Leading qualifier Clancy keeps hopes alive at Close

Bernie McGuire

Leading qualifier Valerie Clancy keeps her Irish Women’s Close Championship bid alive having overcome Chloe O’Connor (Roscommon), and now faces Maynooth University Scholar Molly Dowling (Lucan) this morning.

Dowling, a past Mid Leinster Women’s Champion, secured her place in the next round having beat Auburn freshman Julie McCarthy (Forrest Little).

With some big names bowing out, including second place qualifier and 2017 runner-up Ciara Casey (Hermitage), the Championship remains wide open and arguably the story of the day goes to 13-year old Emma Fleming (Elm Park), who took the experienced Irish International Sinead Sexton (Lahinch) to the 23rd hole. Three down at the turn, Fleming held her nerve and slotted in a 5-foot putt on the 18th to take the match to extra holes. Still unfazed, she was faced with another tester, measuring about 10 feet down the hill, on the 19th green which she duly holed. It took until the 23rd for a mistake to be made by the young teenager when she was unable to get up and down for her par, Sexton took advantage and secured her spot in the next round.


When Sarah Helly (Enniscrone) claimed the Championship in 2015, she was the first Connacht woman to do so since 1909 when Miss Orby from Co. Sligo lifted the trophy at Lahinch. Hopes of a Connacht home win this year now lie solely with Shannon Burke (Ballinrobe) after Hilary Hall (Enniscrone) was beaten by Eleanor Metcalfe (Laytown & Bettystown).

The players competing for the Ita Wallace Trophy (Plate) battled the Enniscrone winds for two matches yesterday. Todays first semi-final will see Leah Temple-Lang (Elm Park) take on IGM’s very own Mary Doyle (The Heath) after she beat her clubmate Anna Foster in a match that included 6 birdies for Temple-Lang. While Elisa Corcoran (Grange) will face Lisa O’Shea (Shannon) in the second semi.

Irish Women’s Close Championship
Round 1
Valerie Clancy (Killarney) beat Chloe O’Connor (Roscommon) 4&3, Molly Dowling (Lucan) beat Julie McCarthy (Forrest Little) 3&2, Lucy Simpson (Royal Portrush) beat Georgia Carr (Milltown) 2up, Sara Byrne (Douglas) beat Beth Coulter (Kirkistown Castle) 5&4, Deirdre Smith (Co. Louth) beat Clodagh Coughlan (Douglas) 3&2, Sinead Sexton (Lahinch) beat Emma Fleming (Elm Park) 23rd, Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden) lost to Kate Dwyer (Rossmore) 1up, Sarah Cunningham (Ennis) beat Kate Lanigan (Hermitage) 1up, Ciara Casey (Hermitage) lost to Jan Browne (Kilkenny) 2&1, Hilary Hall (Enniscrone) lost to Eleanor Metcalfe (Laytown & Bettystown) 2&1, Jessica Ross (Clandeboye) beat Katie O’Hart (Courtown) 2&1, Louise Coffey (Malone) beat Aoife Ní Thuama (Douglas) 2up, Shannon Burke (Ballinrobe) beat Alison Taylor (Malahide) 5&4, Meadhbh Doyle (Portarlington) beat Claire Staunton (Ballinasloe) 7&6, Aine Donegan (Woodstock) beat Anna Dawson (Tramore) 3&, Maeve Cummins (Lurgan) beat Rachel McDonnell (Elm Park) 19th

Round 2 – Monday 18 June
09:00 Clancy vs. Dowling, 09:09 Simpson vs. Byrne, 09:18 Smith vs. Sexton, 09:27 Dwyer vs. Cunningham, 09:36 Browne vs. Metcalfe, 09:45 Ross vs. Coffey, 09:54 Burke vs. Doyle, 10:03 Donegan vs. Cummins

Ita Wallace Trophy (Plate)
Round 1: 17 June
Leah Temple Lang (Elm Park) beat Una Marsden (Tullamore) 4&2, Anna Foster (Elm Park) beat, Clodagh Walsh (Castlewarden) 3&2, Mary Doyle (The Heath) beat Lauren Murray (Delgany) 2&1, Jean O’Driscoll (Muskerry) beat Corrina Griffin (Killarney) 3&2, Emma Thorne (Elm Park) lost to Katie Poots (Knock) 2&1, Lisa O’Shea (Shannon) beat Claire McGonagle (Portsalon) 3&2, Sarah Burke (Mullingar) beat Emma Fenlon (Grange) 2&1, Elisa Corcoran (Grange) beat Olivia McCrystal (Holywood) 8&6

Quarter – Final: Sunday 17 June: Temple Lang beat Foster 3&2, Doyle beat O’Driscoll 3&2, Poots lost to O’Shea 2 holes, Burke lost to Corcoran 2&1

Semi – Final: Monday 18 June
08:30 Temple Lang vs. Doyle, 08:39 O’Shea vs. Corcoran

Final: 13:30 Monday 18 June

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