The 2021 AIG Women’s and Men’s Senior Cups conclude this weekend at Castle GC in Dublin’s Rathfarnham. For the first time in the history of both competitions, the finals are being played concurrently at the same venue over the same weekend.
On Friday, the eight area winners from the Women’s and Men’s arrived to Castle with hopes of winning out the respective titles, however Saturday will now see the remaining 4 teams in each category.
The 2019 All-Ireland Women’s Senior Cup champions Lahinch successfully returned to defend their crown, and negotiated their quarter final match against Kilkenny with relative ease. Niamh O’Dwyer and Sarah Cunningham won their matches 5&4 and 7&6 respectively before Olivia Lucas secured the final point needed to progress.
The most decisive win of the day came from Elm Park, who beat Ulster Area Final Winners Clandeboye by 4 matches to 1. The Fleming sisters of Emma and Kate, playing in the 4th and 5th matches, won 7&5 and 9&7. While Rachel McDonnell added a 7&6 win in the 3rd match to see the 2018 All-Ireland Senior Cup Champions through to the semi-final.
“I played pretty solid and kept it together,” said McDonnell after her win. “I played it hole-by-hole, shot-by-shot, it was nice to get an early win and look forward to tomorrow now.
“We have a very young team but we have a lot of experience and we gel well together because we are so young. We’re playing The Island tomorrow, who we played against 3 years ago in Knock. They’re a very strong team and always have been but hopefully we’ll just take it one shot at a time and play well to still be here tomorrow afternoon.”
Elm Park play The Island in Saturday morning’s semi-final while Douglas will face Lahinch. In the AIG Men’s Senior Cup Roganstown, Banbridge, Tramore and Enniscorthy remain having navigated their quarter-final matches today.
Banbridge, led by Team Captain Johnny Ward, didn’t waste any time in stamping their mark on the game versus Dun Laoghaire with Connor Doran, Jim Carvill and Luke Woods winning the top three games.
“We’re probably one of the oldest teams in the country,” said Captain Ward afterwards. “The guys are in as good form as they’ve ever been but then with young Luke [Woods] and Matty [Mallon] coming into the team also, they’ve been playing well. Everyone has seemed to raise their game for Senior Cup.”
“The atmosphere has been great around the course today,’ continued Ward, ‘It’s great to see the swings of the women’s teams too, everyone seems to be enjoying themselves.”
Meanwhile, Enniscorthy made a great comeback to win their tie against Tralee. In the top match Graham Donohoe, who was 1 down thru 15, won his match on the 18th while Dayle Donohoe had won 5&4 versus Darren O’Sullivan. Finally 14-year-old Sean Cooper secured a 1 hole victory over Fergal O’Sullivan to book the Wexford clubs’ place in the All-Ireland semi-final tomorrow against Tramore.
RESULTS: AIG Men’s Senior Cup Quarter Finals
Malone (0) Roganstown (5) M McClean lost to S. Keeling 1 hole, L O’Sullivan lost to H Foley 4&3, J Graham lost to P Keeling 5&4, D Simpson lost to P O’Dochartaigh 4&3, D Shearer lost to C Kelly 5&4
Banbridge (4) Dun Laoghaire (1) C Doran beat R Sykes 4&3, J Carvill beat R Abernethy 4&3, L Woods beat C Woodroofe 5&3, M Matthew halved with M Nolan, R Leonard halved with K Murphy
Portumna (1.5) Tramore (3.5) S Murphy beat N Kennedy 4&3, M Flanagan lost to A Thomas 3&2, B McGarry lost to Paul Flynn 2&1, J McLaughlin halved with C Butler, D Burke lost to D Kiely 5&4.
Enniscorthy (3.5) Tralee (1.5) G Donohoe beat A O’Callaghan 1 hole, D Donohoe beat D O’Sullivan 5&4, J Rackard halved with E O’Donnell, C Martin lost to M Leahy 2 holes, S Cooper beat F O’Sullivan 1 hole.
AIG Women’s Senior Cup Quarter Finals
Royal Portrush (1.5) The Island (3.5) L Simpson lost to G O’Leary 1 hole, J Allen beat S Sheehan 3&2, H Jones lost to A Courtney 2&1, A O’Donnell lost to G McMullen 3&2, V Houston halved with C Fanning
Clandeboye (1) Elm Park (4) N Currie halved with L Temple Lang, K Coey halved with L Mernagh, A McCloskey lost to Rachel McDonnell 7&6, CJ Dorman lost to E Fleming 7&5, B Hopley lost to K Fleming 9&7
Roscommon (1) Douglas (4) O Costello halved with S Byrne, S Benedetti halved with K O’Neill, R Lennon lost to Clodagh Coughlan 7&6, B O’Brien lost to K McCann 4&3, R O’Brien lost to A Ní Thuama 8&6
Kilkenny (0.5) Lahinch (4.5) M Dowling lost to A Walsh 3&1, O Dunphy lost to N O”Dwyer 5&4, E Rose Power lost to S Cunningham 7&6, M Leahy Browne lost to O Lucas 5&4, S Molloy halved with V Shannon