Lyons hoping to roar again in Mullingar Electrical Scratch Trophy

Joe Lyons, pictured during the recent Interprovincial Championship, leads the Mullingar Electrical Scratch Trophy by two shots at halfway. Picture by Pat Cashman

Age is just a number and Galway’s Joe Lyons is hoping his years will help rather than hinder him when he takes a two-shot lead into the final two rounds of the Mullingar Electrical Scratch Trophy on Monday.

A native of Co Offaly but well-established in the City of Tribes, the 43-year old former West of ireland champion showed just why he’s been Connacht’s top scorer in four of the last five Interprovincial Matches when he added a 70 to his opening 67 to lead the field on seven under par.

“I’m pretty surprised,” Lyons said. “I’ve been showing glimpses of good golf recently but I haven’t been putting the whole package together. When it goes, it goes. But when it’s on, it’s on and I hit it lovely today.”

An opening 67 featuring four birdies, one bogey and an eagle three from 20 feet at the 14th, left the 2007 West of Ireland champion one stroke adrift of Castle’s Daniel Holland, the 2013 winner, who opened up with a 66 only to follow it with a 73.

In contrast to some of his recent events, Lyons kept his foot on the accelerator in the afternoon, carding a two under 70 to head the field by two strokes on seven under from Holland and South of Ireland runner-up Colin Fairweather from Knock, who followed a 71 with a four under 68.

Lyons confessed he felt things slipping away after lunch when he followed a brace of early birdies at the fifth and sixth with a double bogey six at the seventh, where he smothered his second and had to take a penalty drop.

“I struggled par eight and nine and then I bogeyed the 10th with a wedge from the middle of the fairway,” her reported. “Things looked like they were getting away from me but I birdied the 14th, 15th and 16th coming in and missed chances on the last two.

“To be honest, I led the Irish Mid-Amateur slip with a round to go six weeks ago. I thought I was home and hosed and I collapsed. So I am taking nothing for granted against this field. 

“Success has been thin on the ground for me for the last few years but I will be giving it my best shot. Mullingar to me is one of the majors and I’d love to put my name on that trophy, that’s for sure.”

Fairweather will be keen capitalised on a purple patch of form that led to his  recent call up for international duty in the Home Internationals later this month. 

“To get the call up straight after the final just brighten me back up straight away,” Fairweather said. “It’s fantastic to get capped — it was the goal the start of the season. Now the goal is to get a win and I’ve got a chance here.”

Hoping to head to the European Tour Q-School this year but stuggling for sponsorship, Fairweather added: “Sponsorship is hard to come by and it’s not looking great with the deadline coming up. But first I have this week and I’m looking for a good day tomorrow.

“I haven’t been on my game and just got it round so far. But I am scoring well and I holed a few more putts this afternoon so hopefully I can get it going tomorrow. That would be nice.”

But Fairweather and Holland aren't the only quality players lurking.

Dundalk’s Caolan Rafferty, a semi-finalist in last month’s “North”, carded a pair fo 70s to sit alone in fourth on four under.

Galway interprovincial Ronan Mullarney carded a best of the afternoon 67 to share fifth on two under with Co Sligo’s Sean Flanagan, Portmarnock’s James Fox, Dundalk’s Aaron Grant and Esker Hills’ Alan Lowry, younger brother of 20-08 winner Shane Lowry.

Then there's Nenagh's Shane Hogan on one under after a second round 69 and two-time championship winner Robbie Cannon alongside Newlands'Jake Whelan on level par after following a morning 68 with a 76 in the early afternoon.

The cut for the top 51 fell at 152 with Mullingar's Ronan Maher the last man in after a 74 saw him edge ahead of Carton House's Shane McGlynn (76), Castle's Jack Walsh (79) and Dubai 15-year old Rayhan Thomas (81) on a countback.  

Mullingar Electrical Scatch Trophy, Mullingar GC (Par 72)

Monday’s tee times

  1. (6:22/11:22) Maher, Sutherland, Crowley;
  2. (6:31/11:31) Kennedy, Stack, M Grehan;
  3. (6:40/11:40) Geraghty, Swarbrigg, O’Neill;
  4. (6:49/11:49) Cunningham, Yates, Bridges;
  5. (6:58/11:58) Knightly, Greene, D Lowry;
  6. (7:07/12:07) Murphy, Ashby, Barker;
  7. (7:16/12:16) McDonnell, Shanahan, O’Connor;
  8. (7:25/12:25) Lenehan, Symington, L Grehan;
  9. (7:34/12:34) Hickey, McDonagh, J Pierse;
  10. (7:43/12:43) Woodroofe, Nugent, Egan;
  11. (7:52/12:52) Morgan, McGarry, R Pierse;
  12. (8:01/13:01) Reidy, O’Rourke, Watts;
  13. (8:10/13:10) Buggy, Anderson, Dunne;
  14. (8:19/13:19) Cannon, Whelan, Hogan;
  15. (8:28/13:28) Grant, Fox, Flanagan;
  16. (8:37/13:37) Lowry, Mullarney, Rafferty;
  17. (8:46/13:46) Holland, Fairweather, Lyons.

After 36 holes 



137 Joe Lyons (Galway) 67 70  

139 Colin Fairweather (Knock) 71 68, Daniel Holland (Castle) 66 73  

140 Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk) 70 70  

142 Ronan Mullarney (Galway) 75 67, Alan Lowry (Esker Hills) 72 70, Sean Flanagan (Co. Sligo) 71 71, James Fox (Portmarnock) 70 72, Aaron Grant (Dundalk) 70 72  

143 Shane Hogan (Nenagh) 74 69  

144 Jake Whelan (Newlands) 70 74, Robert Cannon (Balbriggan) 68 76  

146 Gerard Dunne (Co. Louth) 75 71, Barry Anderson (The Royal Dublin) 75 71, Michael Buggy (Castlecomer Golf Club) 74 72, Stephen Watts (Cairndhu) 73 73, Conor O'Rourke (Naas) 72 74  

147 Declan Reidy (Co. Sligo) 76 71, Robbie Pierse (Grange) 76 71, Billy McGarry (Birr) 76 71, Des Morgan (New Forest) 75 72, Keith Egan (Carton House) 75 72, Graham Nugent (Kilkenny) 74 73, Colin Woodroofe (Blainroe) 73 74, Jack Pierse (Portmarnock) 73 74, Kelan McDonagh (The Royal Dublin) 71 76  

148 John Hickey (Cork) 73 75, Liam Grehan (Mullingar) 73 75, Ryan Symington (Lisburn) 73 75, Geoff Lenehan (Portmarnock) 71 77  

149 Thomas O'Connor (Athlone) 77 72, Mark Shanahan (Castlemartyr) 75 74, Jack Mc Donnell (Forrest Little.) 74 75, Stephen Barker (Mourne) 73 76, L. Ashby (Naas) 73 76, Daniel Murphy (Portarlington) 72 77  Dave Lowry (Corballis Links Golf Club) 72 77  

150 John Greene (Portmarnock) 77 73, Richard Knightly (The Royal Dublin) 77 73, Richard Bridges (Stackstown) 76 74, Jonathan Yates (Naas) 75 75, Colin Cunningham (Carton House) 75 75, Declan O'Neill (Carton House) 74 76, John Swarbrigg (Mullingar) 74 76, Cian Geraghty (Laytown & Bettystown) 74 76, Matthew Grehan (Tullamore) 68 82  

151 Kevin Stack (Dungarvan) 75 76, Caolan Kennedy (Forrest Little.) 75 76, Colm Crowley (Woodbrook) 75 76, Jamie Sutherland (Galgorm Castle) 72 79  

152 Ronan Maher (Mullingar) 78 74 ,


152 Shane McGlynn (Carton House) 76 76, Jack Walsh (Castle) 73 79, Rayhan Thomas (United Arab Emirates) 71 81  

153 Keith Bermingham (Castletroy) 78 75, Adam Doran (Ardee) 76 77, C. Dunphy (Killeen Castle) 76 77, Eoin Arthurs (Forrest Little.) 74 79  

154 Paul Burke (Mullingar) 76 78, R. McKinley (Mullingar) 75 79, P. O'Sullivan (Bray) 74 80  

155 Mark Morrissey (Mount Wolseley) 79 76, Declan King (Tramore) 78 77, Conor Stone (Carton House) 77 78, Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene) 75 80  

156 Gareth Carr (Mullingar) 80 76, Chris Blackmore (Dundalk) 77 79, Lee McMillan (Craddockstown) 75 81  

157 Eanna Griffin (Waterford) 81 76, Gareth Mann (Tullamore) 75 82  

158 K. Metcalfe (Mullingar) 76 82  

159 Ben Best (Rathmore) 79 80, Gavin Flanagan (Mullingar) 79 80  

160 Cathal Nolan (Galway) 79 81  

161 M Duffy (Naas) 80 81  

163 David Maher (Courtown) 88 75, T Flanagan (Co. Sligo) 83 80, J. Dromey (Mullingar) 78 85 , Colm Hughes (Galway) 78 85  

164 N. Pratt (USA) 84 80  

165 Shaun O'Connor (Carton House) 84 81  

166 Brian Doran (Palmerstown Stud) 82 84, Gary Shaw (Mullingar) 82 84  

168 Ruairi O'Connor (Co. Sligo) 87 81  

173 Conor Slevin (New Forest) 86 87  

NR Gerard Lawlor (Craddockstown) NR ,

WD Jordan Hood (Galgorm Castle) 77 WD.