Kilkenny are on track for a famous double after they edged out Milltown 2-1 in the AIG Senior Foursomes semi-finals at Dundalk.
Winners of the All-Ireland Senior Cup earlier this year, they lost the bottom match when Ann Marie Dalton and ex-hockey International Mary Logue secured a huge 7 and 6 win over Mary Leahy and Phyl Doyle.
However, a 5 and 4 win for Ann Smee and Dervilla O’Byrne over Deirdre Walsh and Lydia Ensor followed by a 2 and 1 success for Sarah Molloy and Jan Browne against Anne Marie Poweell and Sarah Brophy was enough to set up a semi-final clash with Royal Portrush as East Cork face Portumna in the other side of the draw.
Kilkenny manager Eithne Murphy said: "It’s great to get the win. The golf was superb all round. Milltown are a strong team so we’re delighted to progress.”
In the AIG Intermediate Cup, Ballykisteen crushed Malone 5-0 and face Portumna in Thursday’s semi-finals with the winners to face Edmondstown or Wicklow.
The top Ballykisteen player, 13-year old Kaelin O’Keefe, was five up through six holes against Gail McNeice before being taken to extra holes.
Battler McNeice turned three down, then levelled the match on the 18th before O’Keefe rattled in a par putt on the 20th to win the match.
A relieved O’Keefe said: “I am so happy to have gotten the win. I played really well on the front nine but I left a few shots behind on the back nine.”
Realising the rest of the team had also won and were progressing to the semi-final, she added: “We can’t wait for tomorrow."
Ballinrobe reached the Minor Cup semi-finals when they beat a tough Co Tipperary outfit 3-2.
It was a very tight affair as the top two matches went down the 19th — Co Tipperary’s Liz Higgins beating Maria Burke before Louise Cribbin beat Libby Ryan at the first extra hole and Joanne Hynes saw off Margaret Ryan by 2 and 1 to put Ballinrobe 2-1 in front.
Marie O’Neill levelled the scores with a 3 and 2 win over Eileen Byrne but Ballinrobe’s Breege Costello beat Flan McGlinchy 3 and 2 in the final match to send the Mayo club into a last four for a showdown with Greystones.
A relieved Hynes said: “We are so happy that one Mayo team could get a win this week. Our supporters were fantastic and we are looking forward to tomorrow.”
Athy will face Co. Armagh in the other Minor Cup semi-final on Thursday.
AIG Ladies Cups and Shields, National Finals, Dundalk Golf Club
Intermediate Cup Quarter-Final
Malone 0 Ballykisteen 5
- Gail McNeice (15) lost to Kaelin O'Keefe (15) on the 20th
- Maeve Toner (15) lost to Jane Crowley (16) on the 18th
- Rosie Kirk (16) lost to Claire Griffin (18) 4&3
- Kay Gilbert (16) lost to Jill McCormack (18) 2 down
- Eleanor McKelvey (17) lost to Sarah Toomey (19) 4&2
Minor Cup Quarter-Final
Co. Tipperary 2 Ballinrobe 3
- Liz Higgins (24) beat Maria Burke (22) on the 19th
- Libby Ryan (24) lost to Louise Cribbin (23) on the 19th
- Margaret Ryan (25) lost to Joanne Hynes (23) 3&2
- Marie O'Neill (27) beat Eileen Byrne (24) 3&2
- Flan McGlinchy (28) lost to Breege Costello (26) 3&2
Senior Foursomes Quarter-Final
Milltown 1 Kilkenny 2
- Deirdre Walsh & Lydia Ensor (14) lost to Ann Smee & Dervilla O'Byrne (14) 5&4
- Anne Marie Powell & Sarah Brophy (15) lost to Sarah Molloy & Jan Browne (14) 2&1
- Ann Marie Dalton & Mary Logue (16) beat Mary Leahy & Phyl Doyle (17) 7&6
Thursday 22 September 2016
- 08:00 Intermediate Cup Semi Final: Edmondstown v Wicklow
- 08:45 Intermediate Cup Semi Final: Ballykisteen v Portumna
- 09:30 Minor Cup Semi Final: Athy v Co. Armagh
- 10:15 Minor Cup Semi Final: Ballinrobe v Greystones
- 11:00 Senior Foursomes Semi Final: East Cork v Portumna
- 11:30 Senior Foursomes Semi Final: Kilkenny v Royal Portrush
- 12:00 Junior Cup Quarter Final: Wexford v Belvoir Park
- 12:45 Junior Foursomes Quarter Final: Tramore v Belvoir Park
- 13:15 Challenge Cup Quarter Final: Headfort v Co. Sligo
Friday 23 September 2016
- 08:00 Junior Cup Semi Final: Wexford/Belvoir Park v Castletroy
- 08:45 Junior Cup Semi Final: Roscommon v Castle
- 09:30 Junior Foursomes Semi Final: Castlebar v Stackstown
- 10:00 Junior Foursomes Semi Final: Tramore/Belvoir Park v Cahir Park
- 10:30 Challenge Cup Semi Final: Co. Armagh v Ballybunion
- 11:15 Challenge Cup Semi Final: Headfort/Co. Sligo v Wexford#
- 12:15 Intermediate Cup Final
- 13:00 Minor Cup Final
- 13:45 Senior Foursomes Final
Saturday 24 September 2016
- 10:00 Junior Foursomes Final
- 10:40 Junior Cup Final
- 11:30 Challenge Cup Final