Athlone's Kelan McDonagh captured the Irish Youths at his home club in what is turning out to be a great year for the scholarship golfers at NUI Maynooth.
Just a few weeks after Cian Curley reached the Irish Close final at Enniscrone, Kelan beat Headfort's Rory McNamara 5 & 4 in the decider at his home club.
A comfortable 4 and 3 success over Headfort’s Brian Casey earned McDonagh a place in the final against Casey’s club mate Rory McNamara who overcame Shaun O’Connor (Skerries) by 2 and 1 in the morning’s opening semi-final.
McDonagh, a scholarship student at NUI Maynooth, birdied the opening hole to establish a lead that he never relinquished as he drew from experience gained in finishing in third place in the East of Ireland Championship and reaching the quarter-finals of the Irish Amateur Close Championship at Enniscrone earlier this month.
A lost ball forced McNamara to concede the third hole to go two down but the Headfort man responded with a fighting birdie to win the par five fifth.
McDonagh followed with par-birdie-birdie to win the sixth, seventh and eighth holes and build a commanding four hole lead.
Both players coped admirably with some heavy showers as they traded pars around the turn before a drop-shot from McNamara on the twelfth left McDonagh five up with six to play.
Birdies were shared onthe tough thirteenth before McDonagh closed out the match with a par on the fourteenth to win by 5 and 4.
The plate was won by Omagh’s Nial Kearns who defeated leading qualifier Gary Hurley (West Waterford) in the semi-finals before accounting for Royal Dublin’s Darragh Coghlan by 5/3 in the final.