Double joy for Dun Laoghaire in Revive Active Fourball
A magnificent team effort inspires holders in fine example of crucial role sponsorship plays
Club spirit was key as Dun Laoghaire retained the Revive Active Ladies Fourball title thanks to a 3.5-1.5 win over a combative Tramore at Athenry.
It was the culmination of six months of hard work by the defending champions, who used as many as 23 players throughout a six-month campaign.
The success of the event was also an example of the importance of sponsorship in sport.
"I am a huge believer in the importance of sponsorship and the ILGU and Revive Active deserve mention because we are amateurs and we don't get these types of events without sponsorship," Dun Laoghaire manager Susan White said. "It's critical."
Dun Laoghaire defeated Ballybofey & Stranorlar 4-1 in their semi-final as Tramore edged out last year's runners-up, Kilrea, 3-2 in a bruising battle.
But the final was just as gripping and the key match was arguably the first to be settled on the final day.
While Tramore made a tremendous start and two- handicapper Anna Dawson and Bonnie Collingwood raced three up, Caroline Hewitt and Angela O'Sullivan fought back to beat them on the 19th.
Girls international Dawson had been particularly impressive and it took a killer, 20-foot putt by O'Sullivan at the first extra hole to get the first point on the board.
"Even though it was our first point of the day, I felt that things might go our way after that," Fiona said.
While Eilis Strappe and Ella Butler levelled the scores by beating Barbara Dillon and Jackie Brownlow 4&3, Dun Laoghaire won the bottom two matches as match three was heading down to the 19th.
Aine Jolly and Alice Collins beat Mia Maughan and Olivia O'Hanlon 2 up as Fiona Scott and Helen McGoohan defeated Marian Arnold and Rachel Mulcahy 2&1.
"The thing with Revive is it goes on over five-and-a-half or six months and we had 23 players involved all through the campaign," added the Dun Laoghaire manager.
"Only Aine Jolly, Fiona Scott, Heather McGoohan and Angela O'Sullivan played in every match but we had a lot of players come in at different times.
"It's a huge commitment for players, visiting venues and getting to know team mates, taking time out of their day jobs and lives.
"We had an inter-generational group too from players in their early 20s to older women with grown-up children of their own. We try to involve everyone, right through the club.
"To be successful and do the double, you need numbers and a broad range of committed and competitive players."
Dun Laoghaire clearly ticked all the boxes and it was fitting that Jolly, one of the most committed of all their players, should hole what proved to be the winning putt.