Fleming and O’Connor both lose out in second round on Sunday morning
It was a disappointing weekend ultimately for the large Kerry contingent at the National Mens Matchplay Finals at Douglas in Cork.
Of the nine players in the field only defending champion Damien Fleming of Deerpark and Listowel’s Tom O’Connor made it through to Sunday with both losing their Round 2 matches that morning.
Damien had made a winning start to his bid to retain the title in defeating Listowel’s Jake Shine 5&4 in the first match of the weekend.
He faced Larkspur Park’s James Cleary in the second round and despite taking an early lead in the match; he failed to take a decisive grip on proceedings and would lose out by 2&1 in the finish.
Tom O’Connor, meanwhile, won a right ding-dong affair with Majestic of Mallow’s David Daly on Saturday at the last hole, but he was well beaten by former two-time winner Mark Millar from Louth on Sunday, 9&8.
Listowel’s Killian O’Gorman lost out by 8&7 to Fermoy’s John Cahill on Saturday while Eamon Sheehy was defeated 3&2 by Hillview’s Stephen O’Reilly. Deerpark’s John McGrath was beaten by Meath’s Eamon Gibney 4&3 while the afternoon session saw little better.
Listowel’s Ryan Allman and Tralee duo Darren Goodall and Jason O'Regan all battled hard but it ended in defeat for them eventually. Ryan lost 4&3 to Lucan's Chris Gallagher; Darren went to a second tie hole (38th) with Lakeside's Mick Fennell while Jason battled bravely through the pain barrier before losing out by 4&2 to McBride's Padraic Sarsfield.
This weekend sees the National Strokeplay Qualifiers take place in Listowel on Sunday morning with 19 players across the three Mens grades due to join Damien Fleming in the Finals on the first weekend in July.
Damien is automatic by virtue of his runners-up finish in the senior competition last year. The Juniors compete for five spots, the Intermediates six spots with eight final spots once again on offer to the county’s seniors. Play begins at 8.30am with the Juniors followed by the Intermediates and Seniors.
Finally as the Bob Casey comes to a conclusion on Tuesday June 14th next in Newmarket we are glad to say the newly dedicated Tim Scannell Memorial Inter-Club Matchplay will begin in Tralee a week later on June 21.
Full details are with the clubs but we look forward to getting this event off the ground in the next few weeks.