The Bardon Shield kicked off with two highly competitive matches on Saturday morning last. In group one the opening match was between John Browne, Anne Kelly and Watty Kenny against Liam Buckley, Stephen Ruane (who was subbing for his sick cousin Pat Bardon) and Mark Foran. The scramble was a tight affair and neither was sure who was ahead until the final stroke was taken. In the end John Browne’s team nicked it with a 43 while Liam’s team recorded a 44. The second 18 saw a singles match up of Watty Kenny against Mark Foran. Again a tight affair but the experience of Watty was the edge in the end. Watty closed out the match on the 16th by a margin of 3&2. The final match saw John Browne and Anne Kelly team up to play Liam Buckley and Stephen Ruane in a doubles match. Again this was nip and tuck in the early stages with John and Anne holding a slight advantage. The match turned on the 9th though with a superb chip-in from Stephen Ruane. Stephen and Liam followed this up with 3 more birdies on the trot to take control of the match. They eventually ran out winners by a 4&3 margin. This left the result of this opening match at John’s team, 2 points and Liam’s team, 1 point.
In group 2 we saw the team’s of Liz Bloem, Mick Flynn and Mick Scally take on Martin Carter, George Carolan and Martin Carroll. As with the group 1 scramble match, this too was a tight affair. Liz had the advantage with the handicap and indeed led from an early stage. But a superb seven under back 9 from Martin’s team proved to be too much to deal with. Martin’s team finished with a 43 in the end to take the point by a couple of shots. The singles match of Martin Carter against Mick Flynn was as tight as one could imagine. Martin rolled in 4 birdies in a row early on to take a commanding lead but Mick slowly but surely reeled him back in. In the end Mick was one down playing 18 and needed a birdie badly. His birdie attempt from off the green came astonishingly close as it hit the pin but stayed out. This gave Martin the point by the narrowest of margins. The doubles match of George Carolan and Martin Carroll against Liz Bloem and Mick Scally was just as close. Again an early lead from George and Martin (which included an ace from Martin on the 4th) was whittled away as the match progressed and again the match went down 18 with Liz and Mick one behind. As both Mick and George found the new sand trap on the last, Liz produced one of the shots of the day under pressure. Her tee-shot shaved the hole for a hole-in-one and sat on the lip. It meant that George Carolan needed to make his 10 footer for birdie to take the win. The birdie putt stayed out and the point was shared. So the final result of this match was Liz Bloem’s team 0.5 points and Martin Carter’s team 2.5 points.
Week 2 will take place in a fortnight’s time on Saturday 13th April at 11.00. This will see the teams of Mick Buckley, Gary Middleton and Mick Heffernan and Kevin Farrell, Kathleen Bray and Des Carter enter the fray for the first time.