AIG Ladies Cups and Shields Finals: Lee Valley bidding for glory in Minor Cup final

Lee Valley will be hoping to put another dent in Mountbellew’s AIG Ladies Cups and Shields dream when they take on the Galway minnows in the Minor Cup final at Malone today.

Ireland's Hugh Smyth bunkered during the final day of the 2017 Seniors Home Internationals at Rosslare Golf Club yesterday. Pic: Pat Cashman

As Killarney qualified for today’s AIG Senior Foursomes final against Roscommon and Cahir Park will battle Carton House for the Intermediate Cup, Mountbellew’s 60-strong ladies section is still hoping to complete a famous double.

The Galway club got three teams to the AIG Ladies Cups and Shields Finals this week, and while the Intermediate Cup team lost on Wednesday, the Minor Cup side beat Wexford 4-1 yesterday and now face Lee Valley, who were 3-2 winners over Donaghadee, for the All Ireland title.

With the Challenge Cup side in semi-final action against Fintona today, most of the Mountbellew’s playing membership is either playing or on the fairways supporting.

“It’s been a fantastic year. To have three teams win a District Pennant and reach Malone, it is a great achievement for the club,” said Lady Captain, Anne Marie Murray.

“It’s a great buzz to have everyone here. There is great support for the teams.

“We have young 14-year-old Katie Coleman on the Minor Cup team who won 8 and 6 today and Emma Morrow, another youngster, on the Challenge Cup team, so the future is bright for the club.”

It was a great day for the Munster clubs as Ballykisteen beat Shandon Park 2.5-0.5 to make the AIG Junior Foursomes semi-finals and Limerick defeated Lurgan 3-2 to earn a semi-final meeting with Stackstown in the Junior Cup.

In the Senior Foursomes, Killarney edged out Lurgan 2-1 as Roscommon beat a strong Lucan side 2.5-0.5 to qualify for today’s final.

The Connacht champions are up for the fight too.

“It was a tough match today, the Lucan players were very strong and we just managed to come out the other side,” said Roscommon’s Rosemary O’Brien. “Really looking forward to the match against Killarney tomorrow.”

While Deirdre Prendergast and Eimear O’Donnell lost by one hole to Maeve Cummins and Orla O’Dowd, Mary Sheehy and Fidelma O’Connor beat Cara Murphy and Bronagh McKavanagh 3 and 2 before Ann Moynihan-Rudden and Amy Arthur edged Lurgan’s Niamh Ward and Fiona Cummins by two holes to clinch a point.

In the AIG Intermediate Cup, Cahir Park will face Carton House in today’s final after wins for Michelle Keating, Breda Keating, and Joanne Noonan gave the Co Tipperary ladies a 3-2 win over Wicklow.

But it was just as tight in the other semi-final, where Carton House looked to be heading for a 4-1 semi-final defeat at one stage before winning the last three matches to edge out Shandon Park 3-2.

ILGU President Vonnie Noonan is thrilled with the success of the finals, which have been well-attended despite poor weather.

“We welcomed over 1,000 spectators to Malone to support their clubs today, and with three finals and six semi-finals, Friday will be another busy day,” she said.

“The support of Malone Golf Club and their 100 volunteer members has been second to none, reinforcing the fact that Irish amateur golf could not be run without volunteer support. We are all excited for what the final two days hold.”

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