Dessie Morgan hits his tee shot at the fifh on the first day of the Mullingar Scratch Cup. Picture: Thos Caffrey www.golffile.ie…Des Morgan kept his dream of a first home win in the Mullingar Scratch Trophy alive when he added a 70 to his superb five under 67 to take a two stroke lead over Castle’s Daniel Holland into today’s 36-hole finale.

Just 10 weeks after having a faulty heart defibrillator replaced, the 32-year old only played his first round of golf last Sunday. But having twice finished as runner up - to Brian Casey last year and to Shane Lowry in 2008 - he’s in with a chance of pulling off what would be one of the victories of the year.

“It’s way to early to be thinking about winning,” said the former Leinster interprovincial. “We’ve been in this position too many times before.”

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No Mullingar man has ever won the famous Scratch Cup since Joe Carr won the inaugural event in 1963 - 50 years ago this year.

But Morgan is making a valiant effort to break the hoodoo after firing six birdies in his morning 67 and then picking up shots at the 17th and 18th in an afternoon 70 to set the pace on seven under 137.

“I feel good,” said Morgan, who had a four-hour heart intervention on March 4. “I’m not tired or anything which was a surprise. Perhaps it’s because I’m looking after myself these days. I thought I be wrecked to be honest, I must be just on a high.”

Daniel Holland. Picture: Thos Caffrey www.golffile.ie…Morgan hit a nine-iron to a foot at the 17th and then pitched to 10 feet at the last for his closing brace of birdies before 24-year old Castle player Holland added a 68 to his opening 71 to get within two shots of the lead on five under.

The final three-ball today is completed by Castlerock’s Aaron Kearney, who is just three behind on four under after rounds of 71 and 69.

Balbriggan’s Robbie Cannon, the surprise winner of the Irish Amateur Open last weekend, is nine shots off the pace on two over after rounds of 71 and 75.

Mullingar Scratch Trophy, Mullingar GC (Par 72)

Draw for Sunday

1 7:00 12:00 M. Murphy (Co Longford) P. Connolly (Clontarf)  Conor McGrogan (Newbridge)

2 7:10 12:10 Stephen Brady (Co Sligo) Alan Thomas (Dungarvan)  Simon Bryan (Delgany)

3 7:20 12:20 Caolan Kennedy (Forrest Little) C. Tormey (Mullingar)  Brian McSweeney (Royal Dublin)

4 7:30 12:30 S. Cullen (Slieve Russell) Ryan Symington (Lisburn)  Sean Ryan (Royal Dublin)

5 7:40 12:40 B McCormack (Castle Barna) Paul Coughlan (Moate)  Stephen Maloney (D’y Springs)

6 7:50 12:50 Shane Hogan (Nenagh) Adam Doran (Ardee)  J Igoe (Longford)

7 8:00 1:00 Greg Mungovan (Headfort) Colin Fairweather (Knock)  Mark Shanahan (Castlemartyr)

8 8:10 1:10 Cian Geraghty (L & B) Stephen Healy (Claremorris)  Conor Purcell (Portmarnock)

9 8:20 1:20 Ciaran McKenna (Mallow) S. O’Connor (Luttrelstown)  Robert Cannon (Balbriggan)

10 8:30 1:30 Simon Ward (Co Louth) John Ross Galbraith (W’head)  Stuart Grehan (Tullamore)

11 8:40 1:40 J Pierse (Grange) Richard Bridges (Stackstown)  Liam Grehan (Mullingar)

12 8:50 1:50 Joe Lyons (Galway) Jake Whelan (Newlands)  Geoff Lenehan (Portmarnock)

13 9:00 2:00 Connor Doran (Banbridge) Nicky Grant (Knock)  James Fox (Portmarnock)

14 9:10 2:10 Caolan Rafferty (Greenore) Aaron Grant (Dundalk) William Hanna (Warrenpoint)

15 9:20 2:20 Aaron Kearney (Castlerock) Daniel Holland (Castle) Des Morgan (Mullingar)

After 36 Holes

137 D Morgan (Mullingar) 67 70

139 D Holland (Castle) 68 71

140 A Kearney (Castlerock) 71 69

141 W Hanna (Warrenpoint) 70 71, A Grant (Dundalk) 70 71

143 C Rafferty (Greenore) 74 69, J Fox (Portmarnock) 72 71, N Grant (Knock) 69 74

144 C Doran (Banbridge) 75 69, G Lenehan (Portmarnock) 73 71, J Whelan (Newlands) 73 71, J Lyons (Galway) 71 73

145 L Grehan (Mullingar) 75 70, R Bridges (Stackstown) 74 71, J Pierse (Grange) 73 72, S Grehan (Tullamore) 72 73, J Galbraith (Whitehead) 71 74, S Ward (Co Louth) 70 75

146 R Cannon (Balbriggan) 71 75

147 S O’Connor (Luttrelstown) 75 72, C McKenna (Mallow) 74 73, C Purcell (Portmarnock) 74 73, S Healy (Claremorris) 73 74, C Geraghty (Laytown & Bettystown) 73 74, M Shanahan (Castlemartyr) 71 76

148 C Fairweather (Knock) 76 72, G Mungovan (Headfort) 73 75, J Igoe (Longford) 73 75, A Doran (Ardee) 72 76

149 S Hogan (Nenagh) 77 72, S Maloney (Dunmurry Springs) 75 74, P Coughlan (Moate) 74 75, B McCormack (Castle Barna) 73 76, S Ryan (Royal Dublin) 73 76, R Symington (Lisburn) 72 77, S Cullen (Slieve Russell) 70 79

150 B McSweeney (Royal Dublin) 76 74, C Tormey (Mullingar) 76 74, C Kennedy (Forrest Little) 74 76, S Bryan (Delgany) 73 77, A Thomas (Dungarvan) 73 77, S Brady (Co Sligo) 72 78

151 C McGrogan (Newbridge) 77 74, P Connolly (Clontarf) 77 74, M Murphy (Co Longford) 76 75

Non-qualifiers

151 D Coghlan (Portmarnock) 73 78, A Hogan (Newlands) 73 78, S McGlynn (Carton House) 71 80

152 J Rackard (Bunclody) 78 74, N McGlynn (Carton House) 77 75, L Hutchinson (Royal Dublin) 77 75, N Worth (The Island) 77 75

153 D McDonough (Galway) 80 73, G Lappin (Belvoir Park) 79 74, P Neville (Athenry) 77 76, A Kiernan (Forrest Little) 75 78, B McGarry (Birr) 74 79, M Kelly (Mullingar) 72 81

154 J Gourley (Hollywood) 79 75, G Bohill (Co Louth) 78 76, S Moran (Carton House) 76 78, J Walsh (Castle) 75 79, T O’Connor (Athlone) 75 79, M O’Rourke (Royal Tara) 74 80

155 C Stone (Carton House) 77 78, S Carter (Stackstown) 76 79, T McLarnon (Massereene) 76 79, R Walsh (Kilkenny) 75 80

156 P Burke (Mullingar) 81 75, J Timlin (Dungannon) 81 75, G Lawlor (Newbridge) 80 76, R Knightly (Royal Dublin) 80 76, E Farrell (Ardee) 79 77, D Shaw (Belvoir Park) 78 78, R Murray (Castle) 75 81

157 L McMillan (Carton House) 83 74, D Carey (Carton House) 83 74, A Hanley (Royal Dublin) 81 76, H Coyne (Carton House) 78 79, D Reidy (Co Sligo) 75 82

158 D Brady (Co Sligo) 80 78, M Richards (Roganstown) 78 80, R Pierse (Grange) 77 81

159 G O’Connor (Malahide) 82 77, A Purdy (Ballyclare) 80 79, B Fennelly (Royal Dublin) 79 80, C Dunphy (Killeen Castle) 78 81

161 P O’Leary (Lucan) 80 81, J Monaghan (Royal Dublin) 76 85

162 M McCusker (Holywood) 80 82

CSS:

Round 1: 73

Round 2: 73

First round

67 D Morgan (Mullingar)

68 D Holland (Castle)

69 N Grant (Knock)

70 A Grant (Dundalk), W Hanna (Warrenpoint), S Cullen (Slieve Russell), S Ward (Co Louth)

71 M Shanahan (Castlemartyr), J Lyons (Galway), S McGlynn (Carton House), J Galbraith (Whitehead), A Kearney (Castlerock), R Cannon (Balbriggan)

72 S Brady (Co Sligo), A Doran (Ardee), R Symington (Lisburn), S Grehan (Tullamore), J Fox (Portmarnock), M Kelly (Mullingar)

73 A Hogan (Newlands), S Bryan (Delgany), D Coghlan (Portmarnock), G Mungovan (Headfort), B McCormack (Castle Barna), S Ryan (Royal Dublin), G Lenehan (Portmarnock), S Healy (Claremorris), J Pierse (Grange), J Whelan (Newlands), C Geraghty (Laytown & Bettystown), A Thomas (Dungarvan), J Igoe (Longford)

74 M O’Rourke (Royal Tara), B McGarry (Birr), C Rafferty (Greenore), P Coughlan (Moate), C McKenna (Mallow), C Purcell (Portmarnock), C Kennedy (Forrest Little), R Bridges (Stackstown)

75 R Murray (Castle), A Kiernan (Forrest Little), J Walsh (Castle), D Reidy (Co Sligo), L Grehan (Mullingar), S O’Connor (Luttrellstown), C Doran (Banbridge), R Walsh (Kilkenny), S Maloney (Dunmurry Springs), T O’Connor (Athlone)

76 B McSweeney (Royal Dublin), M Murphy (Co Longford), S Moran (Carton House), C Tormey (Mullingar), S Carter (Stackstown), C Fairweather (Knock), J Monaghan (Royal Dublin), T McLarnon (Massereene)

77 L Hutchinson (Royal Dublin), P Neville (Athenry), R Pierse (Grange), N Worth (The Island), S Hogan (Nenagh), N McGlynn (Carton House), P Connolly (Clontarf), C McGrogan (Newbridge), C Stone (Carton House)

78 H Coyne (Carton House), G Bohill (Co Louth), M Richards (Roganstown), D Shaw (Belvoir Park), C Dunphy (Killeen Castle), J Rackard (Bunclody)

79 B Fennelly (Royal Dublin), J Gourley (Hollywood), E Farrell (Ardee), G Lappin (Belvoir Park)

80 A Purdy (Ballyclare), D Brady (Co Sligo), P O’Leary (Lucan), D McDonough (Galway), G Lawlor (Newbridge), R Knightly (Royal Dublin), M McCusker (Holywood)

81 A Hanley (Royal Dublin), P Burke (Mullingar), J Timlin (Dungannon)

82 G O’Connor (Malahide)

83 L McMillan (Carton House), D Carey (Carton House)

Selected scorecards