Galway GC capture Senior Cup title for a third time

The Galway Golf Club team with the Senior Cup trohpy and pennant in Carton House last weekend. Front row, from left: Luke O'Neill, Liam Nolan, Ronan Mullarney, Liam Power and Joe Lyons. Back: Gerry Cox (assistant team captain) and Kieran O'Mahony (team captain). Photos: Pat Cashman.
The Galway Golf Club team with the Senior Cup trohpy and pennant in Carton House last weekend. Front row, from left: Luke O'Neill, Liam Nolan, Ronan Mullarney, Liam Power and Joe Lyons. Back: Gerry Cox (assistant team captain) and Kieran O'Mahony (team captain). Photos: Pat Cashman.

Galway Golf Club was celebrating last week after capturing the AIG Senior Cup with an impressive 4-1 win over Limerick at Carton House.

It was a mixed week for the club, as they were beaten for the second successive year by Warrenpoint in the Barton Shield final on Thursday; but they put that disappointment behind them to bounce back the following day with a 3.5-1.5 win over Royal Portrush in the Senior Cup semi-final; and they completed the job with an emphatic win over Limerick in Saturday’s final.

Galway saw off the challenge of Royal Portrush in Friday’s semi-final on a 3.5-1.5 scoreline in what was a tight match. Luke O’Neill and Liam Nolan were both 3&2 winners over Mark McMurray and Gareth McGimpsey respectively, while Joe Lyons beat Matt McAlpin by 1 hole. Liam Power halved his match with Jamie Knipe, while Ronan Mullarney was beaten by 1 hole by Andrew Morris.

Limerick had beaten host club, Carton House, 3-2 in the other semi-final, but they were well beaten in Saturday’s decider, with Liam Power, Joe Lyons, and Ronan Mullarney securing the points to capture the cup for the third time, following wins in 2006 and 2009.

Power beat Owen O’Brien 2&1; Lyons was a 4&3 winner over Sean Poucher; while Mullarney defeated 2&1 winner over Michael Reddan, leaving Nolan and O’Neill to halve their matches with Ciaran Vaughan and Justin Kehoe respectively.

“It’s a lifetime memory,” said Lyons. “In 20 years’ time, you will look back and say you won a Senior Cup with these guys.

“All the guys you win Senior Cup with, there’s a bond. It’s a lovely thing to win. It’s a national title and in my mind, it’s the purest form of club golf. There are no handicaps involved. There is nobody building handicaps to play in Senior Cup and Barton Shield. The teams and the golfers are genuine, and it is straight matches. It’s the blue riband of club golf,” Lyons said.

It was a busy week for Lyons, O’Neill, Mullarney and Power, as they also contested the Barton Shield on the Wednesday and Thursday, and it was testament to their mental strength that they put the disappointment of losing Thursday’s Barton Shield final behind them to bounce back and help claim the Senior Cup.

Galway GC took on Warrenpoint in the Barton Shield final on Thursday in a repeat of last year’s decider.

The city club booked their place in the final with a four-hole win over Tralee GC in the semi-final on Wednesday, with Joe Lyons and Luke O’Neill recording a one-hole win over Darren O’Sullivan and Eoghan O’Donnell; while Ronan Mullarney and Liam Power were three-hole winners over Rory Hill and Fergal O’Sullivan.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.