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Byrne toast of Ierne after first major victory

HOMETOWN hero Gary Byrne, the toast of Ierne. His first major, the Dublin Gents Senior Strokeplay title, sits on his mantelpiece.

"It was a fine championship," reports Dublin PRO Keith Redmond. "Ierne looked after everybody so well. Seventy players took part in the three grades, senior, inter and junior."

Dublin chairman Christy Broe gave the course his blessing. "It was a real championship test," he said.

Byrne was two ahead going into the last 18. Paul Nolan of Erin's Isle, as last year, kept in the race. "His day will come," predicts Keith Redmond. Last year's champion, JR Crangle of Loughlinstown, was the runner-up.

There was a thrilling conclusion to the Inter Championship. Old County colleagues Adam McGreal and Paul Griffen were together coming around the last bend. On the final hole McGreal pitched to within two feet. A Christy O'Connor Junior moment.

In the junior event, Glenville's Dean Gray was not for catching, especially after carding an exceptional 47 in the first 18 holes, a performance which saw him lead the field by a remarkable 12 shots. "The quality on display bodes well for Dublin's prospects at national level this season," added Keith.