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Greene energy fuels Portmarnock victory

THE omens were good for Portmarnock when they went north to Castlerock for the Irish Senior Cup finale -- the club had achieved its two most recent triumphs on Ulster soil, at Portstewart in 1995 and Lisburn in 2003.

However, the club's 19th success in the Blue Riband of Irish club golf had more to do with talent and application than superstition.

The addition of 2010 South of Ireland champion and Irish international John Greene to the squad which beat Muskerry 3-2 in the semi-finals, and Warrenpoint by 4-1 in Saturday's final was also significant.

Greene (25) played out of Carlow/ UCD when winning 'the South', but he has availed of student membership at Portmarnock in recent years and became a full member this year.

He had missed the Leinster Senior Cup campaign because the Portmarnock matches clashed with Brabazon Trophy commitments for the GUI and the World University Games in China.

On Saturday, Greene's 3&2 verdict against Colm Campbell Jnr, who had helped Warrenpoint to Barton Shield victory last Thursday, was pivotal.

Greene was the epitome of steadiness, scoring four birdies and 10 pars over 14 holes to be three up.

"I played nicely. Colm had me under pressure early on when he started off with a couple of birdies in the first four, but he dropped a couple of shots and I made some solid pars," he said.

"I thought, 'if I don't make any bogeys he will have to make birdies to beat me'.


"Once I got two up through nine, I couldn't see him making more birdies than I was going to make, so I just held him there."

James Fox was taken to the 18th before he eclipsed Paul Reavey by two holes.

At virtually the same time, 23-year- old Geoff Lenehan was playing his way down the par-five 17th against David Barron, while, back on 16, Greene was finishing off his match with Campbell to secure Portmarnock's second point.

It was all down to Lenehan, who availed of the advice given by the older Portmarnock players such as Niall Goulding, who was in the last match.

"They told me just to make pars and that's what I tried to do," he said.

The formula worked, as Lenehan duly nailed down a par on 17 for a 2&1 win and the Senior Cup-clinching point after his opponent found trouble off the drive and took a bogey six.

Michael Brett and Goulding had their matches, against Stephen Coulter and Ryan Gribben respectively, called in.

Meanwhile, Claremorris were the pride of Mayo and Connacht golf after they won the Jimmy Bruen Shield.

Claremorris, who had never previously won a GUI pennant, produced a gritty performance to overcome a gallant Forrest Little 3/2.

The men from one of Mayo's finest parkland courses showed they could do the business on a challenging links layout as well.

Included on the team was the Leinster Boys U-15 champion Shane McGagh.The teenager and David Burke won their match 7/5.

Details in Factfile

Irish Independent