Mag­i­cal day for Balt­in­glass

Club wins Le­in­ster Towns Cup for first time since 1985

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - TOWNS CUP at Balt­in­glass Golf Club

THERE were scenes of un­bri­dled joy in Balt­in­glass Golf Club re­cently when the home team over­came vis­it­ing Tul­lam­ore in the sec­ond leg of the fi­nal of the Le­in­ster Pro­vin­cial Towns Cup.

The op­po­si­tion beat Balt­in­glass in last year’s Bar­ton Cup fi­nal and given the club size it was very much a David ver­sus Go­liath strug­gle.

The Pro­vin­cial Towns Cup is a sin­gles match­play Le­in­ster branch GUI event aimed at 9-12 hand­i­cap golfers. Teams en­ter from all over Le­in­ster ex­clud­ing the Dublin area (where an equiv­a­lent com­pe­ti­tion, the Metropoli­tan Cup, is run). Each team con­sists of nine play­ers; all matches are played off scratch on home and away ba­sis. The fi­nal is played over two legs, home and away.

Af­ter the first leg Balt­in­glass trailed by 4 matches to 5, the first team to 10 would seal the vic­tory. With a mix­ture of youth and ex­pe­ri­ence on the team, four of the panel are un­der 16, 14-year-old in­ter pro TJ Deering was cho­sen to go out first.

In a crack­ing match TJ just came up short where he was beaten on the 17th, 6-4 in favour of Tul­lam­ore. GAA leg­ends Ned Cremin and Bryan Kil­coyne won their matches on the 13th, 6-6! Kevin Lord is up next, on the 16th tee he is 1 down, he gets up and down from an al­most im­pos­si­ble an­gle to win the hole, hits a drive and wedge into the 17th to win it and pars the last to get an un­likely and well-fought point. It’s now 7-6 to Balt­in­glass.

Nathan Ger­aghty and 13-yearold Neil Pat­ter­son win their matches 3 & 2, 9-6 in favour of the west Wick­low club.

While Niall Doogue was win­ning his match on the 15th, Michael O’Neill was clos­ing out his match on the 18th.

In the fi­nal game Sean McCor­mack was play­ing in a very tight match and was called in on a fi­nal score of 11-7. Let the cel­e­bra­tions be­gin!

The scenes of joy and ex­cite­ment around the club that evening will be re­mem­bered for a long time. Team man­agers Fer­gal Doogue and Sean O’Con­nor ac­cepted the cup on be­half of the team and pre­sented it to the Club Cap­tain Martin Hen­nessy.

Balt­in­glass only won this com­pe­ti­tion once be­fore, in 1985. They were beaten in fi­nals in 1937, 1987, 1988 and 1989. In the pre­vi­ous rounds the Balt­in­glass team played Bor­ris, a nail-bit­ing match against Kilkenny. In the quar­ter-fi­nal they beat the win­ners of the com­pe­ti­tion in 2017 and 2018, En­nis­cor­thy.

In the semi-fi­nal they faced the vic­tors in 2016, Wick­low Golf Club in mis­er­able con­di­tions. There are sev­eral links be­tween the 2019 team and the 1985 team. Bryan Kil­coyne played in both fi­nals and also had time to cap­tain the Balt­in­glass foot­ball team to a Le­in­ster foot­ball fi­nal that year. Kevin Lord’s very proud dad David man­aged the team in 1985. Nathan Ger­aghty’s grandad is the leg­endary Mau­rice Byrne who played on the 85 team and is also the holder of nine dif­fer­ent pen­nants for the club. Neil Pat­ter­son’s grand­uncle De­nis played on the 85 team also.

Balt­in­glass have played Tul­lam­ore in four matches, two ma­jor fi­nals over the last cou­ple of years and all matches have been played in the true spirit of the game.

The other mem­bers on the panel were fa­ther and son Colm and Photo: Ro­nan Quin­lan

Eoghan Cooney, Tommy Keogh and Bernard Bowes.

The ded­i­ca­tion of the squad of play­ers has to be ad­mired for the amount of prac­tice they put in at home and all the times they trav­elled to the away cour­ses to get fa­mil­iar with the lie of the land.

Vic­to­ries like this don’t come around very of­ten as the last time the club won a pro­vin­cial pen­nant was 1993.

It was a very proud day for the club.

Pic­tured at the Pro­vin­cial Towns Cup fi­nal sec­ond leg at Balt­in­glass Golf Club were the win­ning Balt­in­glass team, front (l to r): Neil Pat­ter­son, Jim Mur­ray, Pres­i­dent, Martin Hen­nessy, Cap­tain, Dom Mur­phy, Hon­orary Sec­re­tary of Le­in­ster Golf, Sean O’Con­nell, Team Man­ager, Fer­gal Doogue, Team Man­ager and Ned Cremin. Back: Niall Doogue, TJ Deering, Eoghan Cooney, Sean McCor­mack, Nathan Ger­aghty, Kevin Lord, Bryan Kil­coyne, Colm Cooney, Bernard Bowes and Michael O’Neill.

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