Narin & Portnoo Golf Club Notes 30th May 2011

Our fine Irish Junior Cup team (low handicappers above five handicap) qualified in second place in Letterkenny and in so doing set up a knockout match with Enniskillen to be played at Letterkenny. The team finished on 348, ten shots behind the hosts, but a point ahead of Enniskillen and two clear of Portstewart. The famous five were Sean Hanrahan, Willie Quinn, John Molloy, Eamon McGill and team captain, Harold Reid. Our prospects of progressing further are encouraging with tough matchplay competitors such as these.

The eagerly awaited two-day Am-Am will kick off this Saturday and the prizes have golfers salivating in anticipation! The winners of this four-person team event will enjoy two nights bed and breakfast in the Harcourt Hotel in Dublin, four green fees for Carton House and four also for the K Club! Details of entry may be obtained from the Pro Shop. We wish all those taking part a pleasant weekend, fine weather and fun golf.

John Bán Gallagher is the Golfer of the Year for 2010 after his victory over promising teenager, Aaron Bennett in the final. The win was comfortable in the end for one of the ‘winningest’ golfers in the club. The end came at the thirteenth, but John was gracious enough to ensure that I noted that Aaron hadn’t been playing much golf in recent times. Nevertheless, to reach the final was a great achievement for both golfers following their medal wins in 2010 and the two matchplay rounds they had to negotiate en route. Congratulations, John Bán!

Eddie Gregg won Dr. McCloskey’s Matchplay Trophy for the second year in succession following a hard-fought encounter with Sean Cafferty of Killybegs. The defending champion had to do it the hard way, coming from three holes down with just five to play. Excellent golf over the first 13 holes had put Sean in the driving seat, but wins at 14, 15 and 16 set up a thrilling finale which ended all square on 18. The 19th failed to split the dueling pair, but a fine approach to the 20th set up a birdie putt which was eventually conceded by the challenger. Eddie joins Tony Dooley, Harold Reid and Michael Gallagher Jnr. in the list of back-to-back winners of this prestigious trophy.

Our seven-man Ulster Cup side (handicaps greater than 9) finished the job in its second round tussle with Blackwood in a well-contested home leg last Sunday. The excellent away result made life somewhat easier for Narin and Portnoo but the performances of the team showed no signs of complacency and after the first three players all won, the rest of the team were called to shore. The only change to the team saw Hughie Moore slot in seamlessly.

The Donegal Minor League team (handicaps greater than 17) also made one change, with Hugh Francis Shovlin coming in for the injured Kevin McCready. After the drama in Murvagh where two points were secured, Narin and Portnoo aimed for the three and a half points that would set up a second round match with Ballybofey and Stranorlar. Three points were in the bag when Paddy B. Boyle and Patsy Harkin stood on the 18th tee one down to their opponents. A par was a must into the gale and Paddy obliged, holding his nerve to play a fine shot into the heart of the green. The hole was duly won, and with it the match. Commiserations to a fine Donegal side and good luck to Frank’s men in the next round.

James Quinn’s senior team (golfers aged 50 or over) eked out an excellent two and a half matches in their away encounter with Dunfanaghy last Thursday. The return this week is finely balanced, but with the club four holes up, there is much room for optimism. The winning pairings were Willie Quinn with Eamon McGill and Frankie Kennedy with Sean Cafferty, while Ciaran O’Kane and Kevin Patton got a precious half. The pairings of John Quinn with Michael Nicholson and Mairtín Ó hIarnáin with Hughie Moore battled to the 18th hole in their matches, thus ensuring that Narin and Portnoo are up on holes won.

Kevin Patton was much heralded in last week’s notes for his return to the form of yesteryear and he confirmed that upturn by winning the Coastal Windows stableford event played on a gale-lashed golf course on Sunday. The Strabane golfer finished in the top three for the third event in succession, firing 21 points with the aid of the wind and garnering enough points coming home to win comfortably. His birdies at the first and fourth gave him a cushion which he built on, despite some indifferent holes on his return. The fact that John McBride’s 16 points won the back nine on the day speaks volumes for how tough it was!

Summer coaching for juniors will resume on Saturday, June 4th with PGA professionals Connor Mallon and Daragh Lyons conducting lessons in three categories. These will continue every Saturday right through the summer. The time-slots are as follows: Under 10s from 2 to 3p.m.; Under 14s from 3 to 4p.m.; Under 18s from 4 to 5p.m. For Registration call 0749545107. The fee per lesson is only 5 euro per child.

Results:

May 25: Wednesday Open, cancelled due to adverse weather May 29: Coastal Windows 1. Kevin Patton (9) 33; 2. Hugh Smith (22) 31; 3. Hughie Moy (30) 30; Cat A Kieran Gallagher (9) 29; Cat B Barry Doherty (12) 30; Cat C James McGuinness (26) 26; Nines: Danny McGinley (17) 19; John McBride (9) 16; C.S.S. 76; Twos: 5 balls

Fixtures:

June 3: Donegal League match at home to Gaoth Dobhair, 4p.m.

June 4/5 Am-Am team event, open, ladies & gents June 8: Wednesday Open, ladies and gents, single stableford, 20 euro entry for G.U.I. visitors, including green fee;

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