O'Donnell wins Mid West Alliance opener

Shannon's Jason O'Donnell drew first blood in the opening Mid West Alliance outing of 2014 at Dromoland Castle.

He claimed the 0-3 category prize in the first round of the competition when he came back from a three-putt bogey at the par-five 11th to cover his last seven holes in four under par and win with a sensational score of 40 points gross.

That was good enough to edge out former South of Ireland champion and Monkstown professional Cian McNamara and Dromoland's Nicky Duggan (39 pts) by a single point.

In the 4-9 handicap category (stableford nett), former Clare senior hurling star Alan Neville played through the pain barrier to finish up a runaway winner with 47 points.

A nine-handicapper from Dromoland with two senior championship medals to his credit, Neville pulled a hip muscle after only four holes but kept going to win by four points from Limerick five-handicapper Dermott Gallagher, who had 43 points.

Brian Lenihan and Dromoland's David Casey (9) were third with 41 points while the nearest to the pin winners were Galway's Ronan Mullarney (7th), Brian Lenihan (13th) and Shannon's Jason O'Donnell (17th).

The most birdies category was won by Galway's Patrick Small with seven. 

Seamus McInerney reported: "Despite the terrible storms that have battered County Clare in recent weeks, the course was remarkably solid underfoot and the greens were rolling nicely." 

The second round of the Mid West Alliance takes place at Dromoland Castle next Sunday, January 26.