Cooney and Cassidy give Tullamore third "I Need Spain" Irish Mixed Foursomes
 Cait Cooney and Colm Cassidy (Tullamore) celebrate their victory on the 16th green to clinch the 2017 I Need Spain Irish Mixed Foursomes All Ireland Finals at Castlebar Golf Club (09/09/2017). Picture by  Pat Cashman

Cait Cooney and Colm Cassidy (Tullamore) celebrate their victory on the 16th green to clinch the 2017 I Need Spain Irish Mixed Foursomes All Ireland Finals at Castlebar Golf Club (09/09/2017). Picture by Pat Cashman

Colm Cassidy and Cait Cooney were the heroes as Tullamore bridged a 17-year gap and notched up their third win in the I Need Spain Irish Mixed Foursomes with a 3-2 victory over Adare Manor at Castlebar.

Having followed their win in the inaugural event in 1972 with a second triumph in 2000, they faced a stern test in Adare Manor, who beat Ulster champions Malone in the Friday's semi-finals.

Tullamore's Matthew Grehan and Fiona Flanagan won the first point of a wet and windy day with a comprehensive 5 and 4 win over Alan Purcell and Antoinette Meghen.

The Munster side squared things as Tony Davern and Ina Desmond ran beat Tullamore's Eoin Marsden and Richelle O'Neill by two holes.

Martin Darcy and Eilish O'Connell added a second point for Tullamore with a win over Martin Hayes and Breda Naughton before Eoin Moran and Phil Mann levelled things again for Adare with a 2 and 1 win over Eoin Flanagan and Emily Donohue.

The drama was left to unfold in the final match as Adare Manor's heretofore unbeaten Brian Murray and Deirdre Keating faced Cassidy and Cooney, a veteran of Tullamore's 2000 winning team Cait.

The Tullamore pair went ahead very early and took a commanding four-hole lead around the turn.

Despite the best efforts of Murray and Keating, the damage inflicted early on was too much and victory was sealed for Tullamore in front of a thronged gallery on the par-three 16th green next to the clubhouse.

 Peter Sinclair (President, GUI), Vonnie Noonan (President, ILGU), Kathryn Mac Donnell (Spanish Tourist Board) with Tony Flanagan (Captain, Tullamore Golf Club) and Olive Carragher (Lady Captain, Tullamore Golf Club) with in front (from left) Joe Morris and Una Marsden (Joint Team Managers). The victorious Tullamore Team at back (from left) Paul Galvin, Matthew Grehan, Eoin Marsden, Eoin Flanagan, Martin Darcy, Colm Cassidy and Declan Farrell. Centre (from left) Fiona Flanagan, Richelle O'Neill, Emily Donohue, Eilish O'Connell, Eileen Kinsella, Cait Cooney and Ann Wynne after their victory in the 2017 I Need Spain Irish Mixed Foursomes All Ireland Finals at Castlebar Golf Club (09/09/2017). Picture by  Pat Cashman

Peter Sinclair (President, GUI), Vonnie Noonan (President, ILGU), Kathryn Mac Donnell (Spanish Tourist Board) with Tony Flanagan (Captain, Tullamore Golf Club) and Olive Carragher (Lady Captain, Tullamore Golf Club) with in front (from left) Joe Morris and Una Marsden (Joint Team Managers). The victorious Tullamore Team at back (from left) Paul Galvin, Matthew Grehan, Eoin Marsden, Eoin Flanagan, Martin Darcy, Colm Cassidy and Declan Farrell. Centre (from left) Fiona Flanagan, Richelle O'Neill, Emily Donohue, Eilish O'Connell, Eileen Kinsella, Cait Cooney and Ann Wynne after their victory in the 2017 I Need Spain Irish Mixed Foursomes All Ireland Finals at Castlebar Golf Club (09/09/2017). Picture by Pat Cashman

It was an emotional day for Cooney, the self-confessed ‘granny’ of the team.

"I’m absolutely elated," she said. "It means so much to me to be part of this team this year because I have a lot of memories of 2000 but I won’t go there now.

"I must thank my partner Colm who was an absolute pleasure to play with and he won this match for me.”

The side was captained by Joe Morris and Una Marsden.

“It’s brilliant!” Morris beamed afterwards. “It’s a wonderful achievement. We knew we had a very strong team when Una and I put this team together. It came to fruition thank god.”

The Tullamore side gelled very well in both the semi-final against Athenry and in the final.

“They gelled brilliantly," Marsden added. "There’s no real secret, they all bonded very well and got on very well. They all practised together, it was great.”

 Tony Flanagan (Captain, Tullamore Golf Club) with Olive Carragher (Lady Captain, Tullamore Golf Club) with Eamon Buggy (winner 1972) and Cait Cooney (Winner 2000 and 2017) at the 2017 I Need Spain Irish Mixed Foursomes All Ireland Finals at Castlebar Golf Club (09/09/2017). Picture by  Pat Cashman

Tony Flanagan (Captain, Tullamore Golf Club) with Olive Carragher (Lady Captain, Tullamore Golf Club) with Eamon Buggy (winner 1972) and Cait Cooney (Winner 2000 and 2017) at the 2017 I Need Spain Irish Mixed Foursomes All Ireland Finals at Castlebar Golf Club (09/09/2017). Picture by Pat Cashman

I Need Spain Irish Mixed Foursomes, Castlebar Golf Club

Final

Tullamore 3 Adare Manor 2

(Tullamore names first)

  1. Eoin Marsden & Richelle O'Neill lost to Tony Davern & Ina Desmond 2 holes;
  2. Matthew Grehan & Fiona Flanagan bt Alan Purcell & Antoinette Meghen 5/4;
  3. Eoin Flanagan & Emily Donohue lost to Eoin Moran & Phil Mann 2/1;
  4. Martin Darcy & Eilish O'Connell bt Martin Hayes & Breda Naughton 5/4;
  5. Colm Cassidy & Cait Cooney bt Brian Murray & Deirdre Keating 3/2.