Sunday 20 October 2019

All-conquering Malahide team are simply the Best

Golf's 2019 Best Cup has been won by Malahide GC who defeated Powerscourt GC over two legs in the final.

Malahide, who had knocked out Greystones, Ballinascorney, Balbriggan and Ashbourne to reach the decider, took a handsome 4-1 lead from their home leg three weeks into the return on the West Course at Powerscourt but quickly found themselves under pressure.

The hosts got off to a solid start in four of the matches, whilst Malahide had the upper hand in one. However, Malahide began to win holes around the turn and at one stage had a 3.5 to 1.5 lead.

Towards the closing holes, though, Powerscourt seemed to have the upper hand, with the 16th in particular turning out to be a horror hole for the visitors. Powerscourt won the first four matches and when Malahide lost the 16th hole in match five to go one down it looked like Powerscourt had a tremendous comeback victory in sight.

There was to be one more twist, though, as Malahide's pairing of Oliver Sheedy and Robert Doyle won the 17th and the 18th, sending the match up the 19th in failing daylight. Doyle then played a superb chip from the back of the green to leave himself a short putt which he sank to confirm Malahide's victory.

Malahide team manager Bill Phelan collected the pennant and trophy and was full of praise for the courtesy and welcome for his team from everyone at Powerscourt GC.

Bill then presented Malahide captain Brendan Ryan with the trophy and it was a feeling of deja vu for playing member Oliver Sheedy who had previously won the Best Cup in 1996 and 2011 with Malahide.

Powerscourt player/manager Colman O'Neill, whilst disappointed with the final result, was full of praise for the tremendous golf Powerscourt played and how they had made the final the closest for a number of years.

This year a total of 31 teams were entered into the Best Cup, the format for which is five matches of 18-hole fourball for players with a handicap of 19 and upwards.

The Best Cup started life as the Inter-Club Rabbit's Cup in 1961 for players of 18 handicap and over, is named after long-term organiser Bertie Best and is organised by Malahide GC for participating clubs.

Malahide GC have themselves won the cup five times previously (1964, 1978, 1993, 1996 and 2011), whilst Powerscourt - who have been in the Best Cup since 1997 - had previous reached three finals (2000, 2014, 2015).

Fingal Independent