Royal Portrush win Senior Cup title

ROYAL Portrush claimed their 24th Irish Senior Cup title after defeating a gallant Douglas team 4½ – ½ in Saturday’s final, played at Cork Golf Club.

The northern coast side, who were pre-tournament favourites, got off to a fantastic start with Lucy Simpson recording an early win over Aoife Lane in the fourth match.
Former International Gemma McClenaghan, was involved in a tight affair with Karen O’Neill at the top of the order but moved into a three hole lead after 14 holes and proceeded to score a 4&2 win.
Star of the Royal Portrush team, Helen Jones brought the trophy north for the fifth time in eight years with a 4&3 win over Ailish Thompson in the bottom game while moments later current international Charlene Reid edged out Eavan Higgins with a birdie at the 18th.
A final score line of 4½ – ½ in favour of the Ulster champions was confirmed when Maura Diamond and Kate MacCann were called-in after 17 holes.
In the first of the morning semi-finals, Douglas secured the top three matches on the home green to defeat an experienced Laytown & Bettystown team who also exited the tournament at this stage last year.
Royal Portrush were also faced with a tight semi final match but defeated southern champions Lahinch to progress to the afternoon final.
Helen Jones set Royal Portrush on their way to the final with a comfortable 7&6 over Valerie Shannon in the bottom match but there was little between the sides in the four remaining matches.
The top two matches saw some excellent golf with the talented Sinead Sexton of Lahinch producing a birdie three at the 18th to force ties holes with former international Gemma McClenaghan.
Linda Toomey also played some impressive golf during a tough battle with current international Charlene Reid.  However, Royal Portrush showed their strength when Lucy Simpson took the Northern side a step closer to the final as she slotted a 15ft putt on the 16th to defeat the experienced Valerie Hassett in the penultimate match.
Royal Portrush then confirmed the win though Niamh Quigg who beat Olivia Hayes 2&1.

FINAL
DOUGLAS ½ – 4 ½ ROYAL PORTRUSH

Karen O’Neill lost to Gemma McClenaghan 4&2
Eavan Higgings lost to Charlene Reid 1up
Kate MacCann halved with Maura Diamond (called-in)
Aoife Lane lost to Lucy Simpson 8&6
Ailish Thompson lost to Helen Jones 4&3
Team Captains: Deirdre Buckley & Claire Robinson

SEMI FINALS
DOUGLAS 3 – 2 LAYTOWN & BETTYSTOWN

Karen O’Neill bt Alison Taylor 2up
Eavan Higgins bt Carol Wickham 1up
Kate McCann bt Phil O’Gorman 1up
Aoife Lane halved with Barbara Cooney (called-in)
Ailish Thompson halved with Noeline Quirke (called-in)
Team Captains: Deirdre Buckley & Aileen Regan

LAHINCH 1 – 4 ROYAL PORTRUSH
Sinead Sexton halved with Gemma McClenaghan (called-in)
Linda Toomey halved with Charlene Reid (called-in)
Olivia Hayes lost to Niamh Quigg 2&1
Valerie Hassett lost to Lucy Simpson 3&2
Valerie Shannon lost to Helen Jones 7&6
Team Captains: Georgina Condon & Claire Robinson

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