Two-handicapper Fitzgerald and his 27 handicap partner returned a 70½ nett to win by the slenderest of margins from Bandon and host club Muskerry.
I thought we had blown it,” said Fitzgerald, “when we took an eight at the final hole but we are delighted to win from such a strong field. It is 15 years since I last played in Muskerry and I must say the course is in excellent condition.” Runners-up Bandon, with Bernard O’Driscoll and Eileen O’Leary on duty, were leaders for most of the day with 71. They had halves of 41 and their finish was particularly impressive with pars at the difficult 16th and 18th holes.
For third place Muskerry, the 16th was to prove costly as they ran up a seven and Jackie Solen and Patrice Broderick were eventually pipped by Bandon on count back.
East Cork’s Jim and Caroline O’Connor were left to rue a ten at the third but recovered well to gain fourth position ahead of Nenagh and Dooks.
Meanwhile at Raffeen Creek, Ardfert won the Munster Country Club’s Cup for nine hole courses with a thrilling 4-3 victory over Frankfield.
In the team of seven individual matchplay competitions Kevin Doyle and Mick Kenny gave Frankfield the edge early on with two good wins but David McMahon and Ger Hussey soon had the Kerry club back on track. Then Liam Hussey and Ger Sweeney came through in their matches to leave the outcome depending on the final tie and here John Gibbons sealed it for Ardfert.
In the morning semi-finals Ardfert defeated fellow Kerry club Listowel while Frankfield beat Berehaven.