Mehaffey the favourite as Sexton keeps Irish Women's Close dream alive
Killarney's Mairead Martin showed why she's one of Ireland's future stars when she took world No  Olivia Mehaffey to the 18th in the Irish Women's Close at Lahinch

Killarney's Mairead Martin showed why she's one of Ireland's future stars when she took world No  Olivia Mehaffey to the 18th in the Irish Women's Close at Lahinch

Maria Dunne and Olivia Mehaffey will take on Walker Cup heroes Jack Hume and Gary Hurley in a warm up for the Curtis Cup at Dun Laoghaire on May 27.

But while there is sure to be fun and fireworks that day, it was all business at Lahinch where Mehaffey got the better of her international team mate Dunne in the quarter-finals of the Irish Women’s Close, coming from behind to beat the Skerries star 2 and 1 and set up a semi-final showdown with Tipperary’s Aoife Lowry today.

As home favourite Sinead Sexton beat Killarney’s Valerie Clancy 5 and 3 to set up a last four meeting with Malone’s Louise Coffey, who was a 1 up winner over Milltown’s up-and-coming Georgia Carr, Mehaffey had to dig deep on another sun-kissed day at the Co Clare links.

In the morning, the world No 8 had to work hard to see off girls’ star Mairead Martin, who birdied the ninth 10th and 14th to be all square.

However, the Royal County Down Ladies talent was one up playing the 18th, where she made birdie to secure a two up win that was anything but easy.

It was a similar story against Dunne, who was one up at the turn and still one up with five holes to go.

However, she found herself one down with two to go when Mehaffey chipped in for a winning two at the 16th and then closed out the match at the next.

Leading qualifier Sexton continued her good form as she overcame Doneraile’s Paula Walsh on the home green in the morning.

Lowry was up from the start against Ballinrobe’s Shannon Burke and held her lead as she finished the match on the 17th to book her date with Mehaffey in tomorrow’s semi-final.

Coffey remained focused as she beat 2014 Irish Close Champion Mary Doyle  from The Heath in the morning match and saw off Carr, who had a strong tournament in defeating Niamh McSherry and local Sarah Cunningham.

In the Play, Naas’ Anne McCormack will face Carlow’s Aedin Murphy with the winner to face Kilkenny’s Orla Dunphy or Grange’s Elisa Corcoran in the final

McCormack kicked off the day with an exciting 19th hole win over Lahinch’s Valerie Shannon before beating girls’ international Lisa O’Shea from Shannon on the 15th.

In the bottom half of the draw,  Dunphy had a tough match this morning but she mastered the 19th hole to overcome talented Maeve Rooney (Co. Sligo). 

Dunphy then saw off Killarney’s Catriona Griffin on the 16th in the afternoon quarter-final and will take on girls’ international Corcoran, who had a great win over Roscrea’s Clodagh Jones before coming back from two down with two to play against Carlow’s Karen Delaney winning the 17, 18th and then the 19th to progress to today’s semi-final. 

The Ladies and Girls’ Teams for the European Team Championships are being selected and team announcements will be available via on Tuesday 24th May at 12pm.

Irish Women’s Close Championship, Lahinch 

Championship Semi-Final Match Play – 15/05/16

  1. 08:50 Sinead Sexton (Lahinch) v Louise Coffey (Malone)
  2. 09:00 Aoife Lowry (Tipperary) v Olivia Mehaffey (RCDL)

Championship  Quarter-Final Match Play – 14/05/16

  1. Sinead Sexton (Lahinch) beat Valerie Clancy (Killarney) 5/3
  2. Louise Coffey (Malone) beat Georgia Carr (Milltown) 1up
  3. Shannon Burke (Ballinrobe) lost to Aoife Lowry (Tipperary) 3/1 
  4. Maria Dunne (Skerries) lost to Olivia Mehaffey (RCDL) 2/1

Round 2

  1. Sinead Sexton (Lahinch) beat Paula Walsh (Doneraile) 2up
  2. Valerie Clancy (Killarney) beat Sara Byrne (Douglas) 2/1 
  3. Louise Coffey (Malone) beat Mary Doyle (The Heath) 3/2
  4. Sarah Cunningham (Ennis) lost to Georgia Carr (Milltown) 1up 
  5. Chloe Ryan (Castletroy) lost to Shannon Burke (Ballinrobe) 1up
  6. Aoife Lowry (Tipperary) beat Rachel Thompson (Cork) 4/2
  7. Maria Dunne (Skerries) beat Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden) 3/2
  8. Olivia Mehaffey (RCDL) beat Mairead Martin (Killarney) 2up

Sunday — Plate  Semi-Final Match Play – 15/05/16

  1. 08:30 Anne McCormack (Naas) v Aedin Murphy (Carlow)
  2. 08:40 Orla Dunphy (Kilkenny) v Elisa Corcoran (Grange)

Plate  Quarter Final Match Play – 14/05/16

  1. Anne McCormack (Naas) beat Lisa O'Shea (Shannon) 5/3 
  2. Aedin Murphy (Carlow) beat Ellen O'Gorman (Milltown) 3/2 
  3. Catriona Griffin (Killarney) lost to Orla Dunphy (Kilkenny) 3/2
  4. Elisa Corcoran (Grange) beat Karen Delaney (Carlow) on the 19th

Plate Match Play – 14/05/16

  1. Valerie Shannon (Lahinch) lost to Anne McCormack (Naas) on the 19th 
  2. Lisa O'Shea (Shannon) (W/O) 
  3. Gillian O'Leary (The Island) lost to Aedin Murphy (Carlow) 3/2
  4. Ellen O'Gorman (Milltown) (W/O)
  5. Olivia Lucas (Lahinch) lost to Catriona Griffin (Killarney) on the 20th 
  6. Orla Dunphy (Kilkenny) beat Maeve Rooney (Co. Sligo) on the 19th 
  7. Clodagh Jones (Roscrea) lost to Elisa Corcoran (Grange) 3/2
  8. Linda Toomey (Lahinch) lost to Karen Delaney (Carlow) 5/3