Kenneally climbs to the top in Lough Erne

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Shane Kenneally Picture: Golffile | Thos Caffrey

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Shane Kenneally will take a one stroke lead into the final round of the Irish Senior Men’s Amateur Close Championship at Lough Erne Golf Club on Friday.

The Kinsale golfer didn’t appear to be hindered by extremely windy conditions, shooting an incredible four-under 68, and in doing so reverse his four-over opener to finish Day Two on even par, one shot clear of overnight leader Alan Condren (Greystones).

Naturally, Kenneally was pleased with his play, as he reflected afterwards. “Played solidly, I was happy with that. Kept my composure, and yeah, happy”

On the conditions, he commented, “the wind was stronger than what we had yesterday, probably the same as what the women had yesterday afternoon. It was tough”.

The pair of Steven Graham (East Sussex National) and Noel Crawford (Mourne) share third place on three-over, three strokes back from Kenneally going into the final round.

Meanwhile, Terrill Samuel will take a one stroke lead into Friday’s final round of the Irish Senior Women’s Amateur Open Championship, also on the Faldo Course at Lough Erne.

The Canadian carded an even-par round of 72 to remain on four-over, one shot clear of overnight leader Natalia Martínez-Reboredo and Castletroy’s Shirley Real.

Weston Golf & Country Club’s Samuel cancelled out four bogeys with four birdies to end the day as she started it, and given the difficult conditions facing the players on Day Two, a round of even par was most definitely a positive outcome.

Martínez-Reboredo who led after the opening round, looked on course to hold onto that lead after notching back-to-back birdies over her first two holes, but a string of five consecutive bogeys from the sixth to the eleventh brought her back to the field. A much welcomed birdie to finish on eighteen means the Real Aero Club Santiago golfer will be in the final reckoning on Friday.

Speaking on the conditions, Martínez-Reboredo said, “the conditions were awful because of the wind, some holes or some shots you didn’t know if the wind was against or forward. Well, we had to manage with this, but difficult, very difficult”.

Whilst you could be forgiven for thinking these types of conditions wouldn’t favour a Spanish player, that is not the case for the Galician, which may hint as to why she has remained in contention.

“I mean, I come from Galicia, the north of Spain, and the weather there is similar to this, so I’m getting used to it (laughs)”.

Joining Samuel and Martínez-Reboredo in tomorrow’s final group will be Castletroy’s Shirley Real, who despite the blustery conditions, shot an impressive one-under round of 71, the low score of the day in the women’s event. Killarney’s Lisa Cullen is next on six-over, before a gap of three to USA’s Lara Tennant (Waverley Country Club) on nine-over in solo fifth.

The final rounds of the Irish Senior Women’s Amateur Open Championship and the Irish Senior Men’s Amateur Close Championship get underway at Lough Erne on Friday morning.

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