McLarnon magic seals Match Play for University of Ulster
 Tiarnan McLarnon won his match on the 23rd to help the University of Ulster retain the Irish Colleges Match Play Championship. Archive picture Pat Cashman  www.cashmanphotography.ie

Tiarnan McLarnon won his match on the 23rd to help the University of Ulster retain the Irish Colleges Match Play Championship. Archive picture Pat Cashman www.cashmanphotography.ie

The University of Ulster defended their Irish Colleges Match Play Championship crown in dramatic fashion at the Heritage when Tiarnan McLarnon clinched a winning par with a tremendous bunker shot at the fifth extra playoff hole to beat NUI Maynooth's Shaun Carter. 

Ulster had taken the early lead with Paula Grant taking out NUIM's Declan Loftus by 7 and 6, and when reigning Intervarsity champion Gribben defeated Gary Hurley things looked good for Ulster.

However, Sinead Sexton's victory over Matt McClean brought NUIM back into contention, and Alan Lowry recovered from a mid-round crisis, in which he lost three consecutive holes to wipe out a three-hole lead, to also win at the 17th.

 Shaun Carter. Archive picture Pat Cashman /  www.cashmanphotography.ie

Shaun Carter. Archive picture Pat Cashman / www.cashmanphotography.ie

It was always likely to come down to the top match between Irish Youths champion McLarnon and double Intervarsity Series winner Carter, where the lead changed hands a number of times over the back nine.

Level playing the 17th, McLarnon rolled in a putt of some 50 feet to take the lead. However, Carter wasn't long in responding, crushing a long drive down the last, playing a medium iron approach to 10 feet and rolling in the putt for a birdie to bring the match to tie holes.

After sharing the 19th, 20th, 21st and 22nd, both players struggled on the par-four fifth. Neither found the green, Carter chipping to eight feet. 

But McLarnon splashed out of a deep bunker to leave his ball stone dead, and in the gathering gloom Carter's resolve finally broke when his putt to keep the match alive shaved the hole.

Meanwhile, in the final of the Plate competition - which involves the losers of the first and second round matches in the premier event - NUI Maynooth found themselves also facing the University of Ulster, but this time came out on top thanks to victories for Gary Shaw, Stephen Kinch, Eoin O'Brien and Ross Dutton.

Irish Colleges Match Play Championship, All-Ireland Finals, The Heritage

FINAL: NUI Maynooth (A) 2 University of Ulster (A) 3 

(NUI Maynooth (A) names first)

Shaun Carter lost to Tiarnan McLarnon at the 23rd

Sinead  Sexton beat Matthew McClean 2/1 

Gary  Hurley lost to Ryan Gribben 2/1 

Declan  Loftus lost to Paula Grant 7/6 

Alan Lowry beat William Russell 3/1


SEMI-FINAL 1: NUI Maynooth (A) 3.5 University College Dublin 1.5

(NUI Maynooth (A) names first)

Shaun Carter beat Robbie Pierse 4/2

Sinead  Sexton beat Jon Yates 3/2

Gary  Hurley beat Jack Ryan 3/2

Declan  Loftus halved with Darragh O'Sullivan 

Alan Lowry lost to Chloe Ryan 3/2


SEMI-FINAL 2: University of Ulster (A) 4 Trinity College Redhawks 1

(Ulster (A) names first)

Tiarnan McLarnon beat Darragh Coghlan 1 hole

Paula Grant lost to Ruairi Keneally 3/2

William Russell beat Harry McHugh 6/5

Ryan Gribben beat Johnny O’Driscoll 6/5

James Lindsay beat Dan O’Byrne 3/2


Irish Colleges Match Play Plate (All matches starting from the 10th)

SEMI-FINAL 1: NUI Maynooth (B) 4.5 IADT Dun Laoghaire 0.5

(NUI Maynooth (B) names first)

Daragh Congdon beat Marc Nolan 4/2

Gary Shaw halved with Conor Nolan 

Stephen Kinch beat Conor McGowan 4/2

Eoin O’Brien  beat Eoin Campbell 4/3

Gerard MacNamara beat Cian O’Connor 4/3


SEMI-FINAL 2: University of Ulster (B) 4 Trinity College Bluejays 1

(University of Ulster (B) names first)

Ross Dutton beat Aaron Reen 6/5

Kiefer Toolan halved with Conor Fitzgerald 

Glen Mowat  beat Sam Devey 5/4

Roisin Brady beat Matteo Crowley 4/3

Ros Carvill halved with Eoin Hurley 


FINAL: NUI Maynooth (B) 4 University of Ulster (B) 1 

(NUI Maynooth (B) names first)

Daragh Congdon lost to Ross Dutton 2 holes 

Gary Shaw beat Chris Morrisson 1 hole 

Stephen Kinch beat Glen Mowat  5/3 

Eoin O’Brien  beat Roisin Brady 2/1 

Gerard MacNamara beat Kiefer Toolan 3/2