Ulster players have been the dominant force in Irish golf in recent years and the trend looks set to continue judging by developments over the opening two days of the Senior and Boys Interprovincials at the Island links in North Dublin.
Ulster yesterday edged out the host province 6-5 in a really tight senior encounter, while the boys showed their mettle by coming from 2-1 down in the foursomes against Munster to claim five of the seven singles.
So the battle for the respective titles boils down to today’s senior clash of holders Ulster and Munster, the 2012 champions, with Leinster and Ulster best placed in the race for the Boys’ title.
Even though Ulster’s Chris Selfridge was walloped 6 and 4 by Leinster’s Gavin Moynihan in the number one singles and there were also wins for home province players Conor O’Rourke and Paul McBride over Cormac Sharvin and recently crowned Irish Close champion John Ross Galbraith, there was never any really serious threat to the northern province. They enjoyed a 3-1 advantage after the morning foursomes and then made sure of the three points they needed from the singles with convincing wins by Dermot McElroy, Colm Campbell and Colin Fairweather over Robbie Cannon, Stuart Grehan and Gary Collins.
Munster also looked to be sitting pretty when they claimed three foursomes points out in the country against Connacht but it was a slightly different story in the afternoon as the western province threatened to turn the tables.
Well before the end, however, Munster captain Phil Cooney was able to breathe freely as Gary O’Flaherty used all his experience to dispose of Steffan O’Hara and Waterford youngsters Robin Dawson and Gary Hurley withstood a fierce challenge from Gary McDermott and Barry Anderson to win both matches on the 18th.
Geoff Lenehan also won on the 18th against Sean Flanagan to see Munster home 7 matches to 4.
Ulster’s strength was again in evidence in the Boys Interpros as they recovered in style from losing the foursomes 2-1 against Munster to claim five of the seven singles points at stake for victory by 6-4 while Leinster were extremely comfortable 8½-1½ winners over Connacht.
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