Collinstown win bronze in the National Club Championships
The semi-finals and finals of the National Club Championships took place in the wonderful Bruff course in Co. Limerick on Saturday 26th October. Collinstown had qualified for the semi-finals of the Senior Scratch Championship. Our opponents on the day were the combined forces of Loughlinstown and Old County from Dublin. The weather on the day could only be described as awful with a combination of gale-force winds and driving rain.
As the Ladies and Inter/Junior semi-finals were also taking place that day, the semi-finals of all competitions began with a shot-gun start. Our first match out was the Buckley brothers, Liam and Mick and their opponents were Gary Healy and Eoin Mithen. Although our lads got off to a flyer with a hole-in-one on their opening hole (the 11th) and followed up with a birdie on 12, unfortunately not much went right for the Glenidan lads after that. The Dublin pairing took control of the match and ran out easy winners in the end.
Our second pairing of John Browne and Larry McGinn dominated the early part of their match against Paddy Kelly and Ger Fitzpatrick. John and Larry were still 1 ahead with 6 to play but suddenly lost 2 holes in a row and with it, their grip on the match. They eventually lost out to the Dublin pairing on the final hole.
The final doubles match was between our own Alan Hanlon and P’Dog’ Dolan against Dublin legends JR Crangle and George McGreal. Again this match was nip and tuck in the early stages but some excellent pitching from McGreal combined with solid putting from Crangle gave the Dublin pair the edge. In the end the Collinstown pairing went down by a margin of 2&1.
So at 3-0 down after the doubles, we faced a mountain to climb, in that we needed 5 wins out of 6 in the singles. Mick Buckley was first to do battle against Gary Healy. Mick played good solid pitch and putt in the worsening conditions and was never really in trouble in his match. He eventually closed out the win with a 3&2 victory giving Collinstown their first point of the day. Next up was John Browne against the current Leinster Matchplay Champion JR Crangle. Browne got off to a flyer going 2 up after 6 but the weather got the better of him over the next few holes as he took some cheap bogies to hand the incentive back to Crangle. A man of JR’s experience doesn’t need to be asked twice and he turned up the heat with a superb chip-in on their 12th hole to go 2 up with 6 to play. Browne almost holed from the tee-box on the 3rd last as he tried to rally late on but Crangle was not to be outdone, birdying from off the green. Browne won the penultimate hole to take the match down the last – which was the famous ‘Rock’ hole in the Bruff – the 9th (match started on the 10th hole). Browne was unable to get the birdie required and so Crangle took the point and moved the Dublin team within one of victory.
The third match was probably the match of the singles in terms of quality. Alan Hanlon played George McGreal and both men produced very decent pitch and putt despite the abysmal conditions. This game ebbed and flowed but McGreal eventually got away from Alan in the latter stages and closed out the game by a 2&1 margin. At this stage Peter Dolan had also lost in the fifth match out to Eoin Mithen, so Loughlinstown/Old County now had a 6-1 lead. With the Dublin team having the required number of points for victory, coupled with the torrential rain, the final two matches did not play to conclusion. Rene Bloem for Collinstown was ahead in his match against Stephen Power but Larry McGinn was behind against Ger Fitzpatrick when the matches were abandoned.
St Anne’s of Cork went on to win the final beating Loughlinstown/Old County 7-2. Indeed St Anne’s Inter/Junior team completed a double for the Cork club by winning the Inter/Junior championship also, beating Deerpark 5-4 in that final. The Ladies from Riverdale took the Ladies title beating Cunnigar.
So Collinstown take home bronze from the National Championship. Although it may have felt like a defeat on the day – over-all great credit must be given to this Collinstown team on their achievements throughout the year in this championship. Collinstown would also like to thank Niall Reynolds whose brain-child this competition was. Niall with the help of Paul O’ Gorman put in mammoth work this year to get this competition off the ground and it has to be said it was a great success and a welcome addition the Pitch and Putt calender.
Collinstown progress to the National Semi-Finals of the Club Championship
Collinstown won a hard fought quarter-final tie against local rivals Kilbeggan in a sun soaked Tullamore course last Saturday morning. The eyes of all of Westmeath was on this one as a club from the ‘Lake County’ was guaranteed to make the last 4 in Ireland. A good crowd turned up to view the match and the atmosphere was tense and exciting.
First up was the Buckley brothers, Mick and Liam, and their opponents were Niall Cuffe and Jimmy Revins from the Kilbeggan club. This was a match of high quality that was fitting for such an occasion. The Kilbeggan pairing rushed into an early 3 hole lead but were gradually pegged back. At all square though, Niall Cuffe produced an ace from the 11th tee-box to get the Kilbeggan pairing back in front. They hung onto this slender lead all the way to the 18th and when Mick Buckley’s birdie putt slipped past on the final green, the Kilbeggan pair were victorious.
The second doubles match was between our own John Browne and Larry McGinn. Their opponents were long time buddies John Carton and Johnny Feery. Browne and McGinn opened up with 3 birdies to take an early grasp on the match. The Kilbeggan pair fought valiantly but in fairness the door was never opened to them and in the end Browne and McGinn ran out comfortable 5&4 winners.
So with the score standing at 1 point each, the remaining doubles match became very important. Collinstown’s Alan Hanlon and Peter Dolan were up against Harry O’Hanlon and Ronan Whelan. Again this was a match of high quality which ebbed and flowed both ways throughout. And it was only fitting that it went down the final hole all-square. The Kilbeggan pair found some trouble from the tee though with both pitches coming up short. Ronan’s chip left a tricky 5 footer for par for Harry. Collinstown had made their 2 putt for par so when Harry’s putt slipped past the hole, the match went to the Collinstown pairing.
With a 2-1 lead going into the singles we only needed 3 more points for victory. Mick Buckley lead the line well in the singles with a commanding performance against Kilbeggan’s Niall Cuffe. Mick got a string of birdies in the middle of the match and eventually closed it out on the 16th. Alan Hanlon meantime was on fire against Harry O’Hanlon and finished that match very early to leave Collinstown only a single point away from victory.
This was still not a foregone conclusion though as the other 4 matches were extremely tight as they came to the closing stages. The match between Liam Buckley and Johnny Feery was all square with 4 to go. Johnny made bogie though on the notorious 15th and Liam followed up with birdie on 16 to go dormie 2 ahead. Liam again made birdie on 17 to close out the match and give Collinstown the vital 5th point – we were through to the semi-finals of the all-Ireland!!
The final three matches were still played in a competitive spirit though and Jimmy Revins gave Kilbeggan their second point of the day with a well earned victory over John Browne on the first tie-hole. Larry McGinn won his match against John Carton on the final hole and Peter Dolan also defeated Ronan Whelan on the 18th. In the end the 7-2 scoreline did not do justice to the fine display Kilbeggan put on. Collinstown would like to thank the Kilbeggan club for the sporting match and also thank Tullamore for their hospitality and the manner in which the course was presented.
Collinstown beat Lucan to qualify for the quarter-finals of the National Club Team Competition
Collinstown traveled to a damp Gaeil Colmcille for their final group match in this year’s National club Championship last Friday evening. The scenario was simple – win and we were through to the national quarter-finals – lose and we were out. The task was made all the more difficult by the fact that Lucan were still unbeaten in this competition.
Because of light restrictions, the match was played under shot-gun start format. In the doubles Larry McGinn and John Browne were paired against Lucan’s Johnny Price and Terry McMorrow. This was a match that Browne and McGinn were always struggling in. They got behind early on and although they made a couple of valiant efforts to pull it back, in the end it was in vein as the Dublin pairing ran out 3&2 winners. The Buckley brothers (Mick and Liam) however were fully in control of their doubles match against Gavin Carty and Stephen Keegan. As is vital in 18 hole matchplay, the Buckleys got ahead early and pushed home their advantage. In the end the won comfortably by a 5&4 margin. This left the final doubles match on the course between our own Alan Hanlon and Peter Dolan against Lucan’s Anthony”Skinner” Malone and Christy Kane. This was a ding-dong battle of high quality Pitch and Putt. With 3 holes to go it wasn’t looking good for the Collinstown pair as they trailed by 1 hole. But there is great fight in this Collinstown team and when Hanlon made birdie on the third last hole to tie up the match – one sensed the momentum had shifted. Dolan then made a birdie on the next to give the Collinstown pair a one hole lead and when Kane missed his birdie chance on the last – the vital point had gone to the Westmeath team.
So heading into the singles we needed 3 wins from the six matches in order to progress. Alan Hanlon led the way with an early emphatic win over Skinner Malone by 6&5. Westmeath were not getting it their own way though as Michael Buckley was defeated 4&3 by Gavin Carty. The scoreline stood at 3-2 – we needed two more points. The next match to finish was John Browne’s encounter with Christy Kane. Browne had a solid start in this match and never opened the door to the Dublin man – eventually running out a 4&3 winner. So one more point was required. Indeed it came from the back-in-form Larry McGinn. Larry had a tough grueling battle with Terry McMorrow but a timely chip in with 4 holes to go followed by a birdie on the next gave Larry the lead at a vital stage. he closed out the match with par on the second last and secured the vital fifth point. Liam Buckley also won his match quite comfortably against Stephen Keegan and although Peter Dolan put up a brave battle against Johnny Price, the Dublin man came through in that one.
So Collinstown ended the victors by a 6-3 margin. This meant that we topped the group and thus would be drawn against a second place team in the quarters. The draw conspired to match the remaining two Westmeath teams against each other. Collinstown will play Kilbeggan in the National quarter-finals in Tullamore on Saturday the 14th September at 10.00 am. This promises to be a great occasion for Westmeath Pitch and Putt and a highly competitive game is expected. The Kilbeggan team is littered with talent and includes 6 players who have all worn the maroon of Westmeath at one stage or another. Collinstown have their work cut out – there is no doubt about that – but one things for sure – we will fight to the end.
Collinstown beat Lough Owel in the National Club Team Competition
On a wet miserable evening in Gaeil Comcille on Thursday last, Collinstown won their penultimate game in the group stages of the National Inter- Club competition. First out in the doubles was John Browne and Larry McGinn and their task was to beat arguably Lough Owel’s strongest pairing – Stephen Bray and Dessie Baker. Browne and McGinn got the perfect start going 3 up after 4 but a superb hole-in-one from Stephen Bray on the fifth turned the tide. By the 10th the match had returned to all-square and when Browne missed an easy birdie chance on 11, one wondered about the result. The Collinstown pair rallied however and birdied the next 5 holes to close the game out 3&2. The middle match saw the Buckley brothers take on Sean Dinnegan and Niall Corcoran. The Collinstown pairing seemed to be in control but magnificent chip-ins from Corcoran on 16 and 17 brought the game down the last hole on level terms. Michael Buckley held his nerve however on a tricky four footer on the last to win for the Collinstown team. The final doubles match was between Alan Hanlon and Peter Dolan for Collinstown against Ger Keenan and Declan Hogan from Lough Owel. This game turned on a putt for a half from off the green on 11 from Dolan. When that went in the Collinstown team never looked back and closed it out 4&3.
With a 3-0 lead, the victory looked assured going into the singles but points difference could yet play a big part in this group so it was important to keep concentration. First out in the singles was old rivals Mick Buckley against Stephen Bray. This was a ding-dong affair that eventually finished on 17 with victory for the Glenidan man – Collinstown were now 1 point away from victory. Dessie Baker from Lough Owel spoiled that party though with a convincing win over Larry McGinn to bring the score back to 4-2. The rest of the singles however went Collinstown’s way with Liam Buckley, Peter Dolan, John Browne and Alan Hanlon all running out comfortable winners.
So with one match remaining in the group against Lucan, qualification is in our own hands – quite simply, if we win, we are though.
For full scorelines and updated tables from the competition - visit the PPUI website
Collinstown beat Bellewstown in the National Club Team Competition
On a beautiful summer’s evening on the championship Castletown course, Collinstown played their fourth match in this year’s inaugural National Inter-Club competition. This was a make or break match for Collinstown after the previous defeat to CPM/Portmarnock. Bellewstown had their strongest line-up available so the scene was set for an enthralling encounter.
First out was the Buckley brothers, Mick and Liam and their opponents were Damien Mullaney and Leo Gibney. This was a ding-dong affair with no quarter given. Eventually it came down to the final hole where Liam Buckley holed the winning putt for the Collinstown team. Next up was John Browne and Larry McGinn and they were up against the household names of Ian Farrell y and Wally Sheridan. This was a high quality match with birdies galore from both pairings. The Collinstown pair got an early lead though and never relinquished it, eventually running out 2&1 winners. The final doubles match saw our own Martin Carter and Alan Hanlon take on Robert Bissett and Anto Kavanagh. The Bellewstown pairing got a dream start, stitching the opening 5 holes. Very rarely in 18 hole matchplay does someone overturn a start like that and unfortunately this was proved to be the case once more as the Meath pairing finished comfortable victors.
And so we led 2-1 going into the singles. First on the box was captain Liam Buckley and he was facing Robert Bissett. Bissett was in fine form all night and got a grasp on this match early. Liam is not one to lie down though and fought to the end. Despite finishing 4 under for the final 3 holes, he eventually had to accept defeat on the 18th. This was balanced by the fact that Peter Dolan for Collinstown was playing dream Pitch & Putt against Ian Farrelly. Peter never gave Ian a chance in this match and finished a comfortable winner by a 7&6 margin.
Unfortunately John Browne was getting similar treatment from Wally Sheridan. Wally went on a run of winning 5 holes out of 6 in the middle of that match and Browne never recovered going down 5&4. This left the score at 3-3 and set up an exciting finale to the evening. The next point on the board went Collinstown’s way as Alan Hanlon stamped his authority on his match with a very convincing 5&4 victory over Damien Mullaney. With Collinstown only needing another point for victory, all eyes went to Larry McGinn’s match as Larry was rumoured to be well on top. Indeed Larry was leading but is opponent Leo Gibney made him fight all the way. Larry eventually closed out the match on 17 giving Collinstown victory. The drama wasn’t over there though. Mick Buckley and Anto Kavanagh were going to tie-holes while the McGinn match was finishing. Mick was trying desperately to get us a 6th win on the evening but in the end had to accept defeat on the second tie-hole.
The victory puts Collinstown back on top of the table, albeit we have a game more played than anyone else. Our next match is against neighbours Lough Owel in Bellewstown.
Collinstown lose to CPM / Portmarnock in the National Club Team Competition
On a dreadful Friday evening last in torrential rain Collinstown lost by the narrowest of margins to the Dublin amalgamation of CPM and Portmarnock in Gaeil Colmcille in Kells. This was the third match in the campaign and with both teams unbeaten going into it, it was a real table-topper. The first match on the course seen Collinstown’s John Browne and Rene Bloem play Damien Wells and Jonathan Gash. The Collinstown pair got on top early in this match and finished it out with a 5 & 4 victory. The second match however went to the Dublin team as Derek Healy and Darren Thornberry shot an amazing 13 under for 15 holes to defeat Collinstown’s Alan Hanlon and Martin Carter. The Dublin pairing of Senan Kavanagh and Thomas Ryan also got the better of the Buckley brother’s in the final match to leave Collinstown trailing by 2-1 going into the singles.
A disappointing start to the singles with defeats for Rene Bloem and John Browne meant that we had an uphill battle to fight as the scoreline read 4-1 to the Dublin team. However Larry McGinn started the comeback in emphatic style with a 6 & 5 victory over Sean Gorey. Liam Buckley then had an incredible turnaround in his match – coming from 3 down with 7 to go, to win on the 18th over Derek Healy. The drama wasn’t finished there though as Alan Hanlon then chipped in on the 18th to win his match and leave the overall score tied at 4-4.
And so it all went down to the final match and Michael Buckley for Collinstown was playing CPM’s Darren Thornberry. Buckley held the lead for much of the match but Thornberry is renowned for his matchplay and brought it back to all square going to 18. Pars from both men on 18 meant sudden death tie-holes to decide the outcome of the entire evening. Darren had the honour and used it well, pitching to 4 feet. Mick could only make par from the edge of the green and so Thornberry rolled in the putt to take victory for the Dublin team.
As disappointing as the defeat was for Collinstown, great fight and determination was shown on the night and we still sit in second place in the table overall. Next match is against Bellewstown in CPM, Clondalkin.
Collinstown beat Shandon in the National Club Team Competition
Collinstown beat Shandon 5-4 on Saturday last in their second game of the National Club Team Competition. The venue for this match was the excellent Ryston course in Newbridge, County Kildare. This was always going to be a tough match, with the Shandon team bearing house-hold names such as Millar, Judge and Monaghan. The opening scotch foursomes pairing of John Browne and Rene Bloem got the Westmeath team off to a good start with victory on the final hole. Alan Hanlon and Martin Carter however lost their match on 17 so all eyes were fixed on the two Buckley brothers in the third of the doubles matches. An early lead for the brothers had been pegged back and they were one down playing the final hole. A superb putt for birdie from Liam though brought the match to the first tie-hole and Liam then stitched it, which resulted in the winning birdie for the Collinstown pair.
So with Collinstown leading 2-1 going into the 6 singles matches, only 3 more points were required for victory. Rene Bloem was first out and had the unenviable task of playing mark Millar on the course where he had picked up his second National Matchplay title. Rene battled doggedly as he always does but in the end Millar secured victory on the 16th. Next out was Peter Dolan and he was up against Dennis Monaghan. Peter got an early lead on this match but was eventually wore down by Monaghan and lost on the 17th. Collinstown’s third player out was john Browne. John’s opponent was Tom Walsh. Browne got off to a flyer, winning the opening 3 holes and really he never opened the door for the Shandon man after that, eventually closing out the match on the 14th. This meant that the score stood at 3-3 with 3 matches remaining on the course.
The excitement was building and as a number of interested spectators from the hosting club emerged on the course to view the closing stages. There was a definite buzz of anticipation about the place. Indeed credit must be given to the NEC officers who devised this new competition – it certainly has hit the ground running and is an instant success with the players.
The fourth singles match on the course was another tight affair with Liam Buckley and Pat Noonan going to tie-holes. Pat hit a superb pitch on the first tie hole to put pressure on the Collinstown man. Liam made a valiant effort at birdie from off the green but once he missed the game was up. So Shandon had the lead for the first time at 4-3 but it was not to last long. Alan Hanlon was closing out his match against Jim Judge on 17 to square it up again at 4-4. Most on-lookers agreed that this was the highest quality match of the day with both men shooting in the mid 40′s.
And so it was all down the final match between Mick Buckley and Shandon’s, Keith Redmond. As the crowd gathered around this match, Mick was sinking a putt on the 15th to go dormie 3 up. Keith however was not finished and won the 16th to bring it to, two down with two to go. When he missed his chip for birdie on 17 though it left Mick with the easy task of two putting to win the match which he duly did.
It was a wonderful sporting contest and Collinstown would like to thank the Shandon club for the match and wish them the best of of luck in their remaining fixtures. A word of thanks also for the Ryston club – as always they were superb hosts on the day. Our next match is against CPM/Portmarnock in Gaeil Comcille next month.
Collinstown beat Tullamore in the National Club Team Competition
Collinstown beat Tullamore in the opening game of the National Club Team Competition last Saturday in Lough Owel. The final 9-0 scoreline did not do justice to the gritty fight that the Offaly team put up. Many of the matches went to the final hole with one match won on the first tie-hole. The earliest that Collinstown won any match was at the sixteenth. Collinstown would like to thank the Lough Owel club for the manner in which the course was presented for this match. Our next match is against Shandon in Lucan later this month.