NUI Maynooth players and supporters lift Barry Fennelly aloft in celebration
20 September 2012
Wins for NUIM and Donaghadee
Inspiration comes in many forms, but for the Donaghadee Junior Cup team it was in the form of two of Ulster's brightest golfing talents as the north Down club triumphed at the Chartis Europe sponsored Cups and Shields in Kinsale.
Leading by example, it was 16 year old Andrew Clegg and 15 year old Mark Rea that helped inspire the rest of Gareth Stranaghan's team, with both youngsters notching up impressive 3/2 wins against their Athenry opponents.
Rea, who was part of the Ulster Under 15 Interprovincial team that won at City of Derry last month was in control of his match from the start, never falling behind in his encounter with Sean Glynn.
“I was in control of my game. I had every part of my game, I didn’t really feel like I couldn’t hit a good shot. I played well and I was confident enough" he beamed afterwards, beside an emotional Stranaghan who was visibly emotional about the win.
“I’m absolutely gobsmacked. It means so much, it really means so much for this golf club. A major All Ireland pennant for the first time in our history and that group of guys I don’t have words to describe them anymore. They got control of that match today from the first tee and I was just waiting for them to get over the line and eventually they did it. For me, it’s just fairy tale stuff, a dream come true.”
The inspiration from having two young stars helped him guide his team to victory.
“Those two guys are a credit to their parents. The work they have put into their golf game this year has seen them just get better and better as the year goes on and they have no fear and the golf they played around this golf course was just sublime and they inspired the other guys, they inspired them so much and the closeness and the bond and the unity between them all was there and I could see it over the last three or four months and I knew we had a chance.”
William McCutcheon won the crucial third match for Donaghadee to get them across the line, while the other two matches were called in.
In the other final of the day, NUI Maynooth ran out comfortable 8 hole aggregate winners over Banbridge, and a great sense of spirit amongst the team, and indeed the college alumni helped them get over the line for the college's first green pennant since they were founded in 1995.
Barry Fennelly, who manages the Paddy Harrington Golf Scholarship programme was delighted after the win.
“We had an alumni game before we came down here. We brought back some guys like Kelan McDonagh, Brendan Walton and Richard Bridges, guys like that who have come through the programme. The idea was to bring alumni guys back to have a good competitive match but more so to really bring the NUI Maynooth family back together to really get the guys going for this week. It’s great, it’s a family atmosphere around with these guys and when it comes to these sorts of events they know their games inside out.”
In the Pierce Purcell Shield semi-finals there were wins for Gort and Newcastle West who meet in Friday's final.
FULL RESULTS OF JUNIOR CUP - CLICK HERE
FULL RESULTS OF BARTON SHIELD - CLICK HERE
FULL RESULTS OF PIERCE PURCELL SHIELD - CLICK HERE