An emotional week for Eileen Cullen ended with Courtown claiming its first national pennant with victory in the AIG Junior Foursomes Final at Knightsbrook.
Following the death of her husband Michael on the eve of the District Finals, Eileen rejoined the team for the All Ireland finals and she came home a winner with a little help from on high, according to team manager Laura Funge, following Courtown's historic 2.5-0.5 win over Shandon Park.
“Our match in the District Final went to the 22nd hole and there is no doubt that Michael put us through," Laura said. "The whole team played for Eileen that day and it is great that we have her on the team this week.”
Following a nail=biting semi-final win over Ballina on Friday, Courtown had high hopes of ending their long wait for a national title and they were not to be denied.
Catherine Quinn and Mary Osborne put Courtown one-nil ahead with a 6&4 win in the top match and with Stella Courtney and Mary Kilbride claiming a 4&3 win at number two, Eileen and her partner Mairead Sunderland were called in and the celebrations began.
“This is a wonderful day for Courtown Golf Club,” said Laura. “After 75 years we are here as All-Ireland Champions and it’s a wonderful feeling, I am so delighted for the players, the Lady Captain and the Club.”
Rathfarnham and Smurfit claimed the remaining titles on the final day of the fourth edition of the AIG Ladies Cups and Shields.
Carol Loftus clinched the winning point in the AIG Junior Cup Final as Rathfarnham beat East Cork 3.5-1.5.
Once Lynda Keartland and Pamela Cassidy had carded early victories, Loftus, who was two up with three holes to play, produced a nerveless finish to give East Leinster its first green pennant since Dublin City won the Junior Cup in 2009.
In the AIG Challenge Cup Final, Smurfit beat Macroom 3.5-1.5 with Maire Kearns defeating Noreen O’Sullivan in the 20th in the decisive match.
AIG has been the title sponsor of the AIG Ladies Cups and Shields since 2015 and ILGU President Vonnie Noonan expressed the Union's gratitude for their continued support.
“AIG is a major sponsor of GAA Football, Hurling and Camogie teams as well as men’s and ladies tennis and amateur golf," she said. "We are privileged to be in the company of these great national sporting bodies.
"AIG’s continued generosity in supporting Irish women’s amateur golf is very much appreciated by the ILGU and clubs across the country.”
The AIG Cups and Shields will return to Knightsbrook in 2019.
AIG Cups and Shields Finals, Knightsbrook Hotel & Golf Resort
AIG Junior Foursomes Final
Shandon Park 0.5 Courtown 2.5 (Shandon Park names first)
D Thompson & G Harran lost to C Quinn & M Osborne 6&4,
D Sweeney & L McCaffrey lost to S Courtney & M Kilbride 4&3,
B Marson & M Thompson halved with E Cullen & M Sunderland (called-in)
AIG Junior Cup Final
East Cork 1.5 Rathfarnham 3.5 (East Cork names first)
D O’Mahony lost to L Keartland 5&4,
M Ní Mhurchu lost to C Loftus 2 holes,
T McCarthy lost to P Cassidy 6&5,
S O’Leary bt O Gibbons 4&3,
A O’Connell halved with A Brislane (called-in)
AIG Challenge Cup Final
Macroom 1.5 Smurfit 3.5 (Macroom names first)
N O’Sullivan lost to M Kearns 20th,
C Breathnach lost to Z Martin 4&3,
M Keating bt M Burke 4&3,
G Cullinane lost to L Mooney 3&2,
A Piotrowski halved with C Madhaven (called-in)