Munster kept their defence of the Interprovincial Championship alive in dramatic circumstances, coming back from 3-1 down after the foursomes against Leinster in a result which, along with Ulster’s defeat of Connacht, left three teams in with a shout of taking the title at Lee Valley, writes the GUI.
Leinster will be looking for a big win against Connacht but if there is a winner in the Ulster-Munster clash, that team will take the title.
Indeed, in a moment of honesty that typified the game’s principles of honour and etiquette, Leinster’s Paul Dunne called a penalty on himself when, in attempting to remove a loose impediment behind his ball on the 18th, he inadvertantly pulled a blade of grass out of the ground.
He subsequently holed the putt for what appeared to the galleries to be a win on the hole and a halved match with Munster’s Geoff Lenehan, but immediately walked over to the referee and after reporting the facts, accepted a loss of hole penalty.
Munster still had to win the final match on the course, in which Pat Murray was all square playing the last with Gavin Moynihan, but he duly did so when he secured a solid par four after Moynihan failed to get down in two from the front of the green.
Notwithstanding Dunne’s incredible misfortune, it was a remarkable comeback by Munster as Leinster had set up a great platform against the defending champions in the Morning Foursomes.
While Kevin Phelan and Alan Thomas were in superb form to defeat Brian Casey and Irish Amateur Open champion Robbie Cannon at the 17th, Rory McNamara and Richard O’Donovan hit back for Leinster with a 2/1 victory over Gary Hurley and Kieran Lynch.
Pat Murray and Geoff Lenehan were defeated on the final green by Paul Dunne and Jack Hume, both of whom scored their third straight win of the series, while Stuart Grehan and Gavin Moynihan blitzed Niall Gorey and Gary O’Flaherty for a 6/5 victory.
Things had been much closer in the other match with Connacht frustrating Ulster’s hopes of pulling away,
despite having been leading three of the four foursomes matches for most of the morning.
Chris Selfridge and Tiarnan McLarnon scored a 2/1 win for Ulster against Stephen Healy and Declan Loftus, while Cormac Sharvin and Dermot McElroy were also victorious by that margin against Barry Anderson and Steffan O’Hara.
However, Kelan McDonagh and Stephen Brady found form around the turn and went on to beat Aaron Kearney and Nicky Grant.
And when Gary McDermott and Alex Gleeson - who had been narrowly in arrears against Harry Diamond and Reeve Whitson for most of the morning - won their match on the 18th green, it was honours even going into the singles.
However, Ulster pulled away in the afternoon five victories in the singles.
Then came the drama of the Leinster-Munster singles, in which Gary Hurley and Brian Casey halved, and then wins came for Munster from Kevin Phelan and from Leinster for Richard O’Donovan and Stuart Grehan.
That was all before the half hour of drama in which - in addition to the wins recorded by Lenehan and Murray - Gary O’Flaherty defeated also Jack Hume on the 18th green, holing an eight-foot slider to seal his win.
Senior Interprovincial Matches, Lee Valley Golf Club
Tuesday 23 July 2013
All matches off the first tee
Munster 5.5 Leinster 5.5 (Munster names first)
Kevin Phelan & Alan Thomas beat Robbie Cannon & Brian Casey 2/1;
Gary Hurley & Kieran Lynch lost to Rory McNamara & Richard O’Donovan 2/1;
Pat Murray & Geoff Lenehan lost to Paul Dunne & Jack Hume 1 hole;
Gary O’Flaherty & Niall Gorey lost to Gavin Moynihan & Stuart Grehan 6/5
Gary Hurley halved with Brian Casey;
Kevin Phelan beat Rory McNamara 2/1;
Alan Thomas lost to Richard O’Donovan 2 holes;
Geoff Lenehan beat Paul Dunne 2 holes;
Gary O’Flaherty beat Jack Hume 1 hole;
Pat Murray beat Gavin Moynihan 1 hole;
Niall Gorey lost to Stuart Grehan 5/3
Ulster 7 Connacht 4 (Ulster names first)
Reeve Whitson & Harry Diamond lost to Gary McDermott & Alex Gleeson 1 hole;
Chris Selfridge & Tiarnan McLarnon beat Stephen Healy & Declan Loftus 2/1;
Cormac Sharvin & Dermot McElroy beat Barry Anderson & Steffan O’Hara 2/1;
Aaron Kearney & Nicky Grant lost to Kelan McDonagh & Stephen Brady 3/1
Cormac Sharvin beat Gary McDermott 1 hole;
Reeve Whitson beat Barry Anderson 4/3;
Aaron Kearney lost to Stephen Healy 1 hole;
Dermot McElroy beat Steffan O’Hara 4/3;
Harry Diamond beat Stephen Brady 3/2;
Tiarnan McLarnon lost to Alex Gleeson 5/4;
Nicky Grant beat Declan Loftus 1 hole
Draw for Thursday 25 July
Leinster v Connacht (Leinster names first)
Foursomes (0800 at nine-minute intervals)
Robbie Cannon & Brian Casey v Gary McDermott & Alex Gleeson
Rory McNamara & Richard O’Donovan v Stephen Healy & Declan Loftus
Paul Dunne & Jack Hume v Barry Anderson & Steffan O’Hara
Gavin Moynihan & Stuart Grehan v Kelan McDonagh & Stephen Brady
Singles (1300 at eight-minute intervals)
Robbie Cannon v Gary McDermott
Brian Casey v Stephen Healy
Rory McNamara v Barry Anderson
Paul Dunne v Alex Gleeson
Jack Hume v Stephen Brady
Gavin Moynihan v Kelan McDonagh
Stuart Grehan v Declan Loftus
Ulster v Munster (Ulster names first)
Foursomes (0836 at nine-minute intervals)
Reeve Whitson & Harry Diamond v Kevin Phelan & Alan Thomas
Cormac Sharvin & Dermot McElroy v Gary O’Flaherty & Niall Gorey
Chris Selfridge & Tiarnan McLarnon v Gary Hurley & Kieran Lynch
Nicky Grant & Aaron Kearney v Pat Murray & Geoff Lenehan
Singles (1356 at eight-minute intervals)
Chris Selfridge v Kevin Phelan
Reeve Whitson v Gary Hurley
Cormac Sharvin v Geoff Lenehan
Dermot McElroy v Alan Thomas
Harry Diamond v Niall Gorey
Aaron Kearney v Gary O’Flaherty
Nicky Grant v Pat Murray