Saturday 1 November 2014

Royal Dublin hit back to see off local rivals

Published 11/08/2014 | 02:30

Former Irish Amateur Open winner Gavin Moynihan turned out for The Island against Royal Dublin. Photo: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
Former Irish Amateur Open winner Gavin Moynihan turned out for The Island against Royal Dublin. Photo: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Victory in the Leinster Barton Shield has clinched a place for Royal Dublin in the AIG Cups and Shields finals at Carton House next month.

The Dollymount team faced daunting opposition in the provincial final against The Island, who fielded Walker Cup and former Irish Amateur Open winner Gavin Moynihan, R&A Junior Open champion Kevin Leblanc, Ulster Boys 2013 winner Paul McBride and Stephen Dixon.

Leblanc and Dixon combined to defeat Royal Dublin's Sean Ryan and South of Ireland championship semi-finalist Richard Knightly by one hole.

In the other match, Barry Anderson and Ian O'Rourke played impressively to defeat Moynihan and McBride by six holes, giving Royal Dublin the overall verdict by five holes.

Anderson, formerly of County Sligo, won the AIG Barton Shield with NUIM when he was on a Paddy Harrington scholarship at Maynooth in 2012. He has played senior international golf for Ireland.

The Royal Dublin panel also includes Kelan McDonagh, who was also on the NUIM Barton Shield-winning panel of two years ago. McDonagh has the Irish Youths championship and the Mullingar Scratch Trophy on his golfing CV credits.

Chris Drumm is a former Youths international, while Gary McGrane has won the Irish Boys title, so there's plenty of winning experience in the squad.

Royal Dublin have won the Barton Shield three times – 1924, 1925 and 1968 and will mount a strong challenge as they bid to bring the trophy back to the north Dublin links once more.

In Ulster, newly-crowned South of Ireland champion Stuart Bleakley helped Shandon Park overcame Scrabo to set up a provincial semi-final against Rosapenna. Dunmurry will play Warrenpoint in the other semi-final at Moyola Park on August 24.

Meanwhile, Royal Portrush will go in search of their 27th Irish title when the remaining eight teams tee off in the quarter-finals of the AIG Irish Ladies Senior Cup at Mount Wolseley on Sunday next.

Portrush, the defending champions, will play Elm Park in the first quarter-final with the winners facing either Co Sligo or Killarney.

Douglas, the 2011 champions, play Laytown & Bettystown with a place in the semi-finals at stake against either Enniscorthy or Midland champions Kilkenny.

* AIG offer GUI/ILGU members exclusive discounted rates on car, home and travel insurance – log on to www.aig.ie/golf or call 1890 405 405

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