Royal Dublin chase All-Ireland title after home victory
Having retained their Leinster title, Royal Dublin are back chasing All-Ireland success in the AIG Insurance Barton Shield.
The Dollymount club made the most of home advantage for this year's provincial final as they edged past Laytown & Bettystown to add another pennant to their collection.
It was tight in the end with just one hole to spare against the men from Louth.
After beating Rosslare by four holes in the quarter-finals, the champions came through against Stuart Grehan's Tullamore in the semi-finals. However the home side, featuring Jeff Hopkins, Shaun Carter, Barry Anderson and Ian O'Rourke, ultimately prevailed.
"It was a real honour for the players and managers to successfully defend the Barton Shield on our home course," said team manager Michael Chambers.
Sligo-native Anderson and Corkman O'Rourke will be looking for a victory on the O'Meara Course at Carton House for the Cups and Shields Finals, which take place from 16-19 September. Also through to the September showpiece at Carton are Connacht champions Galway. All-Ireland winners in 2007 when they won at Shandon Park, Galway beat Galway Bay on home turf in this year's Connacht final. Father and son duo Tom and Cathal Nolan helped Galway to victory in their semi-final against Oughterard while 2007 West of Ireland champion Joe Lyons partnered Cathal Nolan in the final against Galway Bay.
"It was the best day in the club in nearly 50 years of being a member," said Galway team manager Kieran O'Mahony. Warrenpoint, beaten in last year's All-Ireland final by Muskerry, are through to the Ulster semi-finals where they will face Clandeboye while Dunmurry and North West meet on the other side of the draw. The reigning All-Ireland champions safely progressed to the last four in Munster, having bridged a 61-year gap by winning last year's All-Ireland title. Should The Royal Dublin succeed them in 2015, it will be their first Barton Shield crown since 1968.
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