Royal Portrush top junior boys will be bidding for all-Ireland Fred Daly glory at the end of the month after drawing inspiration from a club in the Republic.
The Ulster North champions who play Malahide in a quarter-final match at Castletroy believe this could be their best chance in years to win the prized trophy which carries the name of the one of the seaside town’s most famous golfing sons.
Not since 2004 have they got this far, but team captain Paul Rohdich claims 12 month of preparations, as well as some sound advice from those in charge of former winners Roganstown, has his squad ready and in great shape.
He said: “It’s a strong team which has been together for the best part of two years, and we really believe we can go all the way this time.”
They saw off Moyola, Galgorm, Foyle, neighbouring Castlerock and then Hilton Templepatrick in the regional final, winning 4-1. Malahide defeated Roganstown in the Leinster North final.
Two of the Royal Portrush players, Adam Buchanan and Stuart Nesbitt, are also on the club’s Senior Cup panel which has reached next month’s all-Ireland finals at Dun Laoghaire.
Paul added: “We have a particularly good relationship with Roganstown who won the Fred Daly not so long ago, and we’ve learned a lot from them, and their coach Geoff Loughrey, in friendly matches.
“In terms of ability and focus, they showed us what we needed to do to reach the next level, and it has definitely rubbed off on the boys.
“The commitment by everyone, parents included, and especially by our head professional Gary McNeill and his assistant Alan Dunbar (a former British Amateur champion) has been outstanding.”