Richard Hanley (Ballybunion) chips in on the 16th to win his match and the Junior Cup at the GUI All Ireland AIG sponsored Cups & Shield National Finals at Royal Golf Club. Picture by Pat CashmanClandeboye lifted the Barton Shield in style as Colm Murphy and William Russell put in star performances for the Ulster provincial champions in the AIG Cups and Shields Finals at Royal Tara, writes the GUI.

Up against County Sligo and five holes down early on, John Walker’s blend of youth and experience would prove to be the difference as veteran Murphy and 18-year old Russell rallied to bring the prize to the Bangor outfit as Ballybunion’s teenagers took the Junior Cup. [Click here for gallery of Junior Cup images]

Ivor McCandless (President, Golfing Union of Ireland) presenting Michael McAvoy (Captain, Clandeboye Golf Club) with the Barton Shield after their victory at the GUI All Ireland AIG sponsored Cups & Shield National Finals at Royal Tara Golf Club today (19/09/2013). In front (from left) Noel Rowland (Captain, Royal Tara Golf Club), Ian Boucher (Vice Captain, Clandeboye Golf Club) and Aidan Connaughton (Consumer Lines Director, AIG Europe). At back (from left) Graeme Laird, Alaistair Kerr, William Russell, Karl Eccles, Colm Murphy, Lee Crawford, Gerry Fyfe (President, Clandeboye Golf Club) and John Walker (Team Captain). Picture by Pat CashmanIn the opening match Graeme Laird and Lee Crawford were never ahead against Sligo’s Sean Flanagan and Declan Reidy. Having gone two holes down early on, Laird and Crawford struggled to get anything going and were four down after 12. After a wayward approach to the last green, the Clandeboye pair gave Sligo an opportunity to win another hole, which Flanagan and Reidy did, to give Sligo a five hole advantage.

In the second match Irish international Gary McDermott and his playing partner Steffan O’Hara raced into a 2 hole lead early on against Murphy and Russell, but by the time they stood on the 13th tee, the Clandeboye pair had turned things around in dramatic style, establishing a four hole lead, having won six of the previous eight holes.

Graeme Laird (Clandeboye) driving during the Barton Shield final at the GUI All Ireland AIG sponsored Cups & Shield National Finals at Royal Golf Club. Picture by Pat CashmanTwo more wins were claimed by the Ulster duo in the latter stages of the back nine, and as they watched Laird and Crawford lose their final hole, Murphy and Russell knew they had to avoid a final hole meltdown to claim victory.

Instead, the meltdown came from the Sligo duo. A drive to the rough on the left from McDermott, was followed by a pushed second by O’Hara who ended up pin high, some 35 yards from the green, with a pin cut just a few paces on.

Sean Flanagan (Co Sligo) with his caddy Tom Ford during the Barton Shield final the at the GUI All Ireland AIG sponsored Cups & Shield National Finals at Royal Golf Club. Picture by Pat CashmanA tough third shot lay ahead of McDermott who was unlucky to catch the bunker guarding the green. When O’Hara blasted out of the bunker and McDermott missed the subsequent putt - the hole was conceded to give Murphy and Russell a seven hole win and Clandeboye were crowned Barton Shield Champions for 2013.

Russell, a former under 15 boys champion and Irish boys international was happy with their performance.

“I’m really happy. You don’t win one of these every day.” he beamed afterwards. “We played solid golf and pars win holes out there.”

How did his more experienced partner help him?

“Colm’s fine. He hits it straight, gets it down the middle. He’s always talking to me and keeps me calm.

William Russell (Clandeboye) driving during the Barton Shield Final at the GUI All Ireland AIG sponsored Cups & Shield National Finals at Royal Golf Club. Picture by Pat Cashman“On the last hole I just said to myself to get into the routine and hit a good shot. It was a 4-iron. I just wanted to hit it up the green somewhere because I knew they were way left of the green.

“It was good to get it finished. The last couple of years we haven’t done very well. This year the top match seemed to bond and we seemed to feed off each other.”

John Walker, our captain said at the start, ‘eight matches, that’s all you have to win.’ It’s true. Last night we were talking and just said ‘we’ve seven matches down, why not make it eight?’”

This is Clandeboye’s first Barton Shield win since 2002 at Galway.

Ballybunion Golf Club winners of the Junior Cup the at the GUI All Ireland AIG sponsored Cups & Shield National Finals at Royal Golf Club. Picture by Pat CashmanIn the Junior Cup, Ballybunion lifted their first green pennant since 1979 as a team comprised entirely of teenagers beat Westport 4-1.

John Molyneaux Jr, Frank Geary Jr and Richard Hanley all won their matches, with Senan Carroll and Jason Lynch being called in while they were both in control of their respective matches.

The win was sealed in style for Ballybunion, who had played Royal Tara no fewer than six times in the run up to the Cups and Shields week, and with their anchorman Jason Lynch unbeaten all year in the competition, this was a win to savour for the Munster champions.

Ballybunion’s Richard Hanley (right) celebrates with his caddy James Lavery after chipping into the 16th hole to win his match and the Junior Cup at the GUI All Ireland AIG sponsored Cups & Shield National Finals at Royal Golf Club. Picture by Pat CashmanUlster champions Rossmore bowed out of the Pierce Purcell Shield at the hands of Spanish Point who have set up a final encounter with Claremorris.

Rosapenna take on Carton House in Friday’s semi finals of the Senior Cup with Co Sligo taking on Cork in the other match while in the Jimmy Bruen Shield, Tandragee take on Athlone and Castlecomer meet Killorglin.

AIG Cups and Shields at Royal Tara Golf Club, Thursday 19 September

Junior Cup Final

Ballybunion 4, Westport 1

J Molyneaux Jr bt R Hehir 2 holes;

F Geary Jr bt J Healy 3/1;

S Carroll halved with R Mahon;

R Hanley bt T Bree 3/2;

J Lynch halved with S Larkin.


Barton Shield Final

Clandeboye bt Co Sligo 2 holes

G Laird & L Crawford lost to S Flanagan & D Reidy 5 holes;

C Murphy & W Russell bt G McDermott & S O’Hara 7 holes


Pierce Purcell Shield - Semi Finals

Spanish Point 4, Rossmore 1

E Talty & Mervin Hehir bt M McQuaid & D Connolly 4/3;

Michael Hehir & F Hehir bt J Heffernan & A Finnegan 2/1;

A Garrihy & A Sexton halved with P Trappe & B Casey;

M Talty & S Guilfoyle halved with A Trappe & D McMahon;

C O’Loughlin & K Hynes bt J McKenna & M Deery 2/1


Claremorris 3, Corrstown 2

D Lambe & D Rattigan bt T Monaghan & C Cronin 6/5;

D Costello & F Hughes bt J Beagan & D Lenagh 1 hole;

J Haverty & W Feely lost to P Casey & G Burns 2 holes;  

M Monaghan & P Coyne bt M McIvor & J O’Dwyer 1 hole;

K McDonagh & R Higgins lost to J Dowling & G Beagan 6/5.


Friday 20 September

Senior Cup  - Semi Finals

0830 Rosapenna v Carton House (Rosapenna names first)

M McDermott v S McGlynn;

E Kennedy v D Carey;

D Boyle v N McGlynn;

F Casey Jr v S O’Connor;

P Kennedy v C Cunningham


0920 Co Sligo v Cork (Co Sligo names first)

D Reidy v I O’Flynn;

G McDermott v M Ford;

S Flanagan v G O’Flaherty;

M Morrissey v E Murphy;

S O’Hara v J Hickey


Pierce Purcell Shield - Final

1030 Spanish Point v Claremorris (Spanish Point names first)

A Garrihy & A Sexton v D Costello & P Kenna;

E Talty & Mervin Hehir v D Lambe & D Rattigan;

Michael Hehir & F Hehir v K McDonagh & M O’Brien;

M Talty & S Guilfoyle v M Conway & J Haverty;

C O’Loughlin & K Hynes v M Monaghan & P Coyne.


Jimmy Bruen Shield - Semi Finals

1200 Castlecomer v Killorglin (Castlecomer names first)

V Smyth & K Hovenden v J Joy & D Bird;

J Doheny & P Comerford v K O’Sullivan & C Foley;

T Coogan & P Campion v R Kennedy & S Collins;

S Kennedy & A Dempsey v M Ashe & J McCarthy;

D Breen & D Fogarty v J Kennedy & D Carmody.

1250 Athlone v Tandragee (Athlone names first)

T Gilhooly & M Evans v S Burns & J Rowe;

C Rice & M Kelly v P Hedley & C Fearon;

T Corry & G Kelly v G Haire & M Bannerman;

C Quilty & M Ryan v W Jardine & W Small;

J Rice & D Rushe v E Nixon & J Quinn.