Sunday 4 December 2016

Castlebar bid to bring home an All-Ireland win for Mayo

Published 16/09/2016 | 02:30

Nenagh will present formidable opposition, judging by their 4-1 result against Nuremore in the other semi-final (Stock picture)
Nenagh will present formidable opposition, judging by their 4-1 result against Nuremore in the other semi-final (Stock picture)

Mayo's first All-Ireland final of the week takes place today when Castlebar face Nenagh in the AIG Pierce Purcell Shield final at Carton House.

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It may be 'only' golf, and may not matter hugely to anyone outside Castlebar Golf Club, but the team's commitment will match that of the county footballers who face the Dubs at Croke Park on Sunday.

The challenge is to break new ground and make history by winning the Purcell Shield for the first time.

Nenagh, by contrast, have experienced the joy of winning this prized trophy for the higher handicaps three times - 1989, '91 and '98.

Castlebar achieved their first objective, which was to get past the semi-final barrier presented by Kilkenny's Castlecomer.

Narrowest

They did so on the narrowest of margins, winning 3-2 and with the decisive match going up the 19th before Stephen Munnelly and Thomas Ruane edged home against Castlecomer's Pat Comerford and John Bergin.

The Castlebar duo managed to survive at the death, getting up and down from 30 yards for a winning par four to square the match.

On the first extra hole, the par-five first on the O'Meara Course, Munnelly holed a raker for birdie to clinch the win.

The other winning pairings for the Mayo team were David Molloy and Paul Fitzgerald, and Val Jennings and Michael McHugh.

Nenagh will present formidable opposition, judging by their 4-1 result against Nuremore in the other semi-final.

Their top three pairings - Paddy Kennedy and Padraig Hackett, Bernard Hackett and PJ Hogan, and Mel Gleeson and John Hogan all won decisively - and the other two matches were called in.

Irish Independent

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