INISHOWEN clubs, Ballyliffin and North-West, have been drawn together in the second round of the 2013 Ulster Cup following Tuesday night’s GUI annual delegates meeting which was staged in Shandon Park Golf Club.
In fact, there was a larger than normal turnout and, interestingly, two of the first items on the agenda were the proposals to regionalise the Ulster Cup and the Ulster Fourball competition until the last 16 was reached.
Some of the points raised pointed to the expense incurred when travelling long distances; the reluctance of some club’s better players wishing to travel such long distances and, on the other hand, clubs that might never get to play one another can be drawn together and, as a result, forge new relationships.
After the discussion the vote opted to continue with the current format with an Ulster wide open draw and the release of the draft draws had been held up pending this decision.
Three times winners of the Ulster Cup and current holders, Letterkenny, will open their defence with a tie against Shandon Park, themselves eight times former winners.
However, the first name out of the hat was that of Foyle Golf Club and they take on Belvoir Park. Last year Lurgan made the long trip to Greencastle and this year they will again return to Inishowen to face Redcastle.
Other first round ties involving local clubs are - Donegal v Antrim; Castlereagh Hills v Rosapenna; Roe Park v Portstewart; City of Derry v Cliftonville; Kilrea v Castlerock; Co. Armagh v Ballybofey & Stranorlar and Roe Park v Portstewart.
In the second round of this competition, a major battle catches the eye when Ballyliffin face North-West and in another all-Donegal tie, Greencastle take on Narin & Portnoo.
Dunfanghy and Lambeg will lock horns while Strabane will face Cairndu. Portsalon was the only other Donegal club to have secured a bye into the second round and they will meet Larne.
Meanwhile, in the popular Ulster Fourball Trophy two all-Donegal matches resulted from the open draw. Firstly, North-West have been paired with Bundoran and Redcastle will meet Donegal (Murvagh).
Another all local clash is that of City of Derry and Letterkenny while other local ties are - Strabane v Aughnacloy; Portsalon v Castle Hume; Cloverhill v Faughan Valley; Ballyiffin v Fintona; Roe Park v Ballybofey & Stranorlar and Foyle v Gracehill.
With only four sections in the Senior Cup, all of the North-West clubs will attempt to qualify at Strabane and in the Junior Cup, City of Derry is being used for the qualifying round with the top four teams to progress to the matchplay stages.
One of the original GUI’s founding clubs, North-West, will host the annual Jimmy Bruen Qualifying round and the Lisfannon club will welcome representatives from 13 other clubs for the Pierce Purcell qualifying - the competition won by Foyle Golf Club last season while the Ulster Final will be held at Letterkenny who will celebrate it’s centenary year in 2013.
Another top club in the North-West, Castlerock, has agreed to host the Barton Shield.
Both Letterkenny and Bundoran are being used as host venues for the Pierce Purcell. Joining them looking for the top four positions that lead to the matchplay stages are Aughancloy, Blacklion, Castle Hume, Cruit Island, Donegal, Dunfanaghy, Enniskillen, Fintona, Gweedore, Narin & Portnoo, Newtownstewart and Omagh - all at Bundoran, while Letterkenny will welcome Ballybofey & Stranorlar, Ballyliffin, Buncrana, City of Derry, Faughan Valley, Foyle, North-West, Otway, Portsalon, Roe Park, Rosapenna and Strabane.
In the Ulster Mixed Foursomces competition, which has been dominated by local clubs with City of Derry winning the title in 2011 followed by Rosapenna in 2012.
The local qualifying round will be played at Foyle.
Wednesday Open Stableford, November 28th - 1, Donal Boyle, 41 points; 2, break of tie, Noel Keiran, 38; gross, David Johnston, 30; 3, Eamonn Hunter, 38; first nine, John McGinley, 23; second nine, break of tie, Dan Sweeney, 21.
The C.S.S. was 37 pts.
Friday Open Stableford (14 holes), November 30th - 1, break of tie, Willie Wilkin, 31 points; 2, Anthony Gallagher. 31.
Open Fourball Better Ball (Stroke), December 1st - 1, break of tie, Michael Nelis and Ed Margey, 60 nett; 2, Paul Smyth and Andy Murray, 60; gross, Freddie Stewart and Tony Griffin, 60.
Sunday, December 2nd, Monthly Medal (Stroke) - 1, Daniel McColgan, 65 nett; 2, Peadar Curran, 66; gross, Brendan Kelly, 79; 3, Michael Kelly, 67; first nine, Cornie McMullan, 31.5; second nine, Henry Shannon, 33.
The C.S.S. was 67.
Faughan Valley Notes
Faughan Valley staged its annual presentations on Friday last at a well attended function which signalled the end of the season.
The awards were - PFS Trophy (under-50’s), Robert Curry; Ronnie Parkes Trophy (over-50’s), James Duffy; Happy Landing Trophy, Glenn Curran; Keith Cameron Trophy, Conrad Carlin; Ronnie Ross Trophy, Paul Duffy and Monthly Medal, Glenn Hinds.
The winners of the Pairs Championship were Conrad Carlin & Shane McGahon; Singles Championship, Cecil King; President’s Trophy, Scott Somers; Club Championship Trophy, Bernard Kelly; “Player of the Year” Shield, Shane McGowan.
Meanwhile, the winners of the turkey competition of sheets 14 to 19 were William O’Brien, Clifford Caldwell, Neil Duncan, Damien Boyle, John Huw Cleghorn and Edwin Gallagher.
Congratulations also to William O’Brien who carded an “ace” on the second hole in Sunday’s competition.
A reminder to members that the date for the AGM is Thursday next, December 13th commencing at 7.30 p.m. in the Clubhouse.