Reeve Whitson won both his matches for Ulster on the opening day of the Interprovincial Matches at Royal County Down. Picture by Pat CashmanUlster put down a marker on the opening day of the Interprovincial Matches with a crushing 9-2 win over Leinster at Royal County Down.

As defending champions Connacht lost 6.5 - 4.5 to Munster, Ulster opened a 3-1 lead over Leinster in the foursomes before winning the top five singles.

In fact, were it not for two halved matches from Eugene Smith and Simon Ward - playing against Colm Campbell and Michael Sinclair respectively - the home province would have completed a clean sweep in the afternoon.

Leinster had struck first in the morning through the Headfort pairing of Brian Casey and Rory McNamara, who were 4 and 3 victors over Chris Selfridge and Matt McAlpin.

However, Nicky Grant and Dermot McElroy struck back for Ulster with a 4 and 3 win of their own against Andrew Hogan and Eugene Smith.

Reeve Whitson and Harry Diamond put Ulster ahead when they beat Richard O’Donovan and Paul Dunne by 2 holes.

The crucial turnaround for Ulster came when Michael Sinclair and Colm Campbell defeated Simon Ward and Jack Hume on the 18th green, having been three down at the turn.

Connacht, meanwhile, have it all to do if they are to retain the title they won in such dramatic fashion last year following their defeat to Munster.

They shared the opening foursomes series but were hit with an early withdrawal when Gary McDermott fell ill overnight - meaning his foursome match in partnership with Steffan O’Hara against Pat Murray and Ian O’Rourke was declared a half.

Munster took the lead when Kevin Phelan and Alan Thomas defeated Sean Cannon and Stephen Healy by 5 and 4, before Connacht hit back through Eddie McCormack and Barry Anderson, who held on to edge out Gary Hurley and Geoff Lenehan on the 18th green.

In the final match, Gary O’Flaherty and Niall Gorey took an early lead, but were pulled back by Joe Lyons and Michael Durcan, the match ending all square.

In the Boys Interprovincials, Munster recovered from a slow start to keep the defence of the title they won last year in Co Sligo well on course.

They beat Connacht by 6.5-3.5, the basis for which were the singles successes of Robin Dawson, James Sugrue, Daniel Brennan and Conor Coyne.

They had led Connacht by two matches to one after wins on the 16th green for the pairings of Sugrue and Paul McCarthy and Coyne and Brennan over Ryan O’Doherty and Cathal O’Byrne and John Igoe and Ronan Mullarney respectively.

In the top match, Connacht scored a 6 and 5 win through the in-form Alex Gleeson and Sean Flanagan over Dawson and David Whitty.

Meanwhile, Leinster beat Ulster in a dramatic finish. After sharing the foursomes, Leinster hit the ground running in the singles with victories from Alex Myles, Evan Farrell and Gavin Moynihan.

However, Ulster hit back with wins coming from WIlliam Russell, Irish Boys champion Gareth Lappin and Tim Jordan.

It all came down to the game between Paul McBride and Matthew Kane, with the match swinging first in the direction of the Ulster man, who was three up after nine, but a sensational back nine from McBride secured a one-hole win and victory for Leinster.

Ulster had hit the ground running against Leinster, bouyed by a strong performance in the top match by John Ross Galbraith and Jordan in dispatching Irish Amateur Open champion Moynihan and Niall Foley by 5 and 3.

However, Leinster came back strongly, with David Foy and Farrell turning around an early deficit to win by 3/1 over Jordan Hood and Lappin.

The match between the pairings of McBride/Jack Walsh and Russell/Kane finished all square to leave things delicately poised at 1 1/2 - 1 1/2 going into the afternoon singles, before - after many dramatic twists - Leinster ran out winners by the narrowest of margins.


Munster 6.5 Connacht 4.5 (Munster names first)


Kevin Phelan & Alan Thomas bt Sean Cannon & Stephen Healy 5/4;

Gary Hurley & Geoff Lenehan lost to Eddie McCormack & Barry Anderson 1 hole;

Pat Murray & Ian O’Rourke halved with Gary McDermott & Steffan O’Hara;

Gary O’Flaherty & Niall Gorey halved with Michael Durcan & Joe Lyons.



Kevin Phelan bt Eddie McCormack 2/1;

Gary Hurley lost to Michael Durcan 4/2;

Sean Cannon halved with Geoff Lenehan;

Ian O’Rourke bt Barry Anderson 3/2;

Pat Murray lost to Stephen Healy 1 hole;

Gary O’Flaherty bt Steffan O’Hara 2/1;

Alan Thomas bt Joe Lyons 4/3.


Ulster 9 Leinster 2 (Ulster names first)


Reeve Whitson & Harry Diamond bt Richard O’Donovan & Paul Dunne 2 holes;

Chris Selfridge & Matt McAlpin lost to Rory McNamara & Brian Casey 4/3;

Nicky Grant & Dermot McElroy bt Andrew Hogan & Eugene Smith 4/3;

Michael Sinclair & Colm Campbell bt Simon Ward & Jack Hume 2 holes.



Chris Selfridge bt Richard O’Donovan 4/3;

Reeve Whitson bt Paul Dunne 2 holes;

Dermot McElroy bt Rory McNamara 1 hole;

Harry Diamond bt Brian Casey 4/3;

Nicky Grant bt Andrew Hogan 1 hole;

Colm Campbell halved with Eugene Smith;

Michael Sinclair halved with Simon Ward


Munster v Leinster (Munster names first)

Foursomes (0800)

Kevin Phelan & Alan Thomas v Richard O’Donovan & Eugene Smyth;

Pat Murray & Geoff Lenehan v Rory McNamara & Brian Casey;

Ian O’Rourke & Gary Hurley v Simon Ward & Jack Hume;

Niall Gorey & Gary O’Flaherty v Paul Dunne & Andrew Hogan


Singles (1300)

Kevin Phelan v Paul Dunne;

Geoff Lenehan v Rory McNamara;

Gary Hurley v Andrew Hogan;

Ian O’Rourke v Richard O’Donovan;

Pat Murray v Jack Hume;

Niall Gorey v Brian Casey;

Alan Thomas v Simon Ward


Ulster v Connacht (Ulster names first)

Foursomes (0836)

Reeve Whitson & Harry Diamond v Gary McDermott & Steffan O’Hara;

Nicky Grant & Dermot McElroy v Joe Lyons & Michael Durcan;

Chris Selfridge & Matt McAlpin v Stephen Healy & Sean Cannon;

Michael Sinclair & Colm Campbell v Eddie McCormack & Barry Anderson


Singles (1352)

Chris Selfridge v Michael Durcan;

Reeve Whitson v Gary McDermott;

Harry Diamond v Eddie McCormack;

Dermot McElroy v Joe Lyons;

Nicky Grant v Stephen Healy;

Matt McAlpin v Steffan O’Hara;

Colm Campbell v Barry Anderson



Tuesday 24th July

Munster 6.5 Connacht 3.5 (Munster names first)


Robin Dawson & David Whitty lost to Sean Flanagan & Alex Gleeson 6/5;

James Sugrue & Paul McCarthy bt Ryan O’Doherty & Cathal O’Byrne 4/2;

Conor Coyne & Daniel Brennan bt John Igoe & Ronan Mullarney 3/2



Jack Leacy halved with Ronan Mullarney;

Robin Dawson bt John Igoe 4/3;

David Whitty lost to Alex Gleeson 5/4;

James Sugrue bt Jonathan Doherty 3/1;

Paul McCarthy lost to Sean Flanagan 2/1;

Daniel Brennan bt Cathal O’Byrne 2/1;

Conor Coyne bt Ryan O’Doherty 2/1


Leinster 5.5 Ulster 4.5 (Leinster names first)


Gavin Moynihan & Niall Foley lost to John Ross Galbraith & Tim Jordan 5/3;

David Foy & Evan Farrell bt Jordan Hood & Gareth Lappin 3/1;

Paul McBride & Jack Walsh halved with William Russell & Matthew Kane



Alec Myles bt John Ross Galbraith 3/2;

Evan Farrell bt Jordan Hood 3/2;

Gavin Moynihan bt Stephen Watts 5/4;

David Foy lost to William Russell 3/1;

Jack Walsh lost to Gareth Lappin 4/2;

Niall Foley lost to Tim Jordan 3/1;

Paul McBride bt Matthew Kane 1 hole.


Wednesday 25th July

Munster v Ulster (Munster names first)

Foursomes (0800)

James Sugrue & Paul McCarthy v John Ross Galbraith & Tim Jordan

Jack Leacy & Robin Dawson v William Russell & Matthew Kane

Conor Coyne & Daniel Brennan v Stephen Watts & Gareth Lappin


Singles (1300)

Paul McCarthy v William Russell;

Robin Dawson v John Ross Galbraith;

Jack Leacy v Jordan Hood;

James Sugrue v Gareth Lappin;

Daniel Brennan v Tim Jordan;

David Whitty v Matthew Kane;

Conor Coyne v Stephen Watts


Leinster v Connacht (Leinster names first)

Foursomes (0836)

Paul McBride & Jack Walsh v Sean Flanagan & Alex Gleeson;

Evan Farrell & David Foy v Jonathan Doherty & John Igoe;

Alec Myles & Gavin Moynihan v Ronan Mullarney & Cathal O’Byrne


Singles (1334)

Niall Foley v Ryan O’Doherty;

Paul McBride v Alex Gleeson;

Evan Farrell v Cathal O’Byrne;

Gavin Moynihan v Sean Flanagan;

Jack Walsh v Jonathan Doherty;

David Foy v John Igoe;

Alec Myles v Ronan Mullarney