Gorey plays down chances as Muskerry take on Royal Dublin
Published 16/09/2015 | 02:30
Niall Gorey might still be waiting for a championship win, but if he can help Muskerry retain the AIG Barton Shield this week he might just die a happy man.
Twelve months ago, the 35-year-old Kildare native teamed up with three close friends to claim the gold medal at Carton House's O'Meara Course and end the Cork club's 61-year wait for a second Barton Shield victory.
Today he heads back into the fray with pal Dave O'Donovan for a semi-final clash with a Royal Dublin side that's gunning for some redemption in the elite foursomes competition, having lost to Warrenpoint at the same stage last year.
"We have a massive task against Royal Dublin," said former international Gorey (35), who reached the 2013 West of Ireland final but came away empty-handed.
"They are probably the best team we have played in the last two years. They're the red-hot favourites - the superstar team - and we are just there to do our best."
While Gorey and O'Donovan take on senior inter-provincials Shaun Carter and Jeff Hopkins, Daniel Hallissey and new blood Shane Whooley face Cork's Ian O'Rourke and Sligo's Barry Anderson.
Former West of Ireland winner Joe Lyons teams up for Galway with Stephen Brady against Kealan Quigg and Ryan Gribben, who was a member of that losing Warrenpoint quartet last year.
Then there's the silky short game skills of Ronan Mullarney and partner Colm Hughes against Garrett Mallon and Kyle McCarron, who is one of Mullarney's Maynooth University team-mates during the academic year.
The cups and shields make for arguably the biggest club tournament in the world - the club golfer's equivalent of the Champions League.
More than 20,000 golfers and 1,500 club teams participated in the first stages of the five events, with the semi-finals and finals of the of the AIG Senior Cup, Junior Cup, Pierce Purcell Shield and Jimmy Bruen Shield also being contested over the next four days.