A year to remember for East Cork Golf Club with Munster and All-Ireland titles

Glory for East Cork saw the ladies and men capture major prizes
A year to remember for East Cork Golf Club with Munster and All-Ireland titles

Scott Coyle Garde (East Cork) on the 6th green in the AIG Mens Jimmy Bruen Shield All Ireland quarter-final at Slieve Russell Golf Club. Picture: Golffile/Thos Caffrey

WITHOUT a doubt 2022 has proven to be the greatest year in the history of East Cork Golf Club.

Winning the prestigious Jimmy Bruen Shield was a landmark success but as it transpired that All-Ireland triumph was to be just the first of three national and four provincial wins.

Never before had the club risen to such lofty heights as they swept all before them in dramatic style on a never to be forgotten few weeks in late summer.

The ladies brought home a Munster and All-Ireland double. Firstly it was the AIG Intermediate Cup, which was won in thrilling circumstances at Knightsbrook Spa and Resort, just one week after the men had secured the coveted Jimmy Bruen green pennant defeating Coollattin GC at PGA National Slieve Russell.

The ladies then quickly followed up by winning the Revive Active 4 Ball in Athlone and in the process completed a double over Edmondstown GC, who they had also defeated in the Intermediate Cup.

So stories to tell and great days to recall as team members and friends recently attended a victory social at their base at Gortacrue.

Moments shared to last a lifetime and memories recalled too of some of the club’s greatest stalwarts, sadly some of whom have passed on to their eternal reward. Thoughts of the late Maurice Moloney were to the fore of many minds as was the memory of Eddie O’Brien, who had left us earlier this year.

Fittingly, Eddie’s wife Marie sank the putt to win the Intermediate Cup whilst their son Stephen was also the man in the spotlight as he holed the final putt to capture the Bruen. It all seemed to be written in the stars that the family of a man who loved his club so much, were to take centre stage as the club enjoyed its finest hours. Ladies club captain Caroline Goldspring said the feeling of what has been achieved is only now sinking in.

It’s been an unbelievable year for everybody. 

"From the ladies point of view they all have been so dedicated, having put in some hard hours travelling around the country for practice rounds."

Marie O’Brien (East Cork) and her caddy celebrate on the 17th green on winning the AIG Intermediate Cup All-Ireland final at Knightsbrook Golf Club. Picture: Thos Caffrey/Golffile
Marie O’Brien (East Cork) and her caddy celebrate on the 17th green on winning the AIG Intermediate Cup All-Ireland final at Knightsbrook Golf Club. Picture: Thos Caffrey/Golffile

Marie O’Brien takes up the story of the Intermediate Cup finale.

“On the 17th I didn’t really know what was happening overall. My game had been very close with little between us throughout. I was 1 up going up the second last and managed to hit three good shots. My chip had run on which made it a very long putt. So, it was just a case of trying to get it close. When it fell in, the crowd erupted and people realised we had won. There was huge support watching up on the hill so it created a wonderful atmosphere.

“After that win, Edmondstown were seemingly gunning for us when we came up against them again in the Revive Active but once more our girls were just amazing, digging deep to win. We had been close a couple of years previously but had just missed out, so it was extra sweet."

Men’s club captain Jimmy McCarthy saw the male brigade reach a first All-Ireland since 1990.

"At the AGM, I only had one wish - to bring a pennant back to the club - it is beyond our wildest dreams to bring three home, with the Fred Perry 4 Ball and the seniors adding to the holy grail of the Jimmy Bruen. 

The Bruen game in Mallow looked like it might be the end in Munster but we won the very last match and never looked back thereafter.”

So to the final and the logistical challenge that it brought.

"The guys travelled north the week before for the practice rounds. We won relatively comfortably in both the quarter- and semi-finals and when it came to the final on Saturday, it was looking good as we were 3 up on 2 of the matches with 4 holes to play. Forty minutes later it was back very much in the mix. with Stephen O’Brien required to step and take center stage”, concluded Jimmy.

“Ya it was a great feeling to sink the putt and get such a big win for the club,” comments Stephen.

“We could notice that the atmosphere was changing in the crowd as the day progressed and momentum started to swing against us, with a few nerves floating around. The match behind us was halved so there was a bit of wriggle room in our game thankfully”.

2022 might be an almost impossible year to follow for East Cork GC - but it will certainly last in the memory bank forever.

Congrats one and all!

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