Veteran Eddie Power helped Kilkenny clinch their first senior pennant with a nail-biting one hole win over Banbridge in the Bulmers Barton Shield final at Tullamore.
As Paul O’Hara and 19-year old Leinster interprovincial Craig Martin beat Rory Leonard and Ciaran McAleavey by one hole, everything hinged on the clash of Power and 23-year old Richie Walsh with Alastair McCully and Ireland international Connor Doran.
The Kilkenny pair cruised into a two hole lead at the turn but then lost the first three holes of a roller-coaster back nine to set up a dramatic finale.
The teams were still all square with three holes to play but while Doran birdied the 16th from 12 feet to edge Banbridge one hole in front, he cost them the 17th when he ran his 25 foot birdie putt six feet past the hole and McCUlly missed the return.
Needing a half at the 18th for overall victory, Power split the fairway and Kilkenny found their hero in Walsh who fired a laser-like 215-yard three iron to the front of the green and the holed a test three and a half footer for a half and victory after Banbridge had saved par thanks to a stunning Doran recovery from the left rough.
“This is a real blast form the past for me to win this 15 years on,” said 44-year old Power, who lifted the title with Tramore in 1992 and 1994. “We have been trying for many years to come through and win a green pennant and have had a good squad but we have been underachieving.
“I have been here before but the boys haven’t. It was a big test for them and they showed their mettle all year and again today.”
Meanwhile, Malone ended an 86-year wait for their second Junior Cup triumph with a clearcut 3.5 to 1.5 victory over a brave Oughterard side.
In the Pierce Purcell Shield, Corrstown and Letterkenny battled their way through to today’s final thanks to respective 3-2 wins over Douglas and Loughrea.
Bulmers sponsored Irish Cups and Shields, National Finals, Tullamore Golf Club
Pierce Purcell Shield, semi finals:
Corrstown 3 Douglas 2
(Corrstown names first) John Dowling & Tony Merrigan bt Richard Lonergan & Kevin O'Sullivan 5/3; Nicky Hubbard & Jim Lowe lost to Michael Lucey & John Scannell 5/4; Jarlath Beagan & Gary Began lost to Eddie Cogan & Frank Walsh 1 hole; Gerry Finnerty & Fran Lawlor bt Tony Barry & Paul Herlihy 3/1; Ciaran Conneely & Paul O'Kane bt Frank Mackey & Philip O'Driscoll 4/2
Letterkenny 3 Loughrea 2 (Letterkenny names first)
Brian O'Donnell & Tony McMonagle bt Brendan Dunne & Paul Hynes 3/2; Pat McMonagle & Kieran Sweeney lost to John Greally & Gerry Fahy 1 hole; John Russell & Kieran Walsh bt Noel Maher & Lee McGahon 3/2; Ed Margey & Brendan Roache lost to Uinsinn Finn & Cathal Murray 6/5; Kenny King & Shane Sweeney bt Tony Slevin & John Creavan 3/2
Junior Cup Final
Malone 3.5 Oughterard 1.5
(Malone names first)
Barry Brennan bt Frank Ford 6/5; Dan McCrea bt Aidan Grimes 5/3; Jamie Thompson lost to Cathair Conneely 2/1; Andy Montgomery bt Martin O Ceara 1 hole; Jan Gilbert halvedm with Niall Faherty
Barton Shield Final
Kilkenny bt Banbridge 1 hole
(Kilkenny names first)
Paul O'Hara & Craig Martin bt Rory Leonard & Ciaran McAleavey 1 hole; Eddie Power & Richie Walsh halved with Connor Doran & Alastair McCully
Senior Cup, semi-finals
(0830) Galway v Laytown & Bettystown; (Galway names first) Dave Scully v Robert Cannon; Eddie McCormack v John McGinn; Damien Coyne v Stephen Barry; Damien Glynn v Russell Durnin; Joe Lyons v Padraig Rafferty
(0920) Castlerock v West Waterford, (Castlerock names first) David Mulholland v Mark Shanahan; Dan Beattie v Gary Hurley; Gordon Forbes v Philip Spratt; Aaron Kearney v David Curran; Donal Mulholland v Philip Walsh
Pierce Purcell Shield Final
(1030) Corrstown v Letterkenny
(Corrstown names first) John Dowling & Tony Merrigan v Pat McMonagle & Kieran Sweeney; John Rafferty & Joe O'Dwyer v Brian O'Donnell & Tony McMonagle; Jarlath Beagan & Gary Beagan v John Russell & Kieran Walsh; Gerry Finnerty & Fran Lawlor v Ed Margey & Brendan Roache; Ciaran Conneely & Paul O'Kane v Kenny King & Shane Sweeney
Jimmy Bruen Shield Semi Finals
(1200) Carrick on Shannon v Waterford (Carrick names first) Albert Hogg & Jack Sharkey v Anthony Aherne & Colin Lynch; Sean Bohan & Com Loftus v Anthony Mulhall & John Power; Noel Sharkey & Jason Loftus v Mark Daly & Eanna Griffin; Des Beirne & Gordon Kavanagh v Anthony Feicks & Francis Power; Noel McDermott & Tommy Mulvey v Andy Ryan & Martin Freeman
(1250) Nenagh v Foyle (Nenagh names first) Paul Moloney & Paddy Kennedy v Stuart Gauld & Cormac McGeady; Cian Heffernan & Matthew O'Gara v Chris Lynch & Kevin Dunn; Michael Corrigan & Jimmy Griffin v Brendan Barr & Martin Loughrey; Michael Scroope & Sean Forde v Damien Martin & Tony McGinley; Tom Lawor & TJ Burns v Michael Gallagher & David Knox.