Fairweather digs deep to reach last four at North of Ireland while Gleeson loses his head

Alex Gleeson gets ready to tee off on the eighth

Knock’s Colin Fairweather battled some bad weather and an on-going leg injury to reach the semi-finals of the Cathedral Eye Clinic North of Ireland Championship yesterday.
The 26-year-old Irish International is suffering from circulation problems and needed an injection just to make the first tee on Monday. As a precaution, he opted not to play any practice rounds and after starting slowly, he has worked his way into the tournament.
On Thursday he beat Gareth Lappin (Belvoir Park) and then Derek Downie (Kirkistown Castle) to set up a last-four meeting with leading qualifier Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk GC).
“I finally holed a few putts there which was a help for the confidence going around,” said Fairweather.
“The putting in qualifying was fine but you know what it’s like, each day can be different.
“On the first day I struggled with my whole game. It was only my ‘B’ or ‘C’ game.

“I am slowly getting the confidence back and finding a way to get it around. It’s coming together.”

His opponent this morning, Caolan Rafferty, got a scare in the last 16 yesterday when he was taken to the 19th by Tandragee’s Ross Dutton. The Dundalk man didn’t make the same mistake in the last eight, beating Darragh Coghlan (Portmarnock) 4&2.
“We both got off to a slow start, then picked up a wee bit but the rain swept in which doesn’t allow for any good golf,” said the 24-year-old.
“My bad golf was better than Darragh’s bad golf. I think we can agree on that one.

“It was a struggle this afternoon. Some of it was tired golf and the rest was the elements. I will try and get the feet up this evening and get ready for the morning.”

The other semi-final this morning will see Alex Gleeson (Castle) take on Rowan Lester (Hermitage).
If Gleeson does win the title he will have to do it without an eight iron after the club broke mid round in his 2&1 victory over Paul Murphy (Rosslare) yesterday afternoon.
“I was playing the 13th and the head of my club flew off at impact and landed in a bush,” said Alex, the reigning Irish Close Champion.
“I couldn’t find it, but it shouldn’t be too much problem to get around it tomorrow using a seven or nine iron.”
Lester proved too strong for Ronan Mullarney (Galway) in the final match of the day, winning 3&1.
A student at Texas Wesleyan University, he wasn’t happy with his morning display in beating Cian Geraghty (Laytown/Bettystown) 2&1.
“I was struggling a bit with the long game. I wasn’t committing to the shots but I did that better this afternoon,” he said.
The semi-finals get underway this morning at 8.30am.

Cathedral Eye Clinic North of Ireland Amateur Championship match play scoring

RESULTS
Cathedral Eye Clinic North of Ireland Championship at Royal Portrush
Round 3: D Downie (Kirkistown Castle) bt J Murphy (Kinsale) 3&1; C Fairweather (Knock) bt G Lappin (Belvoir Pk) 2 holes; D Coughlan (Portmarnock) bt A Fahy (Dun Laoghaire) 1 hole; C Rafferty (Dundalk) bt R Dutton (Tandragee) at 19th’; A Gleeson (Castle) bt E Smith (Laytown & Bettystown) 3&2; Paul Murphy (Rosslare) bt F Mason (Moor Hall) 6&5; R Mulranny (Galway) bt J Yates (Naas) 4&2; R Lester (Hermitage) bt C Geraghty (Laytown & Bettystown) 2 holes.
Quarter-finals: Fairweather bt Downie 2 holes; Rafferty bt Coughlan 4&2; Gleeson bt Murphy2&1; Lester bt Mullarney 3&1.
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