Munster golf was the big winner at the AIG Ladies Cups and Shields Finals as Killarney, Cahir Park and Limerick joined Lee Valley as All Ireland champions.
It was a memorable week at leafy Malone Golf Club in the south Belfast suburbs and a nail-biting one too as Killarney beat Roscommon 2-1 to add the AIG Ladies Senior Foursomes title to the All Ireland Ladies Senior Cup pennant they claimed in August.
After Lee Valley beat Mountbellew 4-1 to claim the AIG Minor Cup on Friday, the Senior Foursomes and Intermediate Cup finals were suspended because of darkness with both already in extra holes.
While Mary Sheehy and Fidelma O’Connor won their match for the Munster side on the 18th and Roscommon's Ruth Lennon and Ciara Hereward-Ryan made it 1-1 with a 5 and 3 win, the final match between Roscommon's Rosemary O’Brien and Paula Quinn and Killarney's Eimear O’Donnell and Amy Arthur was still undecided after 20 holes.
In the end, it went the Kerry club's way when it resumed at 10 am on Saturday, with O'Donnell holing a five-footer for par on the 21st to give them the AIG Senior Foursomes.
It took even longer to decided the AIG Intermediate Cup final was with Carton House's Ann McQuillan and Cahir Park's Patricia Browne, still deadlocked after four extra holes, forced to return on Saturday.
And it was the Tipperary club that claimed its first All Ireland pennant on the 23rd with Browne hitting a spectacular bunker shot almost stone dead to secure a win in bogey five on the index-one fifth to sure a 3-2 win.
"It's fantastic to win our first All Ireland," said Cahir Park's Lady Captain, Rosemary Maher. "We won the Miele Ladies Fourball a few years ago, but this was our first ILGU pennant. We are just thrilled."
Browne was four down at the turn after a nervous start but battled back to take the match to extra holes before winning with a sensational bunker shot at the 395-yard fifth that her Lady Captain described as "like something you'd see from Rory McIlroy," spinning it from the back of the green to a front flag.
There was more glory for Munster golf in the AIG Junior Cup as Limerick beat Athenry 4-1 to consign their defeat of two years ago to history.
Wins for Emma Guinnane, Fiona McGann and Siobhan Conway in the top three matches secured the title and Lady Captain Ailish Dilger insisted their defeat of 2015 was a blessing in disguise.
"It's been a fantastic year, we have had a mentality all year that if we could believe it, we could achieve it and now we have!" she said.
“Losing two years ago to Enniscorthy was very deflating but now we're back with three U19's on the team and the support from the club has been amazing, we're very proud."
There was no joy for Munster golf in the AIG Junior Foursomes as Portumna beat Ballykisteen 2.5–0.5.
Portumna’s Mary McElroy and Mary Madden added a 5 and 4 win to Mary and Brid Kelly’s 7 and 5 triumph to ensure All-Ireland AIG success for the Galway side.
East Leinster champions Malahide celebrated the club's 125-anniversary in winning fashion with a 4-1 win over Tyrone's Fintona in the AIG Challenge Cup.
Louise Lynch got Malahide’s first point with 79-year old Maire Falvey — winner this year of her third All Ireland Mother and Daughter title at Donabate — unbeaten all week, adding another before Louise Young clinched the winning point, meaning the top two matches were called in.
The 2018 AIG Ladies Cups and Shields will be held at Knightsbrook Hotel and Golf Resort in Trim, Co Meath.
AIG Ladies Cups and Shields Finals, Malone GC
AIG Intermediate Cup Final
Carton House 2 Cahir Park 3 (Carton House names first):
- E Fox bt S Carey 19th
- M Bruton lost to M Keating 7/5
- S Plunkett bt B Keating 2/1
- R McCarthy lost to J Quaid Noonan 2/1
- A McQuillan lost to P Browne 23rd.
AIG Senior Foursomes Final
Roscommon 1 Killarney 2 (Roscommon names first):
- S Benedetti/M Lalor lost to M Sheehy/F O’Connor 2h
- R Lennon/C Hereward-Ryan bt D Prendergast/A Moynihan-Rudden 5/3
- P Quinn/R O’Brien lost to E O’Donnell/A Arthur 21st.
AIG Junior Foursomes Final
Ballykisteen 0.5 Portumna 2.5 (Ballykisteen names first)
- C English/N Fahy O’Donnell lost to M Kelly/B Kelly 7/5
- S Toomey/M Toomey halved with C Cunningham/B Kilmartin (called-in)
- C Griffin/C Cussen lost to M McElroy/M Madden 5/4.
AIG Junior Cup Final
Limerick 4 Athenry 1 (Limerick names first):
- E Guinnane bt M Carr 5/3; F McGann bt N Nally 4/2
- S Conway bt P Jacobsen 4/3; E Walsh halved with N Burke (called-in)
- H Fitzgerald halved with Te Coen (called-in)
AIG Challenge Cup Final
Malahide 4 Fintona 1 (Malahide names first):
- V McCann halved with P Quinn (called-in)
- N Clark halved with B McCillen (called-in)
- L Lynch bt A Montague 5/3;
- M Falvey bt F Donnelly 5/4
- L Young bt K Donnelly 5/4.
AIG Minor Cup Final
Mountbellew 1 Lee Valley 4 (Mountbellew names first)
- R Driscoll bt K Coleman 2/1
- D Lee bt K Raftery 19th
- J O’Neill halved with G Coyne (called in)
- B O’Callaghan bt P Burke 2/1
- H Gough halved with R Devaney (called in).