Glory for Leinster in thriller
LEINSTER are the toast of Irish golf after winning the Women’s Interprovincials following their thrilling 5½ to 3½ win over Ulster on the final day of play at Cork Golf Club yesterday. It’s their first triumph since 2009 and, after earlier wins over Munster and Connacht, denied Ulster three-in-a-row.
The foundation for victory came after their 2-1 result in the morning foursomes during which the pairings of Karen Delaney/Maria Dunne and Mary Dowling/Louise Mernagh came up trumps.
Leinster captain Denise McCarthy did an excellent job in motivating her team and said the key to victory was the good start in the foursomes which set them up for the singles battle.
She commented: “Ariana Coyle Diez got a great half against Charlene Reid in the second singles match. That was unexpected because we expected them to be very strong at the top. We loaded mid table down to the last match and the plan worked perfectly.
“We were consistently good all week. There was a great team spirit and everyone pulled for the team. You never felt it was going against us. A lot of work and preparation has gone into it so it’s great to realise the fruits of the labour.”
Dunne set the ball rolling for Leinster with a magnificent 7&5 win over Louise Coffey. But, the overall outcome remained on tenterhooks when Ulster’s Paula Grant won the next match 1up. That followed an earlier exhibition from Leona Maguire who finished out her game seven under par after just 13 holes.
So, the trophy destination hinged on the final two matches and it was here that Leinster held the aces.
The in-form Mary Dowling sealed victory on the 17th green after Jessica Carty hit her drive out of bounds.
The tension was high with the score 4 ½ to 3 ½ but when the experienced Deirdre Smith guaranteed at least a half following a birdie on 16, Leinster were already celebrating. The Co. Louth golfer finished in style winning on 17.
Munster held out for third place, beating Connacht 9-0.
Many of the players will return to Cork Golf Club in September for the Women’s Home Internationals and captain McCarthy says it is an occasion they are all looking forward to.
“Cork Golf Club were fantastic. It couldn’t have been run better. It augurs well for a very successful Home Internationals, ” she said.
© This appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Saturday, April 14, 2012