It came down to the last putt, in the last match, on the last green as Foyle Golf Club Club bowed out of the Chartis Europe Cups and Shields Finals in Kinsale last week after an agonising semi-final defeat at the hands of Connacht Champions Gort.
The Derry outfit had come through a tough campaign to be crowned champions of Ulster, and while they started poorly against Gort at the Co. Cork venue when losing the first two matches, rallying victories from pairings Ruarí O’Connor & Ciaran McGuinness and Kieran Bradley & Brian O’Neill set up a tense finish which was played out in front of hundreds of spectators and fellow players on the 18th green.
Kevin Crumley & Cormac Cassidy faced Gort’s Gerry Broderick & John Moylan, and the Foyle pair found themselves two-holes up after six but after losing holes seven and eight, the match came back to all square.
Foyle would go on and win the 10th and 12th, but Broderick and Moylan rallied to win the 13th and 15th holes, levelling the match with three holes to play.
Gort went on to land the tricky par four 17th, and when they halved the last hole, Foyle’s fate was sealed.
Speaking afterwards, Foyle team Captain Kevin Dunn, heaped praise on his team.
“We’re very proud of what has been acheived this year having gone so close, but next year is a new year,” he said.
“The players are heartbroken as a lot of work has been put into this competition throughout the season. When you think of it, it all came down to one putt on the 18th green after five and a half hours.
“What more can we say. We believe we have a good team coming through after having lost three or four of this particular panel for handicap purposes, but we do have a fine crop coming on,” added Kevin.
Maybe 2013 will bring Foyle closer to that coveted All-Ireland title.
The North-Western Alliance teed-off the new winter season at Letterkenny on Saturday on what proved a day of moderate scoring despite the brilliant sunshine.
The conditions proved to be a welcome respite from the recent torrential rain and the immaculate Barnhill course was set up at its most difficult with the tees on the very back and the holes cut so that everyone would be tested.
However, as has proved to be case on so many occasions, it came as no surprise that local knowledge would prove significant in the prizegiving.
In the Gross section the competition was keen on the day. Leading the way after nine was Brian McElhinney on 36 now happily restored to full fitness. He was closely pursued by no less than three competitors, one shot adrift on 37, namely Keelan Quigg, Enda Kennedy and Michael McGeady.
Two over par (38) was recently arrived professional at Ballybofey & Stranorlar, John P. Dolan. Also on 38 was Sean Quigg.
However, a sensational start to the back nine by John P. when he went birdie, birdie, par, birdie saw him move to the front by two strokes with McElhinney and McGeady his closest pursuers.
Brian finished the last five holes by dropping one shot, however, Michael had a double bogey at the 14th while Dolan also dropped a shot at 14 followed by an uglydouble bogey at the 17th but held on to win on a better back nine of 36 to Brian’s 38.
Meanwhile, in the Nett section, now scored on the Stableford system, Letterkenny member Michael Collum secured the honours over last year’s Alliance champion, Odran McGettigan.
Odran will rue a blank at the 10th He was in the lead to this point on 17 points to Michael’s 16. Michael picked up 3 points at the 10th to move ahead and he never looked back as he gained 21 points in all on the way home to Odran’s 17.
Michael also claims the annual St. Patricks Plate for this efforts. The Plate was presented to the Alliance by the great Jack Nicholas on behalf on the Walsh family from Carrigart and it commerates the former St. Patrick’s links course.
The next outing will take place at North-West Golf Club, Lisfannon, in a fortnight’s time.
Full results - N.W. Alliance outing to Letterkenny - Nett Section - 1, Michael Collum (6), Letterkenny, 37 points; 2, Odran McGettigan (25), Strabane, 36; 3, break of tie, Matthew McCauley (5), Ballybofey & Stranorlar, 34; 4, Maurice McGettigan (16), Strabane, 34; 5, break of tie, Clive Davison (14), Letterkenny, 33; 6, Eamonn O’Carroll (14), Letterkenny, 33.
Gross Section - 1, break of tie, John P. Dolan (scr), Ballybofey & Stranorlar, 74; 2, Brian McEleney (+2), Golf Ireland, 74; 3, break of tie, Keelan Quigg (scr), City of Derry, 75; 4, Michael McGeady (+2), McCambridge-Duffy, 75; 5, Enda Kennedy (+1), Rosapenna, 76; 6, Sean Quigg (1), City of Derry, 78.
“2’s” were carded by the following - N. Callan, P. MacLochlainn, C. Starrett, P. Travers, N. Sheaffer, S.C arlin, K. Doherty, J. Harding J. P. Dolan and B. McElhinney.