Galway set for Barton battle
Former champions Warrenpoint and last year's beaten finalists Galway will meet in the final of the AIG Barton Shield today after scoring semi-final victories over Cork and hosts Carton House respectively.
The match is a repeat of the 2005 final, which Warrenpoint won, and it promises to be a highly competitive contest on day two of the GUI finals.
Just three players between the two clubs were part of that big game 11 years ago.
Galway veteran and former international Joe Lyons was on the losing side, while Paul Reavey and Colm Campbell Junior were on the Warrenpoint panel.
Lyons has three gold medals on his golfing CV - two from the Senior Cup and one from the Barton Shield.
If he is to add to his tally of honours, a strong Warrenpoint team has to be beaten - and that will be no easy task.
Hosts Carton House were defeated by just one hole overall on the foursomes format in which the total number of holes won counts for the result.
Mullingar Scratch Trophy winner Ronan Mullarney and Liam Power, who has just completed fifth year in school, claimed a four-hole win over Alan Egan and ex-Irish international Gary McDermott.
In the second match, Lyons and Cathal Nolan trailed by three holes going to the final hole against East of Ireland title holder Paul O'Hanlon and Jack Doherty.
Carton were in trouble off the tee-shot and from there went on to double-bogey the hole, giving the Connacht champions a berth in the final.
"It's a real bonus for us to come through. The golf was very scrappy. We're delighted to be back in the final. Hopefully we will go one better than last year," said Lyons.
Ulster champions Warrenpoint got the better of their semi-final against Cork GC, winning by two holes. Paul Reavey and Jamie Fletcher finished all square with Brian Kelleher and Mark Ford.
Colm Campbell Junior partnered Stephen Coulter to a two-holes verdict against Paul Tobin and John Hickey.
Campbell (29) won the Irish Amateur Open title earlier this year and has played in three professional tournaments this year - the Irish Open, the NI Open and the Volopa Irish Challenge last week at Mount Wolseley.
Next week he plays European Tour school stage one at Collingtree Park, but for now his focus is on winning a third Barton Shield medal.
"It's a long year trying to get here but if we win it'll get even better," said Campbell.
In the AIG Junior Cup semi-finals, Lurgan beat Athenry 4-1, while Castle GC from Dublin edged out Tralee 3-2.