Carton House, Kilkenny and Spanish Point were winners on the final day of the 2020 AIG Cups and Shields Finals.
At long last, Carton House claimed the AIG Senior Cup after enjoying a comprehensive 3.5-1.5 win over Belvoir Park at Donegal GC. The Kildare club came so close to breaking their duck before going down in the 2019 decider to Galway, but there was no fear of them losing this time around as Eoin Sullivan claimed the winning point with a 3&1 victory over Scott Jones. Unsurprisingly, Sullivan was delighted to help get his club over the line:
“2019 was such a hard loss to take, because we had a great team,” he said. “The addition of Marc (Boucher) coming home from college in America helped us get over the line today. I didn’t even play the Final in 2019, so to get the winning point today made it even sweeter.
“It wasn’t comfortable out there, but it’s fantastic. I couldn’t be happier for the lads. We’ve been waiting a while for this one.”
Kilkenny are AIG Junior Cup champions for the first time, after a hard-fought 3.5-1.5 win over Ballinasloe. Despite playing in the top match, it was Alan O’Rourke who won the decisive point, beating Tom Cafferkey on the 19th green.
“I was quite calm going back down the first again,” O’Rourke admitted. “Tom hit a great tee shot, but was unlucky with his approach. I made par, and we’re very fortunate to be going home with the trophy this evening.”
Kilkenny only qualified for the Semi-Finals on Monday, and O’Rourke said that was crucial in keeping the team sharp:
“We won Leinster for the first time in our history on Monday. Getting to Donegal was the bonus, but we’re in dreamland now. We came in yesterday out of the traps. Monday was an advantage to us, even if we didn’t realise it at the time.”
Meanwhile, Spanish Point won their third AIG Pierce Purcell Shield since 2013 after an impressive 4-1 victory over Dunmurry. Kevin Hynes and Niall Heeney won the decisive point with a 3&2 win over Sam Clarke and Matthew Wilson. Speaking after the win, Hynes was delighted to be part of another winning team, after being part of the 2014 side.
“We put a lot of work in, and most of us came up a few times to Donegal in preparation,” he said. “The wind helped us today, as we’re more used to links golf than Dunmurry. Niall and I didn’t know until the 16th that we could have got the winning point, but we were delighted to get the job done.”
2020 AIG Cups and Shields Results, Friday, June 11th
AIG Senior Cup Final
Carton House 3.5-1.5 Belvoir Park
M Boucher beat G Lappin 2&1
K Egan lost to S Ward 2&1
E Sullivan beat S Jones 3&1
D Flynn halved with D Hogg
P O’Hanlon beat D Shaw 4&3
AIG Junior Cup Final
Ballinasloe 1.5-3.5 Kilkenny
T Cafferkey lost to A O’Rourke 19th hole
A Leonard lost to B Dowling 7&6
J Corbett beat S Dunlop 3&2
F Finneran lost to S Cullen 2&1
C Smyth halved with R Guilfoyle
AIG Pierce Purcell Shield Final
Spanish Point 4-1 Dunmurry
K Hynes and N Heeney beat S Clarke and M Wilson 4&2
M O’Brien and M Donnelly halved with Vinod Tandon and M McAuley
Michael Hehir and F Hehir beat T Lamont and B McCauley 7&6
C Duggan and Mervin Hehir beat J Keag and M Ferguson 7&5
S McMahon and P Hogan halved with L Peden and F Campbell