Connacht’s hopes of interprovincial glory finished in disappointment on Friday (31st August) as they finished in fourth spot following Munster’s amazing comeback to deny Leinster a fourth consecutive crown at Athenry Golf Club.
The hosts (consisting of David Kitt, Allan Hill, Alex Gleeson, Sean Flanagan, Joe Lyons, TJ Ford, Ronan Mullarney and Jack McDonnell) began their campaign on Wednesday in thrilling fashion when they beat Leinster 6.5-4.5 but couldn’t add to that success as the southern province overtook the opposition.
ULster ensured Connacht finished bottom of the four-team group with a 6.5-4.5 win on Day Three but it was Munster’s 8.5-2.5 emphatic delivery that overturned the fortunes of both teams.
And despite an opening day defeat to eventual runners-up Ulster, Munster got the necessary points over the two days culminating in a 7.5-3.5 trouncing of the defending champions.
“No way,” said Geoff Lenehan when told his par putt on 18 had clinched the title for the first time since 2014. His Munster teammates were smiling but they were not joking. Lenehan’s one-hole win against Alan Fahy ensured Munster had the six points necessary for a match victory over Leinster.
“That was unbelievable,” said Munster captain Michael Coote. “We knew this morning after being down 3-1, we had a great team meeting before we went out. I told them, ‘Lads we did 6-1 yesterday in the singles [against Connacht]. I only want 5-2 today.’ And they pulled it off. What a team.”
Men’s Interprovincial Championship
Athenry Golf Club
Friday, 31st August
Ulster 6.5 Connacht 4.5 (Ulster names first)
T McLarnon & M McClean beat D Kitt & A Hill 3&2; M McKinstry & M Norton beat A Gleeson & S Flanagan 2H; R Black & R Dutton beat J Lyons & TJ Ford 2&1; P Kerr & R Williamson lost to R Mullarney & J McDonnell 2&1;
T McLarnon beat A Gleeson 2H, R Black lost to R Mullarney 6&5; P Kerr halved with D Kitt; M McClean beat J McDonnell 4&2; M McKinstry beat TJ Ford 3&2; R Dutton lost to S Flanagan 2&1; M Norton lost to J Lyons 5&3
Thursday, 30th August
Connacht 2.5 Munster 8.5 (Connacht names first)
A Gleeson & S Flanagan lost to A McCormack & C Butler 3&2; A Hill & D Kitt lost to J Sugrue & E Griffin 2&1; R Mullarney & J McDonnell beat G O’Flaherty & P O’Keeffe 5&4; J Lyons & TJ Ford halved with J Hickey & G Lenehan;
A Gleeson lost to J Sugrue 1H; A Hill lost to E Griffin 2H; R Mullarney lost to P O’Keeffe 1H; J McDonnell lost to A McCormack 1H; TJ Ford beat C Butler 3&2; J Lyons lost to J Hickey 4&3; D Kitt lost to G O’Flaherty 3&2
Wednesday 29 August
Leinster 4.5 Connacht 6.5 (Leinster names first)
C Rafferty & E Smith beat A Gleeson & S Flanagan 6&5; J Yates & R Brazill lost to A Hill & D Kitt 1H; A Fahy & C Denvir beat J Lyons & TJ Ford 2&1; R Cannon & R Moran lost to R Mullarney & J McDonnell 3&2;
C Rafferty beat S Flanagan 4&3; R Cannon halved with J McDonnell; J Yates halved with D Kitt; R Brazill halved with A Gleeson; R Moran lost to A Hill 2&1; A Fahy lost to R Mullarney 1H; E Smith lost to J Lyons 1H