Shiel relishing final day showdown at Interpros

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David Shiel (Thos Caffrey Golffile)

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Reigning Bridgestone Order of Merit champion, David Shiel (Enniscrone), says he is enjoying his partnership with Aodhagan Brady (County Sligo) as they prepare to do battle with holders Leinster, in the final round of the Interprovincial matches.

Harry Gillivan (Portmarnock) landed a hole-in-one as Connacht pushed hard against Munster on day two at Slieve Russell, and ultimately the match wasn’t decided until late in the afternoon, with Shiel leading out the team and picking up a vital point in the singles.

Gillivan teamed up with David Kitt (Athenry) to secure a brilliant 5&4 win over Darragh Flynn (Carton House) and Jack Hearn (Tramore). Shiel and Brady teamed up to win another crucial point and the Roscommon pair of Simon Walker and Cian O’Connor combined for the third victory of the morning foursomes. Jordan Boles (Charleville) and Dave Reddan (Nenagh) hit back for Munster.

In the afternoon singles, Shiel had a comfortable win over Boles, while Luke O’Neill (Connemara) and Kitt also got across the line.

“It’s brilliant, we have played together a few times. We get along great. He absolutely rips it so it’s nice to play with someone who rips it,” said Shiel.

“Really looking forward to tomorrow. The team bond has been great this week. Rory, his first year managing the team, he has been brilliant. We have had a really good couple of days and a really good practise day together.

“There is a really good bond among the team.”

Leinster fell to a 6.5 to 4.5 defeat at the hands of Ulster in the other tie. Adam Buchanan (Royal Portrush) and Luke Kelly (Dunfanaghy) were the only winners for Ulster in the morning foursomes but they picked it up in the afternoon.

Buchanan and Kelly both won their singles matches too, while Shane McDermott (Slieve Russell) and Ross Latimer (Clandeboye) chipped in with two victories as well.

Munster put in a powerful display in the morning foursomes of the women’s matches with all three ties going their way. Emma O’Driscoll (Ballybunion) and Caitlin Shippam (Ballykisteen) won 5&4, Valerie Clancy (Killarney) and Anna Dawson (Tramore) won by the same margin, and Aideen Walsh (Lahinch) and Mairead Martin (Kantruk) completed the clean sweep.

It was almost the perfect afternoon for Munster too, with Martin, O’Driscoll, Dawson and Walsh all coming out on top. Shannon Burke (Ballinrobe) and Maeve Kelly (Strandhill) provided the resistance for Connacht.

“The golf was a little bit better today. My putting yesterday was a bit slow to the mark, today was a lot better,” said O’Driscoll.

“It’s exciting for everybody to be in a position tomorrow where we have something to play for. I couldn’t tell you what year was the last that I played interpros. It’s really nice to be in a position where we have everything to play for.

“I wasn’t on the team (last year) but I have heard about it. It would mean absolutely everything. It would mean a lot to our captain Mary and our manager Sinead. They have put a hell of a lot of time and effort into this week and the weeks building up to it.

Meanwhile, reigning champions Ulster built on their heroics from day one with Rebekah Gardner, Katie Poots and Molly O’Hara applying the finishing touches in their 5.5 and 3.5 win over Leinster.

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