Ireland come up shy in Men’s Octagonal final

Ronan MacNamara
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Jack Murphy and Sean Keeling (Photo by Matthew Lewis/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Ireland had to settle for a runner-up spot at the Men’s Octagonal Matches in Spain after they were beaten by two points by Italy.

Ireland held a narrow 2-1 lead after the morning fouromes but a strong singles showing from the Italians turned the tide in their favour.

Fionn Dobbin and Donnacha Cleary were 1UP winners in the second foursomes match of the morning before Jack Hearn and David Shiel combined to win by the same margin.

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Sean Keeling halved his match in the opening singles tie of the afternoon while Dobbin secured Ireland’s only win of the session as Jack Murphy, Hearn, Dobbin and Shiel suffered defeats.

“Disappointed to have lost in the final to a very strong Italian team but very proud by the way our players, particularly, the four U-18s performed this week,” said MacSweeney.

“David Shiel (Enniscrone) and Jack Hearn (Tramore) were a very strong foursomes partnership and they took on the role as elder statesmen on the team, although Jack is only turning 25 next Tuesday.

“Overall, a fantastic week, everyone contributed and I want to thank both Stephen Hood and Michael Collins for their great work in advance of the tournament.

“It was great to be in contention in the final, great way to start the year by reaching the final. It’s only Ireland’s second time to be in the Octagonal final.

“Fantastic event, very well run, and I’m sure Golf Ireland team will benefit from participation for many years to come.”

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