There was no shortage of drama, especially at Limerick County where All Ireland champions Limerick bit the dust at the hands of Castletroy in the area decider.
With the sides level at two points apiece, the issue was decided at the 20th when John Kavanagh got up and down from a bunker to defeat Michael O’Kelly. Michael Barrett and Eamonn Haugh were other Castletroy winners.
At Kinsale, former champions Cork made their exit in dramatic circumstances to Muskerry on Saturday morning. Cork had to concede a walkover in a match when one of their players failed to get to the venue on time. A team sheet, with his name included, had been handed to officials in the usual fashion - some 20 minutes before tee-off time - and the rules state that this then cannot be changed even though Cork had two reserves.
Perhaps David Daly would have won the tie in question for Muskerry at any rate but, as events transpired, the walk-over concession to him was to prove crucial as both teams gained two points apiece with the highlight for Muskerry being Niall Turner’s triumph over Tom Cleary.
An extraordinary aspect of this contest was that Cleary held the honour for all 18 holes only to lose out to a Turner birdie on the final green.
Muskerry went on to contest the area final against Douglas but came off second best when the latter, thanks to wins by Karl Bornemann, Aaron O’Callaghan and Cormac Finn, overcame their gallant challenge. The outcome was in doubt to the end, however, and crucial was O’Callaghan’s chip in at the 17th which enabled him to go one clear of John Waldron. Behind them David Daly was one to the good when called in.
Tramore beat West Waterford in the ‘East’ decider at West Waterford and they had a close call in the morning semi-final against Clonmel. Here Peter Power was dormie three against Tom Duggan but was hauled back to equality when the Clonmel player fired two birdies and a par. A birdie at the 19th saw Power through.
In the area final, Power again came good, as did Clancy Bowe and Irish selector Michael Burns.
Mallow emerged at home when they defeated Doneraile, Killarney and Tralee by comfortable margins.
Mervyn Owens and David Finn were in splendid form all through and Graham Conway gained an important win over Tralee’s Gerard O’Sullivan in the area final.