Portumna ladies are crowned Junior Foursomes champions

The Portumna team which captured the Junior Foursomes title, from left: Kathleen Lynch, Brid Kelly, Mary Kelly, Anne Fahy (Team Manager), Pauline McEvoy, Mary McElroy, Mary Madden, Carmel Cunningham and Bernie Kilmartin. Photos: Pat Cashman.
The Portumna team which captured the Junior Foursomes title, from left: Kathleen Lynch, Brid Kelly, Mary Kelly, Anne Fahy (Team Manager), Pauline McEvoy, Mary McElroy, Mary Madden, Carmel Cunningham and Bernie Kilmartin. Photos: Pat Cashman.

There was joy for Portumna Golf Club last week when its Ladies Junior Foursomes were crowned All-Ireland Champions at the AIG Cup and Shield national finals week at Malone GC just outside Belfast, but there was disappointment for the other four Galway teams that made it to the national finals.

Mountbellew sent three teams to the AIG Cup and Shield finals week, with the club competing in the Intermediate, Minor, and Challenge Cups, reaching the final of the Minor Cup but bowing out of the Intermediate Cup at the quarter-final stage; and also experiencing disappointment in the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup. Athenry made it to the final of the Junior Cup, but lost 4-1 to Limerick.

Portumna were emphatic semi-final winners over The Heath, with Mary Kelly & Brid Kelly defeating Sadie Ging & Mary Malone 2&1; Carmel Cunningham & Bernie Kilmartin were 4&3 winners over Helen Kelly & Mary Tyrrell; while Mary McElroy & Mary Madden were 3&2 winners over Mary Cushen & Ann Dunne.

They met Ballykisteen GC from south-west Tipperary in the final, and recorded a 2.5-0.5 win in the mist emphatic of styles. The Kelly pair were 7&5 winners over Catherine English and Neasa Fahy O’Donnell; while McElroy & Madden recorded a 5&4 win over Claire Griffin and Caroline Cussen; with Cunningham & Kilmartin’s game with Sarah and Mary Toomey called in.

The club will be hoping for a national double this weekend when it contests the Revive Active Fourball National Finals at Royal Tara in Meath. They will face Munster champions, Ballybunion of Kerry, in the semi-final at 11.20am on Saturday; with the winners taking on either Lucan of Dublin or Tyrone’s Killymoon in the final on Sunday.

Each team consists of 5 pairings, the lowest handicap in each match plays off scratch and will concede strokes to the other three players based on 90% of the difference between full handicaps.

There was disappointment for last week for Mountbellew’s three teams, though it shouldn’t detract from the achievement of capturing three provincial pennants this year from a relatively low playing base.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.