In what you would hope would be a good omen for another Kerry Sports team heading to Dublin for another national final this weekend, the Kerry U-16 Pitch & Putt team retained the National U-16 Inter-County title for the first time and won a sixth title overall after a brilliant comeback display in the Singles at Glenville in Tallaght.
Kerry trailed leaders Cork by 14 shots after the Scotch Foursomes with a total of four under par for their three pairs of Jake Shine & Bobby McCarron (two under), Eoin O’Riordan Looney & Ryan Neeson (three under) and Cillian Courtney and Robbie Harnett (one over). They were third overall behind Dublin who were on six under, but matters changed dramatically in the second 18 holes as Kerry’s Singles strength came to the fore.
As Cork struggled to stay under par after the first nine holes of the Singles, Kerry were starting to gather momentum with four under par rounds for both Cillian Courtney and Bobby McCarron were followed by two under for Eoin O’Riordan Looney along with level par for Jake Shine. The centrepiece was an eight under par round from Robbie Harnett which included a Hole-in-One on the 15th hole as with Ryan Neeson’s one over par round not counted in the best five Singles format, Kerry had a tournament total of 22 under par, a clear 19 shots ahead of Dublin in second with Westmeath finishing third overall.
The County Board commends the Kerry U-16 team on delivering a second consecutive Munster and National double for the sport at Inter-County level, two weeks after Cillian, Robbie, Jake and Eoin won the Munster for the county for the third year in-a-row. Well done to U-16 Officer Kevin McCarron on his work with the team this summer as we thank Sewell’s Pharmacy, Killarney for their sponsorship of the side once more. The win marked the first time Listowel members in Jake and Bobby were part of a winning Kerry National Inter-County side across U-16, Gents and Ladies levels.
The win came in the aftermath of Deerpark’s Brian McCarthy becoming the first ever winner of the Helen McMorrow Cup donated by his club for this year’s national U-13 Championship on Saturday as rounds of level and one under par gave him the winning score of 107, two ahead of club-mate Ryan McCarthy with other Deerpark players Noah Sexton and Nathan Cronin also in close contention for the honour. Well done to Brian on winning the honour 15 years after his father Derry won the National Matchplay in 2004 and Derry was also a member of Kerry’s first U-16 Inter-County winning side back in 1986.
Cillian Courtney was third overall in the main Singles event meanwhile, leading the event after the first 18 holes on seven under par before finishing on that score in third overall, missing out on countback for second to Westmeath’s Conor Mullins with Patrick Mitchell of St Annes the overall winner on 11 under.
This Saturday sees all our County Matchplay Championships take place with our adult events on in Listowel and the U-16 events on in Deerpark. Full details to be confirmed later in week but a reminder to all players that dress code must be worn.