11.9 C
Dublin
Tuesday, July 7, 2020
- Advertisement -

Junior Cup preview: Westport dreaming of home success

Must read

Empty galleries at the Memorial as time runs out for the Ryder Cup

While the PGA Tour pulled the plug on an army of spectators invading Memorial, our ears remain pricked for Ryder Cup organisers to finally make a decision over the fate of this year's tournament

Open Championship – Top-10 Greatest Hits – #2

In 1998, a little known English amateur named Justin Rose very nearly pulled off one of the greatest shocks the sport has ever seen. Tomorrow we reveal our number one - any guesses for what claims our top spot?

Fun and Games*

Fairways and FunDays is a leading Irish inbound golf tour operator trending in the right direction despite the challenges thrown up by Covid-19

Open Championship – Top-10 Greatest Hits – #3

No Italian golfer had ever come close to winning the Open Championship, but at the 124th staging of the venerable event in 1995, Bergamo-born Constantino Rocca was in contention coming to the final two holes

Westport’s Junior Cup team carry the hopes of the host club at this year’s AIG Cups and Shields Finals. 

A home win is the dream for every host club and at Westport, Junior Cup success has long been a major ambition. They have come tantalisingly close to landing this All Ireland crownlosing three finals since 2006. 

Banbridge denied them in the ‘06 final at Enniscrone while Ballybunion prevailed at Royal Tara in 2013 before Greenisland broke Westport hearts in 2015 at Carton House. On that occasion, the green pennant slipped away on the 18th green after Greenisland’s John Armstrong completed an incredible comeback in the decisive match. 

Traditionally, Westport compete strongly at this handicap level, perhaps testament to the quality of their highly-regarded course. Their sole All Ireland success came in 1980 but in the year that the AIG Cups and Shields Finals return to the Co Mayo club, victory this year would be sweeter still. 

The core of Westport’s team has been together since 2006. Shane Larkin, Anto Browne and Fergus Rothwell are the most experienced members of the side while Ronan Hehir and Ronan Mahon played in the 2013 final. 

Ulster champions, Malone, provide Westport’s opposition in Saturday’s semi-final. Malone showed their credentials by beating Warrenpoint in the Ulster decider. The Belfast club were champions in 2009 but were beaten in the semi-finals two years ago. From that 2017 team, Jamie Thompson remains while a raft of juniors have since come through. Fionn Dobbin, Ulster U14 Close championis an exciting prospect. 

On the other side of the draw, Dun Laoghaire face Tramore. The Leinster champions are on a high after winning their first pennant since 1947. Dun Laoghaire count Brian Begley, a former professional soccer player, among their line-up. Teenagers Sam Varian and James Kelly are the youngest in a side that has survived a number of close calls. 

“It’s been fine margins,” admits team captain Niall Keyes. “We have scraped our way through.” 

Dun Laoghaire finished third in stroke play qualifying but only after a count back. There were close calls in the knockout stages too, against Millicent and Waterford. 

Tramore, winners of the Senior Cup in 2014, are chasing a first success in the Junior Cup. The team is captained by former Waterford hurler, Paul Flynn, who played on the victorious Senior Cup side five years ago.

Another former Deise star, Dave Bennett, is a key member of this latest Tramore team. Bennett led the way for his club at the Munster Finals, landing the first point in the decider against East Cork.

“He (Bennett) was a very stylish hurler, a very good striker of a sliotar and he’s a very good striker of a golf ball,” attests team captain Flynn. “The Junior Cup section of Tramore is strong. It’s very competitive around this handicap group.” 

Success for Tramore would cap an important year for the club as they celebrate their 125th anniversary. 

New Gear

Shot Scope unveils V3 performance tracking and GPS watch

The new high-performing unisex V3 watch is sure to fit comfortably on the wrist of any golfer and boasts accurate readings to 30 centimeters

Galvin Green hits the shelves with eye-catching 2020 range

Galvin Green has turned to the ‘Science of Excellence’ for inspiration for its 2020 Part Two clothing range launched this month

Big Max introduces lightest ever push trolley

At just 5.4kg, the TI Lite from trolley experts Big Max is a practical dream for golfers wanting to take the edge off their long walk spoiled

Music to our ears – Bushnell Golf introduces Wingman GPS Speaker

The all-in-one device gives golfers access to their favourite music while still providing them audible distance information on the course

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News

Empty galleries at the Memorial as time runs out for the Ryder Cup

While the PGA Tour pulled the plug on an army of spectators invading Memorial, our ears remain pricked for Ryder Cup organisers to finally make a decision over the fate of this year's tournament

Open Championship – Top-10 Greatest Hits – #2

In 1998, a little known English amateur named Justin Rose very nearly pulled off one of the greatest shocks the sport has ever seen. Tomorrow we reveal our number one - any guesses for what claims our top spot?

LPGA & LET stars set to return for Ladies Scottish Open

The Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open is on track to take place next month, Aug 13 – 16 at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick, marking a return of professional women’s golf

AIG Women’s British Open to be held in 2020

The R&A has confirmed that it intends to play the AIG Women’s British Open at Royal Troon from 20-23 August without spectators due to the Covid-19 pandemic

Fun and Games*

Fairways and FunDays is a leading Irish inbound golf tour operator trending in the right direction despite the challenges thrown up by Covid-19