of the island take to the course to represent their clubs. We hope the teams and their families had an enjoyable week and will return to Ballina in the future.”
“Hosting a National event of this scale, particularly for a volunteer managed club like ours, is a huge undertaking. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank all of the volunteers who gave up their time in the lead up to this event and throughout the week”
Boy’s Fred Daly Trophy Final
Massereene 1-4 Carton House
Noah Bickerstaff lost to John Cunningham 2&1
Michael Wilson lost to Calum Ward 2&1
Thompson Gedge lost to Nicholas McCormack 1hole
Scott McCabe halved with Leon Giblin
Harvey McCabe halved with Thomas Lanigan
Boy’s Fred Daly Trophy Semi-Finals
Massereene 4-1 Ballinasloe
Noah Bickerstaff beat Charlie Mooney 4&2
Michael Wilson beat Tom Cafferky 2holes
Thompson Gedge beat John William Burke 1hole
Scott McCabe halved with Issac Oliver
Harvey McCabe halved with Niall Conneely
Limerick 1.5-3.5 Carton House
Lucas Lyons lost to John Cunningham 5&3
Morgan O’Sullivan beat Calum Ward 3&2
Ewan McLoughlin lost to Nicholas McCormack 19th hole
Jack Whelan lost to Leon Giblin 4&3
Luke Carey halved with Thomas Lanigan
Girls’ Inter-Club Final
Westport 2-1 Doneraile
Mary-Kate Lonergan beat Niamh O’Sullivan 2holes
Sarah Corrigan beat Muireann O’Sullivan 2&1
Mary-Kate McHale lost to Anna O’Brien 6&5
Girls’ Inter-Club Semi-Finals
Douglas 1-2 Westport
Hailey Martinez lost to Mary-Kate Lonergan 4&2
Amy O’Sullivan lost to Sarah Corrigan 2&1
Claudia O’Donoghue beat Emily Griffith 2&1
Doneraile 2.5-0.5 Portarlington
Niamh O’Sullivan halved with Jiaren Eina Pang
Muireann O’Sullivan beat Jiayi Mairead Pang 6&5
Anna O’Brien beat Leah McEvoy 5&4
Boys’ Foursomes Final
Castlebar lost to Royal Belfast
Owen Kelly and Conor Stapleton lost to Max Carson and Ben Woods 5 holes
Aaron Quigley and Ben Doherty beat Archie McMinnis and Louis Napier 3 holes
Boy’s Foursomes Semi-Finals
Carrickfergus lost to Castlebar
Taylor Morrison and James Walsh beat Owen Kelly and Tommy Henegan 1 hole
Josh Millar and Oliver McNamara lost to Aaron Quigley and Ben Doherty 3 holes
Royal Belfast beat Stackstown
Max Carson and Ben Woods beat Ben O’Mahony and Callum O’Dwyer 4&2
Archie McMinnis and Louis Napier beat Ryan Barry and Cillian Murray 3&2