The second round of the Bardon Shield took place on Saturday morning last in cold, windy, sharp conditions. The first match on the course was the Group 2 encounter between Liz Bloem’s team and Kevin Farrell’s team. Liz had only got a half point from their opening match so a good result was vital today whereas this was Kevin’s opening match of the competition. Liz’s team was made up of herself, Mick Flynn and Mick Scally. The experience of already having a match under their belt helped them out enormously in the opening scramble as they recorded an astonishing score of 39 gross. This was too much to handle for the team of Kevin Farrell, Kathleen Bray and John Flanagan who was standing in as sub for the unavailable Des Carter. Kevin’s team did return a respectable 6 under par but the opening point of the match went to Liz. The singles match was next and it was a very tight affair between this year’s president Michael Flynn and John Flanagan. Michael got off to a flying start getting to 4 up early on in the match. John as ever though is a grinder and slowly but surely reeled back in the lead. In the end though he ran out of holes and Michael closed out the match on the 17th by a 2&1 margin. That left the doubles match of Liz Bloem and Mick Scally against Kevin Farrell and Kathleen Bray. Liz and Mick took control of this match early on and never let their grip on the game go. They eventually wrapped up the match on the 15th to give their team a 3-0 victory. This means that after a bad first week, Liz’s team have now qualified for the semi-finals after this result. Kevin’s team have a tough assignment next week as they need a 3-0 victory against Martin Carter’s team to remain in the competition.
Group 1 saw the first outing for pre-tournament favourites Mick Buckley, Garry Middleton and Mick Heffernan. They were up against John Browne, Anne Kelly and Watty Kenny. John’s team had already won their opening match 2-1 so only needed a draw from today’s encounter to book their place in the semis. Mick’s team got off to a poor start in the scramble with only 1 birdie in the opening 6 holes. This was to cost them dearly as they opened the door for John’s team who took full advantage. John’s team eventually recorded a very credible 10 under par for the scramble which was too much for Mick’s team to catch, after their slow start. So with the opening point secure, Browne’s team only needed another half point to secure their semi-final spot. The singles was a mouth-watering prospect with the two in-form seniors, Browne and Buckley drawing each other. And indeed this match did not disappoint with the two men swapping a number of early birdies. After 9 holes it was all square with both men on 4 under par each – an excellent display of Pitch & Putt in the tricky conditions. Mick got his head in front on the 10th with another birdie. The pivotal moment of the match though came in the next two holes. Mick holed a ten footer for par on 11 and 15 footer for birdie on 12 to go 2 up. A further birdie on 13 gave him a lead of 3 and it was a lead he was never to surrender. Mick made birdie again on 16 to close the match out shooting an incredible 8 under par for 16 holes. That left the pressure on Anne Kelly and Watty Kenny to get the half point required. Anne and Watty were 1 down going to 12 in their match but a mistake on the green from Mick Heffernan and Garry Middleton meant the match returned to all-square. Anne and Watty used this momentum well and won the next 2 holes to gain a valuable lead. Anne then sank a length of the green birdie putt on 16 to close out the match. John’s team won 2-1 on the day and secured a place in the semi-finals. Mick and Liam Buckley’s team are now both on 1 point and will have a straight shoot-out next week for the other semi-final spot.
Full results of the competition so far can be found in our results area.