Royal Tara could have had two teams in the All-Ireland final until their ‘A’ team overcame the ‘B’ team in the Leinster Final at Tulfarris last month. With such strong pedigree, the team of Hannah Guerin, Sophie Sharp and Niamh Carroll led their club to All-Ireland glory at Killarney today, seeing off Co. Sligo in the final.
Lahinch, Bangor, Co. Sligo and Royal Tara began the day as Provincial Champions with dreams of an All-Ireland pennant to bring home. Despite a 3&1 win for Isabelle Banim (Lahinch) over Sophie Sharp, Royal Tara would first progress from the morning semi-final.
On the opposite side of the draw, Hannah Boyd set hopes high as she won her semi-final match 8&7, but Anna Flanagan and Sophie Reynolds ensured the Connacht Champions would have their chance in the final.
Flanagan was again first to secure a point for Co. Sligo in the final but after Guerin, aptly named ‘The Assassin’ by her teammates, won on the 18th, Carroll was left to secure the final winning point.
“I am so proud of the girls today, it was so good,” said Royal Tara Junior Girls’ Captain, Emma Byrne. “I felt the pressure for the girls, it’s harder to watch than to play sometimes!”
Byrne, who is 15-years-old playing off a 24 handicap, was on the Royal Tara team who were beaten in the Leinster Final by their clubmates.
“I would have liked to be playing today but I didn’t envy the nerves the girls were feeling, and the pressure!”
On asking what the celebration plans are for the first Royal Tara girls team to win an All-Ireland:
“We’re going to get lots of sweets and have a sleepover in the hotel! We’ll go back to the golf club tomorrow then with the trophy.”
Lahinch (1) Royal Tara (2) (Lahinch name first)
Siun McInerney lost to Hannah Guerin 1 hole; Isabelle Banim beat Sophie Sharp 3&1; Kate O’Meara lost to Niamh Carroll 2&1
Bangor (1) Co. Sligo (2) (Bangor names first)
Hannah Boyd beat Maebh McLoughlin 8&7; Lucie McNaught lost to Anna Flanagan 2&1; Georgia Stevenson lost to Sophie Reynolds 1 hole
Royal Tara (2) Co. Sligo (1) (Royal Tara names first)
Hannah Guerin beat Maebh McLoughlin 1 hole; Sophie Sharp lost to Anna Flanagan 4&3; Niamh Carroll beat Sophie Reynolds 2&1