Limerick’s team spirt proved key as the Munster champions beat Courtown to set up the chance of All Ireland glory at Knightsbrook Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort today.
Ailish Dilger’s charges proved to have too much strength in depth for the Wexford side in the AIG Senior Foursomes and they now take on Massereene, who were 2.5-0.5 winners over Woodbrook on a blustery day at the pristine Co Meath venue.
“They were a very strong team but we just pipped them at the post,” Anne said modestly after Fiona McGann and Emma Guinane won 4&3 and Orla Barry and Siobhan Conway turned their match around on the back nine to win on the 16th.
“It’s been a marvellous campaign with great support from the club. We had 40 supporters today and we will have treble that tomorrow with the Junior Cup team in the semi-finals against Newlands.
“The camaraderie is amazing and it’s just fantastic to have the girls all buzzing.”
It was a mixed day for the other Munster teams in action with Monkstown beaten 3-2 in the semi-finals of the Intermediate Cup by Mullingar who will face Loughrea in today’s final after the Galway side edged out Castlerock on the 19th.
Mullingar will be looking for revenge having lost to Loughrea in the final in 2017 and they can thank Emma Duffy Keena for getting them over the line.
“Emma had never been in a clutch situation before, but she had a very experienced caddie,” skipper Aideen Kelleghan said. “So I was relaxed that she would bring Emma and she won nicely on the 17th.
“We were put to the pin of our collar by Corrstown yesterday and Monkstown today and it’s all about who can hold their nerve at the end.
“We are all casual golfers, playing in our fourballs and we don’t have 100 people watching us.
“If you can just breathe and take your shot, you will likely win the hole.”
East Cork will face Rathcore in today’s semi-finals of the Challenge Cup after they cruised to a 4-1 quarter-final win over Moyola Park yesterday.
But there will also be a fairytale winner in the AIG Minor Cup after minnows New Forest and Kilmashogue - two clubs with fewer than 140 members combined — beat Castlebar and Tralee to reach the final.
The ladies’ club at New Forest was affiliated to the ILGU just six years ago, and with just 50 members on their books, the Westmeath club was thrilled to beat Castlebar 3.5-1.5.
Rita O’Shea clinched the winning point when she hit a five-wood to three feet at the par-three 18th to secure a two-up win over Nicola Sheridan.
New Forest Captain Mary Fallon said: “This is only our second year fielding a team. We have 50 members and three years ago we only had 20 members so almost all our members have come through the Get Into Golf scheme and we have a fantastic group.”
Rita, who was the first Lady Captain of New Forest in 2013, could not believe they had made it all the way to the All Ireland final.
“When we got to the Mid-Leinster Final we were just delighted and said, ‘If we’re beaten it’s no matter because it was great just to get there’. Now we are in the All Ireland final and we are thrilled.
“It’s just a massive achievement for the club. We are on a mission!”
Making the final is an equally massive achievement for Kilmashogue, situated in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains.
They beat Tralee 3-2 with Marian Judge holding her nerve to beat Geraldine Reen by one hole and clinch the decisive point.
Team manager Breda Murtagh said: “We can’t believe we beat the mighty Tralee and in such a tight match.
“We only have 89 lady members and we are tiny. We literally have just eight players in the Minor Cup category - just the bare amount to make up the team and subs, so we can’t afford anyone to be sick.