Both Connacht and Ulster continued their winning ways in the Men’s and Women’s Interprovincial matches, which got underway at Moyvalley Hotel & Golf Resort on Tuesday.
The two defending champions were keen to show they would not be giving up their titles easily, storming out of the blocks quickly.
Liam Nolan, who was top points scorer in 2021, won both matches today meaning he is unbeaten in his last 8 outings for Connacht. The Galway GC member paired up with Jack McDonnell this morning before seeing off Alex King 5&4 in the afternoon singles
“Today was very good, I got off to a nice start this morning with Jack,” said the Ireland International. “I think everyone played well today, just sometimes people lose and sometimes you win. I’ve been fortunate enough to be on the winning side in those games. Coming up against good players, some of them have been tight so we’re just happy to win today and play again tomorrow.”
The Ulster women could manage only 1.5 points from 3 in the morning foursomes but rallied in the afternoon to win 5.5 from 6. Amy O’Donnell and Kate Dwyer were key for the side, gaining 4 points between them.
Leinster’s Kate Lanigan posted two wins in the teams 6.5 – 2.5 win over Connacht, both in her foursomes match alongside Emma Fleming and in her singles versus Shannon Burke.
“We’d a super match,” she said of her afternoon match-up against Burke. “I played her in the foursomes as well as the singles. Yeah, I think we had about 13 birdies between us, we halved in birdies at least 5 or 6 times, it was a great match, she’s always been a great player.”
With two days play remaining the result is a long way off, but Lanigan believes that team Leinster have the right ingredients to be in with a chance of the title come Thursday afternoon.
“The plan is the same again tomorrow, look after the foursomes and then reset and go from there for the singles. I think we worked well as a team today, a bit of bonding later maybe with a few games of cards and same again tomorrow, it worked well today.”
The Leinster men’s team suffered a late comeback from Ulster to lose by a single point in the final matches of the day. Four of the seven singles matches reached the 18th with three of them resulting in a half point for each side. A final hole win for James Hewitt (Tandragee) against Alan Fahy (Bray) was ultimately the all-important point for Ulster.
On Wednesday Ulster will play Connacht while Munster will take on Leinster in the Women’s event and in the Men’s event it will be Connacht vs. Leinster and Ulster vs. Munster.
Women’s Interprovincial Matches
Connacht 2.5 – 6.5 Leinster (Connacht names first)
Shannon Burke and Olivia Costello lost to Kate Lanigan and Emma Fleming 4&3, Suzanne Corcoran and Kate Dillon beat Jenny Maguire and Rachel McDonnell 2&1, Clodagh Hopkins and Ada Bowler lost to Ellen O’Gorman and Anna Abom 3&1, Annabel Greham lost to Emma Fleming 3&2, Shannon Burke lost to Kate Lanigan 2&1, Suzanne Corcoran lost to Emily Murray 1 hole, Clodagh Hopkins lost to Jenny Maguire 3&2, Kate Dillon halved with Ellen O’Gorman, Olivia Costello beat Anna Abom 2&1
Ulster 6.5 – 2.5 Munster (Ulster names first)
Katie Poots and Jessica Ross halved with Aideen Walsh and Lauren Kelly, Amy O’Donnell and Kate Dwyer beat Paula Walsh and Caitlin Shippam 4&2, Louise Coffey and Laura Webb lost to Clodagh Coughlan and Aoife Ni Thuama 4&2, Kate Poots halved with Aideen Walsh
Kate Dwyer beat Lauren Kelly 3&2, Louise Coffey beat Caitlin Shippam 1 hole, Amy O’Donnell beat Corrina Griffin 2&1, Jessica Ross beat Aoife Ní Thuama 5&3, Laura Webb halved with Clodagh Coughlan
Men’s Interprovincial Matches
Connacht 6.5 – 4.5 Munster (Connacht names first)
David Kitt and Harry Gillivan beat David Reddan and Darragh Flynn 2&1, Liam Nolan and Jack McDonnell beat Conor Hickey and John Cleary 4&2, Simon Walker and Allan Hill lost to Jack Murphy and Alex King 3&1, TJ Ford and Sean Flanagan lost to Richard Knightly and Darren O’Sullivan 4&3, Liam Nolan beat Alex King 5&4, Jack McDonnell beat Jack Murphy 4&3, David Kitt halved with Darragh Flynn, TJ Ford beat John Cleary 6&4, Allan Hill lost to Conor Hickey 5&4, Harry Gillivan lost to David Reddan 2&1, Sean Flanagan beat Richard Knightly 2 holes
Leinster 5 – 6 Ulster (Leinster names first)
Rob Brazill and Jake Whelan halved with Joshua Hill and Jordan Hood, Alan Fahy and Eoin Murphy lost to Ryan Griffin and Cian Harkin 1 hole, Charlie Denvir and Paul Coughlan beat Ross Latimer and Aaron Marshall 2&1, Keith Egan and Marc Boucher lost to Shane McDermott and James Hewitt 1 hole, Rob Brazill beat Joshua Hill 3&2, Marc Boucher halved with Ryan Griffin, Paul Coughlan lost to Ross Latimer 2&1, Charlie Denvir halved with Shane McDermott, Jake Whelan halved with Aaron Marshall, Alan Fahy lost to James Hewitt 1 hole, Keith Egan beat Jordan Hood 2&1