Ben Best holed an incredible 65-foot putt to deny Joe Lyons and to keep Ulster's title hopes alive and set up a winner takes all clash with holders Leinster on the final day of the Interprovincial Championship at Fota Island.
As reigning champions Leinster crushed Munster 8-3, Best's unlikely halved match with Lyons helped Ulster snatch a 5.5 - 5.5 draw with Connacht and leaves them needing a win over title holders Leinster Wednesday to stop them retaining the trophy.
It was disappointing end to the day for Connacht as Lyons was two ups with three to play and one up playing the par-five 18th while Shaun Carter also had to settle for a half against Tiarnan McLarnon having been ahead with one to play.
Jack McDonnell, who beat Ireland international Dermot McElroy, and Ronan Mullarney, who took down Stuart Bleakley 5&3.
But while John Ross Galbraith has won four out of four and McLarnon has dropped just half a point, Leinster will be tough to beat.
According to the GUI:
So far, Leinster’s pairings have taken seven of a possible eight points from the combined format. It is the same formula that took them to the title in 2015.
Kevin LeBlanc and Rowan Lester led from the front once more while Conor Purcell and Jonathan Yates bounced back from a heavy defeat on day one to record a 5&3 win. Purcell and Yates were just as impressive in the singles while LeBlanc scored his third point of the week against Peter O’Keefe.
On home soil, Munster will be desperate to end their losing streak but Connacht will be hungry for a win having come so close already. Ulster are the only ones who can stop Leinster now.
Interprovincial Championship, Fota Island
Leinster 8 Munster 3 (Leinster names first)
- Rowan Lester & Kevin Le Blanc beat Pat Murray & Geoff Lenehan 3/2
- Jonathan Yates & Conor Purcell beat Gary O’Flaherty & Andrew McCormack 5/3
- Caolan Rafferty & Eugene Smith beat Peter O’Keefe & Cathal Butler 1 hole
- Daniel Holland & Thomas Mulligan beat Robin Dawson & John Hickey 2/1
- Rowan Lester lost to Robin Dawson 1 hole
- Jonathan Yates beat Geoff Lenehan 5/4
- Conor Purcell beat Gary O’Flaherty 7/5
- Kevin Le Blanc beat Peter O’Keefe 2/1
- Caolan Rafferty lost to Andrew McCormack 3/2
- Eugene Smith beat John Hickey 1 hole
- Daniel Holland lost to Pat Murray 1 hole
Ulster 5.5 Connacht 5.5 (Ulster names first)
- Dermot McElroy & Colin Fairweather lost to Sean Flanagan & Mark Morrissey 2/1
- Tiarnan McLarnon & John-Ross Galbraith beat Shaun Carter & Stephen Healy 5/4
- Ben Best & Gareth Lappin beat Ronan Mullarney & Jack McDonnell 5/4
- Jordan Hood & Stuart Bleakley v Joe Lyons & Cathal Nolan
- Dermot McElroy lost to Jack McDonnell 1 hole
- Colin Fairweather beat Mark Morrissey 3/2
- John-Ross Galbraith beat Sean Flanagan 2 holes
- Tiarnan McLarnon halved with Shaun Carter
- Gareth Lappin halved with Cathal Nolan
- Stuart Bleakley lost to Ronan Mullarney 5/3
- Ben Best halved with Joe Lyons
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