Munster off to a flyer in Interpros defence

Munster's Pat Murray and Geoff Lenehan lining up a putt on the first day of the 2015 Interprovincial Championship at Rosapenna Golf Club today. Picture by Pat Cashman

Munster made a winning start to the defence of their Interprovincial Championship title at Rosapenna on Monday.

Robin Dawson and Eanna Griffin led the way for the Munster men, picking up two points each for the reigning champions as they overcame Connacht 7-4 on the opening day along the north-west coast. Leinster are leading the charge to dethrone the champioons as their young guns helped them to victory against Ulster. 

Rowan Lester and Kevin LeBlanc secured an impressive two-hole win against Ulster's Colin Fairweather and Stuart Bleakley in the opening match and after winning the foursomes session 2.5-1.5, Leinster picked up 4.5 points in the singles to secure a 7-4 victory.

Colm Campbell (Ulster) coming from the rough at the 14th during the first day of the 2015 Interprovincial Championship at Rosapenna Golf Club. Picture by Pat Cashman

That leaves the championship delicately poised heading into the second day at Sandy Hills, where Munster play Ulster and Leinster take on Connacht. After securing a 2&1 win yesterday against Mark Morrissey and Eddie McCormack, Robin Dawson and John Hickey will lead the Munster line-up this morning when they go out first against John-Ross Galbraith and Tiarnon McLarnon, who picked up a half point yesterday against Leinster duo Richard Bridges and Jeff Hopkins. 

Pat Murray and Geoff Lenehan, who halved with Stephen Brady and Steffan O'Hara yesterday, are up against Warrenpoint duo Colm Campbell and William Hanna. Muskerry's Dave O'Donovan returns to the Munster line-up, having sat out yesterday's singles session, and partners John Hickey against Gareth Lappin and Jordan Hood—the only Ulster pair to win against Leinster. 

Ian O'Rourke and Eanna Griffin, who were impressive in their 3&2 win against Kelan McDonagh and Shaun Carter, take on Colin Fairweather and Stuart Bleakley.

Jordan Hood (Ulster) coming from the rough at the 14th during the first day of the 2015 Interprovincial Championship at Rosapenna Golf Club. Picture by Pat Cashman

Leinster's youngsters will lead the line again today. Kevin LeBlanc and Rowan Lester, who cruised to a 4&2 victory in his singles match against Colin Fairweather on Monday, will square up against Galway pair Ronan Mullarney and Joe Lyons. Mullarney and Lyons were Connacht's leading pair on Monday, securing a comprehensive 5&4 win. 

Paul McBride and Thomas Mulligan will look to maintain their 100 per cent record against Kealan McDonagh and Shaun Carter.

Leinster's Conor O'Rourke, who has impressed throughout this season, recorded the biggest win of yesterday's singles matches beating South of Ireland champion Stuart Bleakley 6&4. 

O'Rourke will face Steffan O'Hara in this afternoon's singles, which features two intriguing clashes of youth and experience. Rowan Lester takes on Joe Lyons while Co Louth teenager faces veteran Eddie McCormack. Pat Murray will also hope to put his vast experience to good use during his mouth-watering singles encounter with current Irish international Colm Campbell in what promises to be one of the decisive matches between Munster and Ulster.

Paul McBride (Leinster) pitching to the 14th during the first day of the 2015 Interprovincial Championship at Rosapenna Golf Club. Picture by Pat Cashman

Results for Day 1 (Monday 6th July)

Match 1: Munster 7  Connacht 4 (Munster names first)

Foursomes

  1. Pat Murray & Geoff Lenehan halved with Stephen Brady & Steffan O’Hara 
  2. Robin Dawson & John Hickey beat Mark Morrissey & Eddie McCormack 2/1
  3. Ian O’Rourke & Eanna Griffin beat Kealan McDonagh & Shaun Carter 3/2
  4. Dave O’Donovan & Gary O’Flaherty lost to Joe Lyons & Ronan Mullarney 5/4

Singles

  1. Robin Dawson beat Eddie McCormack 1 hole
  2. John Hickey  halved with Steffan O’Hara 
  3. Pat Murray beat Mark Morrissey 3/2
  4. Geoff Lenehan beat Shaun Carter 4/3
  5. Eanna Griffin beat Kealan McDonagh 4/3
  6. Ian O’Rourke lost to Ronan Mullarney 2/1
  7. Gary O’Flaherty lost to Joe Lyons 1 hole

Rowan Lester (Leinster) coming from the rough at the 14th during the first day of the 2015 Interprovincial Championship at Rosapenna Golf Club. Picture by Pat Cashman

Match 2: Ulster 4 Leinster 7 (Ulster names first)

Foursomes

  1. Colin Fairweather & Stuart Bleakley lost to Kevin Le Blanc & Rowan Lester 2 holes
  2. Colm Campbell & William Hanna lost to Paul McBride & Thomas Mulligan 1 hole
  3. JR Galbraith & Tiarnan McLarnon halved with Richard Bridges & Jeff Hopkins 
  4. Gareth Lappin & Jordan Hood beat Conor O’Rourke & Alan Lowry 2/1

Singles

  1. Colm Campbell lost to Paul McBride 2/1
  2. JR Galbraith beat Kevin Le Blanc 2/1
  3. Colin Fairweather lost to Rowan Lester 4/2
  4. Stuart Bleakley lost to Conor O’Rourke 6/4
  5. Tiarnan McLarnon halved with Thomas Mulligan 
  6. Gareth Lappin beat Richard Bridges 4/3
  7. Jordan Hood lost to Jeff Hopkins 5/4

Draw for Day 2 (Tuesday 7th July)

Match 1: Munster v Ulster (Munster names first)

Foursomes

  1. John Hickey & Robin Dawson v JR Galbraith & Tiarnan McLarnon
  2. Pat Murray & Geoff Lenehan v Colm Campbell & William Hanna
  3. Dave O’Donovan & Gary O’Flaherty v Gareth Lappin & Jordan Hood
  4. Ian O’Rourke & Eanna Griffin v Colin Fairweather & Stuart Bleakley

Singles

  1. John Hickey v JR Galbraith
  2. Pat Murray v Colm Campbell
  3. Robin Dawson v Gareth Lappin
  4. Dave O’Donovan v William Hanna
  5. Geoff Lenehan v Tiarnan McLarnon
  6. Eanna Griffin v Colin Fairweather
  7. Ian O’Rourke v Jordan Hood

Rowan Lester (Leinster) pitching to the 14th green during the first day of the 2015 Interprovincial Championship at Rosapenna Golf Club. Picture by Pat Cashman

Match 2: Leinster v Connacht (Leinster names first)

Foursomes

  1. Kevin Le Blanc & Rowan Lester v Ronan Mullarney & Joe Lyons
  2. Paul McBride & Thomas Mulligan v Kelan McDonagh & Shaun Carter
  3. Richard Bridges & Jeff Hopkins v Eddie McCormack & Mark Morrissey
  4. Conor O’Rourke & Alan Lowry v Stephen Brady & Steffan O’Hara

Singles

  1. Paul McBride v Shaun Carter
  2. Rowan Lester v Joe Lyons
  3. Kevin Le Blanc v Ronan Mullarney
  4. Conor O’Rourke v Steffan O’Hara
  5. Alan Lowry v Mark Morrissey
  6. Thomas Mulligan v Eddie McCormack
  7. Jeff Hopkins v Stephen Brady

Geoff Lenehan (Munster) reacts to a missed putt on the first day of the 2015 Interprovincial Championship at Rosapenna Golf Club. Picture by Pat Cashman