Castle will meet Castletroy in Thursday's AIG Junior Cup final after teenager Ben Murray secured the crucial point in their semi-final victory against Warrenpoint, writes the GUI.
Murray, the youngest member of the team, closed out his match on the 17th as the south Dublin club edge ever closer to that elusive green pennant.
The experienced Harry Gleeson, who managed the club to Senior Cup success in 2012, won his game at the top of the order after Fergal Walsh had put the first point on the board with an emphatic 5&4 victory in game three.
“Fergal was always in control of his match,” said Castle team manager Barry McConville. “Finishing early and putting that first point on the board was very important. It was a bit of a momentum swinger.”
McConville's side has a potent mix of youth and experience – anchor man Gerry Moran is an uncle of Kevin who played at number four in the order and celebrates his 18th birthday on Thursday.
“We know it's only half the job done,” said team manager McConville. “We've won four Leinster pennants in 10 years. We haven't got the green one yet and that's the target this year.”
Castle's preparations began as far back as October and their investment in team golf could yet garner the ultimate reward in the AIG Junior Cup Final.
Standing in their way are Munster champions, Castletroy, who beat Athenry 4-1 in the second semi-final on the O'Meara course at Carton House.
Michael Murphy won the decisive point for the Limerick men with a 4&3 win against Michael Kennelly.
Murphy has been a saviour for Castletroy throughout their Junior Cup campaign – he produced a spectacular birdie-eagle finish to seal the winning point in the anchor leg of their Munster semi-final victory against Muskerry.
Murphy was called on again in the Munster final against West Waterford, where he secured Castletroy's victory on the 17th green.
Colm Geary – a brother of highly regarded Limerick hurler Brian – put Castletroy's first point on the board against Athenry with a 3&2 win in game two after teenager Jonathan McDonnell, son of the team manager Johnny, was beaten in the opening game.
Brendan Reidy won a second point for Castletroy in game four before Murphy followed suit in the anchor leg to give the Limerick club a shot at winning their first All-Ireland title since 1972.
AIG JUNIOR CUP
Semi-Finals _ Wednesday 17th September, 2014
Castle 4 Warrenpoint 1 (Castle names first)
- Harry Gleeson bt Paddy Magee 2/1;
- Ben Murray bt Jack Campbell 2/1;
- Fergal Walsh bt Shane McMahon 5/4;
- Kevin Moran halved with Michael McGurk;
- Gerry Moran halved with Stanley Weir
Castletroy 3.5 Athenry 1.5 (Castletroy names first)
- Jonathan McDonnell lost to Darragh Conlon 6/5;
- Colm Geary bt Brian O'Connor 3/2;
- Keith Bermingham halved with Louis O'Hara;
- Brendan Reidy bt Thomas Reaney 5/4;
- Michael Murphy bt Michael Kennelly 4/3
Thursday 18th September, 2014
AIG Junior Cup Final
10.20am — Castle v Castletroy (Castle names first)
- Harry Gleeson v Jonathan McDonnell;
- Ben Murray v Colmn Geary;
- Fergal Walsh v Keith Bermingham;
- Kevin Moran v Brendan Reidy;
- Gerry Moran v Michael Murphy
* Copy courtesy of AIG/GUI