EAST Cork Golf Club’s dream season continued with victory in the AIG Women’s Intermediate Cup at Knightsbrook Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort, to go along with the Men’s Jimmy Bruen Shield title they claimed last weekend.
Having defeated Galway Bay by a single point in the previous round, East Cork faced Edmondstown in the final in glorious September sunshine, with the Dublin club coming through their own nail-biting semi-final against Adare Manor.
East Cork tea captain Ellen Dorgan made one change from the five-person team that started the semi-final, with Marie O’Brien replacing Claire Coughlan in the lead-off match, after caddying for daughter Claire in the semi-final win.
East Cork’s Kate Daly got the first point on the board in the second match, securing a 5&4 victory over Carmel Burke-Daly, and Claire O’Brien added a second with another 5&4 win over Shirley O’Donoghue in the fourth match, but those were soon cancelled out as Corolanne Roopnarinesingh and Grace O’Neill got Edmondstown back on level terms as they overcame Mary Walsh and Orla Evans respectively, so the tie would be decided by Marie O’Brien and Barbara Maher.
In a match that swung both ways, O’Brien edged back in front on the 15th hole and reached the 17th knowing that a victory would secure the pennant, and with two putts from 35 feet for the win, she only needed one as the ball found the cup at perfect speed, much to the delight of the large East Cork following that had amassed on the bank to the right edge of the green.
Speaking afterwards, team captain Ellen Dorgan spoke of what the achievement meant for the club.
“Proud,” she said, “proud is the word. I’m delighted for the girls and delighted for the club. Our Intermediate team have never won a pennant – all the other girls’ teams have, but we haven’t – so I’m delighted that these girls have done it because we’ve been knocking on the door, probably for the last 10 years we’ve been knocking on the door in Munster, and finally that door opened for us and we ended up in Knightsbrook.”
For the second week in succession, East Cork’s support have travelled en masse and Dorgan paid tribute to the efforts made to be there to cheer them on.
“We are so proud of them, and that’s the support around every match. Every match we played in Munster, and people have taken time off work but they knew we had it in us to reach the final and as soon as we won yesterday the texts were flying.
“It was very emotional for a lot of members.
Among the members to suffer tragedy were Marie and Claire O’Brien, with Marie’s husband Eddie passing away a month ago after a long battle with alzheimer’s disease. Speaking afterwards alongside their son and brother Stephen who holed the winning putt in the Jimmy Bruen shield success, they paid tribute to their late husband and father.
“We did it for him,” Marie said, “he was so involved with the club. He was captain, he was president, and he loved caddying for me and we all did it for him.”
Stephen, who was wearing his father’s ‘president’ embroidered club vest said “it brought us luck last week and it brought the guys luck today. We definitely did it for him and we’re bringing back two green pennants to East Cork for him.”