DOUGLAS Golf Club maintained their challenge for and AIG Senior Cup pennant with an impressive win over rivals Cork last week.
Strong performances from all five team members put the Douglas side into the area final, reversing the result of the most recent Barton Shield match.
Two weeks ago Cork went to Douglas for the AIG Barton Shield area semi-final and they came away with a two hole victory.
This time it was the home team that had the upper hand and at one stage they led in all five matches.
Douglas were up in two matches at the turn, level in two and Cork led one match.
The back nine was all about Douglas as the home side applied the pressure.
Peter O'Keeffe held a 2 hole lead over Cork’s Morgan Cain heading into the back nine and double Irish Champion added a few more birdies to close out the match on the 16th.
At the end O’Keeffe's seven birdies were no match for Cain’s three birdies.
James Walsh added a second point for Douglas when he closed out his match against Mark Ford on the 14th, Walsh build up a lead on the front nine and kept the pressure on until the match was over.
Robbie Walsh had a very tight game against Ian O’Rourke, Ian went one up on the 13th but by the time the 16th was played it was Walsh who was one ahead.
The decisive point came from Jack Murphy who was also having a battle with Brian Kelleher.
The match was level until Murphy won three holes in a row from the 12th to the 14th and a half on the 16th meant the match and the overall result was secured for Douglas.
As it happened Mel Deasy had gone one up against Gary O’Flaherty on the 13th meaning Douglas were ahead in all five matches when the result was called.
Douglas have been challenging for honours at Senior Cup level for a few years but have missed out in the latter stages.
They reached the Munster final in 2020 and last year they lost out in the Munster East final.
This year they had an impressive start to the campaign, with solid wins over East Cork and Fota Island in the preliminary stages.
They now face Lee Valley as they aim to advance to the Munster East final for a second successive year.
As it happens it will be a Lee Valley doubleheader in the Barton Shield and the Senior Cup.
Lee Valley got the better of Muskerry in their Senior Cup area semi-final last week while in the Barton Shield they overcame Bandon by four holes over the weekend.
Clubs have been very busy over the last six weeks, this year there are well over 20 inter-club events across women’s, men's and under-age grades, and most competitions are now at their second or third round stages.
James Sugrue and John Murphy were bought in the money over the weekend, Cork’s two young tour professionals both claimed just over €2,000. Sugrue was in action in Metz in France on the Alps Tour and the Mallow man was tied for the lead going into Sunday's final round.
Despite shooting a three-under par 67 for his final round he ended up in fifth place and claimed €2,120 in prize money. He now moves from the Alps tour to the Challenge Tour and he'll be hoping to carry his good form into the Kaskada Challenge in the Czech Republic which starts today.
John Murphy was in action in Girona at the Emporda Challenge.
The Kinsale man, who celebrated his 24th birthday on Sunday, has happy memories of the Emporda resort from last year.
He shot his lowest tournament round (-16) that week and finished in third place for his best result on the Challenge Tour.
Murphy opened with rounds of 68, 68, 69 and was just inside the top ten heading into the final round.
Unfortunately for John, he couldn’t get a score going and his final round 72 meant that he finished in 29th place.
Despite the disappointment the top 30 finish did mean that he rose in the Challenge Tour Rankings and he’s now 56th on the order of merit. Murphy will take this week off before heading the next three events in France and Italy.
Murphy will be looking to improve his ranking over the coming weeks, he’ll be hoping to secure a place in the top 48 for the season-ending Race to Mallorca.
He’ll also be hoping to secure a DP World Tour Card if he can finish in the top 20 at the end of the season.