Warrenpoint GC treble still on after Barton Shield win


PRE-EVENT favourites, Warrenpoint GC, found themselves drawn into a real battle in the final of the Barton Shield at Castlerock GC yesterday.
The Co Down club, aiming for a hat-trick of All-Ireland titles at this year’s Chartis sponsored National Finals were cruising towards victory before a late wobble nearly let Munster champions Tramore back into the tie.
Having at one stage trailed by five holes with just 11 holes remaining, Tramore’s Alan Thomas found himself standing over a six foot birdie putt on the 18th that would have taken the tie into extra holes.
Fortunately for Warrenpoint, Thomas’ putt slid by the hole to spark celebrations from the Warrenpoint players and supporters.
“They kept coming back at us and we knew they weren’t going to go away,” said Colm Campbell Jnr who partnered Ryan Gribben to that crucial one-hole victory.
“We knew we needed to stay at it, that we couldn’t let it go and we got there in the end.
“We opened up with three or four birdies and an eagle, but in golf and in foursomes golf, things can turn very quickly.
“Fair play to the boys (Thomas and David Kiely) they were four down at one stage and they never gave up.
“It was a great game and it was fortunate for us that Alan missed that putt on the last green.

“I’m just glad to get over the line. That’s one out of way, now our full attention turns to the Senior Cup semi-final against Co Sligo, they’ll be hard to beat.”

Playing partner Ryan Gribben admitted that he started to get a bit worried as Warrenpoint frittered away their lead over the back nine.
“Our team captain Peter was going back and forth between the matches letting us know what was going on but you always have your doubts coming up the stretch, especially when you start losing a few holes,” said the 23-year-old University of Ulster student.
“It’s unbelievable. We were so far up, I think we were four up through 12 holes and then everything just started to slip away, but we grafted our way in.
“We love doing it down the stretch. It feels even better. We’ve won on this green (18th), we won the two Ulster finals, Senior Cup and Barton Shield on this green, and to win the All-Ireland as well, its awesome.”
Warrenpoint’s quest for the second and third leg of their potential treble continues today in the Senior Cup and Pierce Purcell Shield.
They face stiff opposition against perennial Senior Cup contenders Co Sligo in the semi-final of that competition, with Munster champions Muskerry and Leinster champions Portmarnock off at 9.20am in the other semi-final.
In the Jimmy Bruen Shield, Warrenpoint tee off at 12noon against Leinster champions Forrest Little, while Connacht are represented by Claremorris and Munster by Faithlegg, who clash in the other semi-final at 12.50pm.

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