Ireland off to a flying start in Men’s Octagonal Matches

Ronan MacNamara
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Liam Nolan (Image: Niall O'Shea)

Team Ireland got off to the perfect start with a hard fought 6-3 win over Germany in their opening match of the 2023 Men’s Octagonal Matches in Spain.

The Boys in Green opened up a 2-1 lead after the morning foursomes thanks to a thumping 6&4 win for Walker Cup squad members Liam Nolan and Peter O’Keeffe over Maik Süßbier and Nils-Levi Bock.

The pair were 1 DOWN after five holes but then went on a sensational run, winning every hole from the seventh to the twelfth to roar five holes clear before closing out the match on the fourteenth.

Mullingar Scratch Cup champion Joshua Hill and Connacht Strokeplay winner Rob Brazill were forced to settle for a share of the spoils with Ben Kelling and Philipp Macionga.

Due to an illness, North and South of Ireland champion Hugh Foley didn’t hit a ball in anger in either the foursomes or singles matches.

The Royal Dubliner was due to resume his deadly partnership with US Mid-Am winner Matthew McClean in the anchor foursomes match with Nico Kregler and Benedict Boensch. The match was halved with Boensch also sitting out the final singles match with Naas man Brazill.

Douglas’ O’Keeffe was put out first in the singles but the shoe was on the other foot as he came out on the wrong side of a 6&5 drubbing to Süßbier as Germany drew level.

Galway’s Nolan, who is brimming with confidence following his South American Amateur win, came from 2 DOWN with seven to play to win a nail biter on 18 with Bock to put Ireland 3-2 in front.

Galgorm Castle’s Hill eased past Macionga 3&1 to open up a two-point gap between the sides before Malone’s McClean thumped Kregler 6&5 after he finally got his campaign underway.

Brazill and Boensch didn’t take to the course in the final singles match. Ireland will play France on Thursday.

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