Greystones sealed the Irish Mixed Foursomes in style as they beat Gort at Shandon Park to win their first ever All-Ireland title.
With two points already on the board, the final ultimately hinged on the result of the penultimate match as Shane O’Connor and Polly O’Reilly combined for a 2&1 victory to clinch the title.
It was looking good for Greystones when David Byrne and Lisa Croke coasted to victory in the top match, securing the first point of the day as early as the 14th green.
Husband and wife duo Diarmaid McGabhann and Emma Hanley were next to score when McGahbann holed an eight-footer for another 5&4 success.
Gort gave themselves a fighting chance when Gerry and Sara Broderick won match two but there was no stopping Greystones as O’Connor and O’Reilly clinched the winning point at 17.
It might have come earlier than it did but Gort’s Josie Collins holed a crucial putt at 15, reducing the Greystones advantage. Now just two behind and with a shot in hand playing 16, Collins and her partner Jerry Leahy pinched another hole to seize momentum.
The pressure was mounting on both pairs as the crowd swelled around the 17th tee. This time Gort found trouble beyond the green. Greystones played it safe and made bogey with ease as Leahy faced a 12-footer to keep the match alive. When his putt failed to threaten the hole, cries of delight enveloped the green as Greystones rushed to celebrate.
"This is the first time Greystones have won in 120 years of history and we’re the team that did it. And that is just an absolutely amazing feeling,” said Greystones manager Karen Purcell.
'In it to win it’ had become the motto for Purcell’s side during this year’s campaign, which began against Woodbrook last April.
“People who won in Woodbrook weren’t playing here today but they were right by our sides and everyone giving one thousand per cent. It was all about the team from start to finish,” said Purcell.
Choosing from a panel of 20, Purcell used seven different pairs over the course of two days at Shandon Park for the All-Ireland series. McGabhann and Hanley, unbeaten all season, secured the decisive point against Doneraile in Friday’s semi-final and they delivered again in the final.
Paying tribute, Purcell said: “They have made a huge, huge contribution but so has everyone else. We have 20 on the panel and all of those 20 players made their contribution throughout the campaignf.”
I Need Spain Irish Mixed Foursomes- All Ireland Final, Shandon Park
Saturday 3rd September
Greystones 3.5 Gort 1.5
(Greystones names first)
- D Byrne & L Croke bt K Mulkerrins & E McSweeney 4/3;
- A Condron & O Delaney lost to G Broderick & S Broderick 3/1;
- S O'Connor & P O'Reilly bt G Leahy & J Collins 2/1;
- D McGabhann & E Hanley bt P Curtis & T Gill 5/4;
- B O'Leary & A Lawless halved with N O'Shaughnessy & J Joyce