Ryan Gribben was the toast of Warrenpoint when he sank the winning putt on the 20th hole at the end of a dramatic AIG Barton Shield semi-final against The Royal Dublin, writes the GUI.
Gribben held his nerve on the second extra hole to sink a six-footer for par after Royal Dublin failed to get up and down from the bunker. Relief was the overriding emotion for the Point having conspired against themselves on 18 with the match in their hands.
“We always do it the hard way,” Gribben admitted.
Needing just a half on the last hole, Gribben left his partner, Colm Campbell Jnr, 135 yards to the pin thanks to a sweet drive but Campbell found the front left bunker after Barry Anderson had caught the sand front right.
When both splashed out to around 18-feet, a coin toss was needed to decide who was away – Anderson made the most of going first by rattling the cup. When Campbell slid his par putt past, they headed for 19.
“My dad (Colm senior), the team captain, just said to us: ' You start again. You're still in it. Keep your heads up',” said Campbell Jnr.
After the first extra hole was halved in par fives, both missed the green on the par-three second. When Ian O'Rourke failed with his par putt for The Royal Dublin, Gribben holed out to put Warrenpoint into the final.
“That was the first putt we made and it was a nice time for it to come, but the boys did the business at the front end and they got us out of a hole,” said Campbell Jnr.
Earlier William Hanna and Stephen Coulter had made a regulation par on 18 to win their game by two holes having withstood a major surge from Sean Ryan and Richard Knightly on the back nine.
A birdie from Knightly on 13 brought Royal Dublin back into the match having been four down after 12. Par on 14 was good enough for another win and when they birdied 17, they were only one down playing the last.
A pulled drive on 18 left the Leinster champions in all sorts of trouble and Warrenpoint seized the initiative to take a two-hole lead, which proved crucial in the end.
Munster champions Muskerry were already safely through to the final at that stage, having beaten Athenry by 10 holes in their semi-final. The Cork men were four ahead at the turn and pulled away on the back nine to win quite comfortably in the end.
Muskerry captain Greg O'Sullivan was delighted to get through to the final having missed out on a place in the Senior Cup final in 2011 when they were beaten by Portmarnock at Castlerock.
“To win by that margin in an All-Ireland is awesome really. Look, be it 10 holes or one hole, once we're there we're happy,” said O'Sullivan.
“It was fairly convincing but they're a good bunch of lads with good experience and it came to the fore today. So we're looking forward to the final now.”
Athenry's preparations for the semi-final hit a last-minute hitch when Martin Hynes damaged his eye putting in a contact lens, with Peter Dolan drafted in to replace him in the first match against Niall Gorey and Dave O'Donovan.
AIG Cups & Shields, Carton House Golf Club, O'Meara Course
AIG Barton Shield
Semi-Finals- Wednesday 17th September, 2014
Warrenpoint bt Royal Dublin 1 hole
- William Hanna & Stephen Coulter bt Richard Knightly & Sean Ryan 2 holes;
- Colm Campbell & Ryan Gribben lost to Barry Anderson & Ian O'Rourke 1 hole (20th)
Muskerry bt Athenry 10 holes
- Niall Gorey & Dave O'Donovan bt Brian O'Reilly & Peter Dolan* 5 holes;
- Daniel Hallissey & John Waldron bt David Byrne & Joe Bernie 5 holes.
*Dolan replaced Martin Hynes who withdrew injured before play commenced.
Thursday 18th September, 2014
AIG Junior Cup Final
10.20am Castle v Castletroy — (Castle names first)
- Harry Gleeson v Jonathan McDonnell;
- Ben Murray v Colmn Geary;
- Fergal Walsh v Keith Bermingham;
- Kevin Moran v Brendan Reidy;
- Gerry Moran v Michael Murphy
AIG Barton Shield Final
11.10am — Warrenpoint v Muskerry (Warrenpoint names first)
- William Hanna & Stephen Coulter v Niall Gorey & Dave O'Donovan;
- Colm Campbell & Ryan Gribben v Daniel Hallissey & John Waldron
AIG Pierce Purcell Shield Semi Finals
11.40am — Enniscrone v Spanish Point (Enniscrone names first)
- John Rush & Jim Rickard v Kevin Hayes & Damian Sexton;
- Kenny McGrath & Eugene O'Doherty v Evan Talty & Mervin Hehir;
- John Griffin & Jim Bowe v Aiden Sexton & Stephen Guilfoyle;
- Richie Cloonan & Jack Ruane v Fergal Hehir & Martin Glenny;
- Pat Ruane & Padraig Tighe v Eric Murphy & Niall Heeney
12.30pm — Rossmore v Coolattin (Rossmore names first)
- Gerry McMahon & Rory McDonnell v John Byrne & James Harte;
- Padraig Trappe & Brendan Casey v Michael O'Neill & Owen Coleman;
- Adrian Trappe & Alan Finnegan v Declan Traynor & Paul Tyrrell;
- Bernard Gilbane & Dermot McMahon v Michael Shortall & Jim Cullen;
- John McKenna & Malachy Deery v Joe Murphy & John Thompson.