Ex­cit­ing Dr Billy Shield fi­nal beck­ons in golf

The Kerryman (Tralee Edition) - - SPORT -

BALLY­BUNION and Bal­ly­heigue Cas­tle face off in the fi­nal of the Dr Billy O’Sul­li­van Shield at Bally­bunion on Satur­day in what prom­ises to be an ex­cit­ing fi­nal be­tween the two North Kerry clubs.

Away wins against Castle­gre­gory and Ring of Kerry and a home win in the semi-fi­nals over Ceann Sibéal saw Bally­bunion reach the fi­nal, while Bal­ly­heigue en­joyed an away win at Tralee, a home win against Water­ville and a semi-fi­nal win against the holders Ken­mare in Bally­bunion.

Both sides are mul­ti­ple win­ners of this event with Bally­bunion win­ning four ti­tles to Bal­ly­heigue’s three. Bally­bunion won the in­au­gu­ral ti­tle in 1990 beat­ing Dooks in Kil­lar­ney for their first and the next one came in the club’s cen­te­nary year of 1993 when they Tralee in Bally­bunion. How­ever, they had to wait an­other seventeen years be­fore the next ti­tle, win­ning at Kil­lor­glin in 2010 when they beat Water­ville while their fourth ti­tle came in 2014 when they beat Castleis­land at Ring of Kerry.

Bal­ly­heigue was founded in 1996 and won their first ti­tle in 2002, beat­ing Lis­towel in the fi­nal at Bally­bunion. Seven years later when they hosted the fed­er­a­tion, they lifted the fa­mous shield again, on home soil, beat­ing Ceann Sibéal, while their third ti­tle came in 2013 when they beat Ken­mare in Castleis­land.

Both sides have pretty good records in fi­nal with Bally­bunion los­ing just one out of five, when they went down to Ceann Sibéal in Ceann Sibéal in 1991 while Bal­ly­heigue have lost two out of five, when they fell to Tralee in the 1998 de­cider in Tralee and six years later when they lost to Ross in Castlerosse. So, a great pedi­gree for both clubs when it comes to this event and there won’t be much be­tween the sides on Satur­day.

Bally­bunion do have home ad­van­tage but Bal­ly­heigue have won a Dr Billy fi­nal in Bally­bunion, al­beit 16 years ago.

I stated at the out­set when the draw was made that I fan­cied Bally­bunion to take the ti­tle this year and join Ken­mare and Kil­lar­ney as five-time win­ners and I see no rea­son to change my mind now. How­ever, Bal­ly­heigue will fancy their chances of caus­ing an up­set on Satur­day and the home side won’t have it all their own way when bat­tle com­mences at 12 noon on the Old course.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.