Ireland poised to bid for Euro glory

Ireland swept into the quarter-finals of the European Amateur Team Championships at Silkeborg in Denmark yesterday and will play seventh placed qualifiers, the Netherlands, in the first matchplay contest today.

Ireland poised to bid for Euro glory

They finished the qualifying phase on 741- 21 over par, six shots behind leaders France.

Rory McNamara was once again a pillar of strength, adding a one over 73 to his previous day’s tally of two under.

Youngsters Jack Hume and Gavin Moynihan also carded solid rounds of 73.

Kevin Phelan produced a much better second round score, finishing on 74 two over.

Dubliner Paul Dunne shot a five over 75, carding a double bogey at the last on consecutive days, while Mourne’s Reeve Whitson had a day to forget as he hit seven bogeys and two double bogeys.

* Ireland also made it into the top flight — the last eight-in the European Boys Team Championship over the Murcar Links in Scotland.

They got through in seventh spot with a two-day aggregate of 738- 28 over par.

Sean Flanagan led the way with a splendid 73-three over par-despite having a double bogey six on the 7th. Jame Sugrue, Paul McBride and Alec Myles all posted respectable totals of 74.

Robin Dawson’s 75 also counted while Irish boys champion Gareth Lappin, who was brilliant on Tuesday slumped to four double bogeys in his non-counting 84.

Ireland face a tough task today when they meet England for a place in the last four.

* Brian Casey had a long, nail-biting wait before being told he was the winner of the Silver Medal as leading qualifier in the Cathedral Eye Clinic North or Ireland Amateur Open Championship, at Royal Portrush.

Because of the abandonment of the second strokeplay round on Tuesday because of fog, around 90 players had to finish off their qualifying test and by mid-morning. Casey, from Headfort, was joined at the top of the leaderboard by Rathmore’s Ben Best and Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene) on seven-under-par 135.

After the maths were done, Casey was declared the winner on a countback, taking the medal from Best on the back nine of Dunluce while McLarnon was relegated to third spot.

It was hoped to have 40 matches in the first and part of the second matchplay rounds decided. That wasn’t possible as the fog crept in again from the Atlantic after lunchtime and, eventually, without the entire first round finished the hooter went again in the evening.

Casey did get his first shootout finished as he defeated good friend Eugene Smith (Ardee) by 5&4.

Ironically, that victory tossed Casey into a clash with another Ardee friend, Evan Farrell, but the pair got only a few holes played before play was again suspended for the day.

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