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Saturday 18 November 2017

Towns Cup glory

Famous first for Enniscorthy golfers

Back (from left): Declan Byrne, Denis Dunne, James Foley, Eddie Doyle, Davie Murphy, Seán Hegarty, Jim Mackey, Willy Dobbs, Eunan Doyle, Joe Murphy, Shane Fortune. Front (from left): John Cullen (Leinster Provincial Council delegate and Championship Convenor), Jim Hogan (club President), Jack Murphy (club Captain), John Ferriter (Chairman of Leinster Branch of G.U.I.), club Vice-Captain Tim Morrissey and John Byrne, the team managers, proudly holding the all-important pennant
Back (from left): Declan Byrne, Denis Dunne, James Foley, Eddie Doyle, Davie Murphy, Seán Hegarty, Jim Mackey, Willy Dobbs, Eunan Doyle, Joe Murphy, Shane Fortune. Front (from left): John Cullen (Leinster Provincial Council delegate and Championship Convenor), Jim Hogan (club President), Jack Murphy (club Captain), John Ferriter (Chairman of Leinster Branch of G.U.I.), club Vice-Captain Tim Morrissey and John Byrne, the team managers, proudly holding the all-important pennant

Those brave souls who turned out in the day-long pouring rain on August 20 witnessed without doubt one of the greatest golf matches ever seen anywhere on this isle, perhaps even further afield.

This was the return leg of the final of the Leinster Provincial Towns Challenge Cup. Enniscorthy G.C. had travelled to their opponents' course, Headfort in Meath, two weeks previously and came home with a fantastic 6-3 lead.

Four more early wins would give us the cup and everyone could get in out of the rain. But events didn't turn out that way as the day progressed.

This is how it unfolded, with Headfort team players' names first - Conor Gaffney beat Seán Hegarty 3/2 (match score 4-6).

Thomas Carroll beat Davie Murphy in the longest match of the day, going to 21 holes (match score 5-6).

Craig McGrath beat Eddie Doyle 4/3 (match score 6-6).

Martyn Alphonsus beat Eunan Doyle (match score 7-6).

Michael McGovern lost to Shane Fortune 3/2 (match score 7-7).

Tony McLean beat Jim Mackey 2/1 (match score 8-7).

Christopher Kenny lost to Declan Byrne (match score 8-8).

The tension was getting unbearable as by now news had filtered through that Seamus McCormack had beaten our Denis Dunne 3/2 (match score 9-8).

Philip Brady and James Foley appeared from the long walk from 15 to 16 with the former three up but there was a steely grin on Foley's bearded jaw and he won in a tie-breaker (match score 9-9).

And so to a play-off. The two first players out were the nominated ones to settle this contest. So back out on the course were a 15-year-old Conor Gaffney (who had Damien McGrane following him around the course in support) and our Seán Hegarty hoping to reverse the earlier result.

It was decided that they would play holes two, three and four again, a par four, a par three and a par five. Hole two went to our Seán five to four. On hole three Hegarty, showing incredible composure, lined up his 20 footer and it stops inches short but that didn't matter as the tap-in was a formality and to incredible and ecstatic scenes the green was invaded and the most unbelievable tension-filled victory was complete.

For the first time in the competition's history Enniscorthy G.C. are Provincial Towns Challenge Cup champions.

Joe Murphy and Willy Dobbs were reserves and another Joe Murphy and Bill Whelan played in earlier rounds. There were five previous rounds in this competition before the epic final, and 70 teams entered. For a full report, please look at the club website in the news section.

Wexford People

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