Kenmare claim the Kerry Shield

Ger Walsh - Golf

Fifteen of the county's sixteen clubs took part in the Kerry Shield at Kenmare on Saturday last where home advantage proved vital for the host club in lifting the historic shield for the eight time in a nail-biting finish.

The unique format sees teams of six players play singles stableford with the best five cards counting as the team score, with the sixth card kept in the event of a tie, and outside of the Senior & Junior Cups (1900) and the Barton Shield (1911), the Kerry Shield is arguably Ireland's oldest inter-club trophy, dating back to 1928 when it was first won by Killarney.

Conditions at Kenmare on Saturday were tough with a south westerly breeze strengthening as the day went on. Kenmare, Parknasilla, Ring of Kerry and Killarney were the first four teams out, and all posted scores that remained at the top of the leaderboard for most of the day, and as the wind strengthened it was looking unlikely that those four top scores would be challenged.

However, late in the day the final three teams of Castlegregory, Castleisland and Ceann Sibeal posted some great individual and team scores to challenge for the title, and Ceann Sibeal, the last team in, matched Kenmare's score of 174 meaning that the sixth card was called on to decide the winners with the home side edging it by four points (204 to 200).

The winning Kenmare team was Kenmare Captain Paudie Kelleher, Padraig O'Shea, Gavin O'Shea, John Sweeney, Philip Duggan and David O'Dwyer Junior.

Federation Captain David O'Dwyer of Kenmare thanked all who represented their clubs on the day before presenting the medals and shield to the winning Kenmare team.

The best individual score on the day went to Ceann Sibéal's Patrick Farrell (13) with a fabulous 40 points while the Gross Prize went to Pat Doody (7) from Castlegregory with an equally brilliant 33 gross points.

The next Federation event will be the JB O'Shea Memorial Trophy on June 28 when, again, Kenmare Golf Club will welcome the Kerry Federation golf clubs to compete for the coveted trophy.