All to play for as Irish Women's Close reaches semi-final stage

All to play for as Irish Women's Close reaches semi-final stage
Ciara Casey. Picture:  Pat Cashman

Ciara Casey. Picture: Pat Cashman

Ciara Casey might have been unlucky to miss out on selection for the six-strong side for next month’s European Women’s Team Championship but she’s on course to turn some fine form into silverware in the Irish Women’s Amateur Close at Mullingar.

The Hermitage star beat Douglas’ Junior Vagliano Trophy player Sara Byrne one up in the morning before defeating Killarney’s Valerie Clancy 4 and 3 in the quarter-finals to set up a semi-final showdown with New Ross’ Mary Dowling on Sunday morning.

Lurgan’s Paul Grant continued her consistent run of form by following a 6 and 5 win over Kilkenny' Orla Dunphy with a 2 and 1 win over Shannon's Lisa O’Shea to set up a semi-final meeting with Ennis' Sarah Cunningham.

Sarah overcame Lurgan’s Maeve Cummins on the 19th before beating Niamh McSherry, who had an albatross at the par-five 14th in a 2 and 1 morning win over Cork's Rachel Thompson, by  2 and 1 in the quarter-finals.

Top qualifier Mairead Martin from Kanturk bowed out in the second round to Irish Women's Strokeplay champion Maria Dunne.

Dunne, who will travel to the Vagliano Trophy to represent GB&I next week, showed her class early, winning the first hole and keeping her lead before finishing the match on the 14th with a 5 and 4 win. 

But she had now answer to Dowling, who overcame Elm Park’s Ariana Coyle Diez’ on the 18th in the last 16, in the quarter-finals. 

Two down after nine, Dowling completed a deserved 4 and 3 win with a fantastic up and down for par on the 15th.
In the Ita Wallace Plate, Doneraile's Paula Walsh took on Castletroy's Chloe Ryan in an all Munster quarter-final. 

Walsh, the current Munster Women’s champion, was two up at the turn but by the 12th the Irish International had squared the match and went on to win 4 and 2. 

Alice Hutchinson (St. Anne’s) and Shannon Burke (Ballinrobe/MU), both members of the ILGU National Funded Performance Panel, faced each other in the second match. 

A quick start from the Maynooth University Scholar saw her go five up through six and the deficit too much for Hutchinson, who fell by 7 and 5. 

In the bottom half of the draw, Royal Portrush's Emma Forbes lost to Irish Girls’ International Lauren Walsh from Castlewarden who now faces Hermitage's Kate Lanigan, who beat 14-year old Beth Coulter (Kirkistown Castle) at the 19th.
Sunday’s action begins with the Ita Wallace Plate semi-finals from 8.30 am and the Championship semi-finals from 8.50 am.

Irish Women's Close Championship, Mullingar GC

Semi Finals

  1. 08:50 Mary Dowling (New Ross) vs. Ciara Casey (Hermitage)
  2. 09:00 Sarah Cunningham (Ennis) vs. Paula Grant (Lisburn)

Quarter Finals

  1. Maria Dunne (Skerries) lost to Mary Dowling (New Ross) 4&3
  2. Ciara Casey (Hermitage) beat Valerie Clancy (Killarney) 4&3
  3. Sarah Cunningham (Ennis) beat Niamh McSherry (Lurgan) 2&1
  4. Paula Grant (Lisburn) beat Lisa O’Shea (Shannon) 2&1

 Last 16 

  1. Mairead Martin (Kanturk) lost to Maria Dunne (Skerries) 4&3
  2. Ariana Coyle Diez (Elm Park) lost to Mary Dowling (New Ross) 1 down
  3. Ciara Casey (Hermitage) beat Sara Byrne (Douglas) 1 up
  4. Valerie Clancy (Killarney) beat Eleanor Metcalfe (Laytown & Bettystown) 4&3
  5. Sarah Cunningham (Ennis) beat Maeve Cummins (Lurgan) 19th
  6. Rachel Thompson (Cork) lost to Niamh McSherry (Lurgan) 1 down
  7. Paula Grant (Lisburn) beat Orla Dunphy (Kilkenny) 6&5
  8. Sinead Sexton (Lahinch) lost to Lisa O’Shea (Shannon) 2&1

Ita Wallace Plate


  1. 08:30 Chloe Ryan (Castletroy) vs. Shannon Burke (Ballinrobe)
  2. 08:40 Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden) vs. Kate Lanigan (Hermitage)

Quarter Finals

  1. Paula Walsh (Doneraile) lost to Chloe Ryan (Castletroy) 4&2
  2. Alice Hutchinson (St. Anne’s) lost to Shannon Burke (Ballinrobe) 7&5
  3. Emma Forbes (Royal Portrush) lost to Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden) 2 holes
  4. Beth Coulter (Kirkistown Castle) lost to Kate Lanigan (Hermitage) 19th

Last 16

  1. Paula Walsh (Doneraile) beat Clodagh Walsh (Castlewarden/MU) 2&1
  2. Chloe Ryan (Castletroy) beat Louise Coffey (Malone) W/O
  3. Anna Dawson (Tramore) lost to Alice Hutchinson (St. Anne’s) 8&6
  4. Shannon Burke (Ballinrobe/MU) beat Aine Donegan (Woodstock) 2&1
  5. Emma Forbes (Royal Portrush) beat Meadhbh Doyle (Portarlington/MU) 1up
  6. Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden) beat Kate Dwyer (Rossmore) 5&4
  7. Roisin Brady (Co. Louth) lost to Beth Coulter (Kirkistown Castle) 4&2
  8. Kate Lanigan (Hermitage) beat Aoife Lowry (Tipperary) 3&2

First Round

  1. Mairead Martin (Kanturk) beat Paula Walsh (Doneraile) 3&2
  2. Maria Dunne (Skerries) beat Clodagh Walsh (Castlewarden/MU) 4&3
  3. Ariana Coyle Diez (Elm Park) beat Chloe Ryan (Castletroy/UCD) 4&3    
  4. Mary Dowling (New Ross) beat Louise Coffey (Malone) 6&5
  5. Ciara Casey (Hermitage) beat Anna Dawson (Tramore) 4&3   
  6. Sara Byrne (Douglas) beat Alice Hutchinson (St. Anne's) 2&1   
  7. Shannon Burke (Ballinrobe/MU) lost to Valerie Clancy (Killarney) 3&1  
  8. Aine Donegan (Woodstock) lost to Eleanor Metcalfe (Laytown & Bettystown) 22nd     
  9. Sarah Cunningham (Ennis) beat Emma Forbes (Royal Portrush) 2&1    
  10. Meadhbh Doyle (Portarlington/MU) lost to Maeve Cummins (Lurgan) 4&3   
  11. Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden) lost to Rachel Thompson (Cork) 2&1  
  12. Niamh McSherry (Lurgan) beat Kate Dwyer (Rossmore) 3&2   
  13. Paula Grant (Lisburn) beat Roisin Brady (Co. Louth) 5&4
  14. Beth Coulter (Kirkistown Castle) lost to Orla Dunphy (Kilkenny) 3&1
  15. Sinead Sexton (Lahinch) beat Kate Lanigan (Hermitage) 19th
  16. Lisa O'Shea (Shannon) beat Aoife Lowry (Tipperary) 19th