Monumental effort by Baltinglass Golf Club falls just short

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Baltinglass Golf Club saw tremendous drama on Sunday afternoon as they hosted the second leg of the Provincial Towns Cup final against Kilkenny Golf Club.

railing 2-5 from the first leg, Baltinglass had an uphill fight on their hands. David versus Goliath.

Michael O’Neill, beaten in Kilkenny on the 21st, was out first for Baltinglass. In a nip-and-tuck match that went down to the wire, the Kilkenny player just came out on top. BGC 2, KGC 6.

Hollywood man Stephen Greene was up next in another very tight match. Stephen played one of the shots of the day on the 18th. He pulled his drive behind the trees on the left, and with the precision of a gunslinger he nailed his second shot to 10ft of the flag. BGC 3, KGC 6.

Nathan Geraghty Byrne got off to a shaky start but took control of his match and won on 15. BGC 4, KGC 6.

In the battle of teenagers Stephen Patterson got off to a great start and kept in command throughout winning his match on 17. BGC 5, KGC 6.

Kiltegan man Benny Doyle was in the final match and was in control from early on, winning his match on 14. BGC 6, KGC 6.

David Whelan fought very hard to keep his match alive just coming up short on the 16th. Kilkenny are back on top. BGC 6, KGC 7.

The last match standing was Niall Doogue and Paul Carroll from Kilkenny.

After a couple of nervy holes, the match was all flat on the 17th, all to play for. The Kilkenny player came up short on 17 with bogey BGC are 1up on the 18th tee.

At this stage there was between 150 to 180 spectators lining the 18th fairway.

The two players are on the green in regulation. Niall is first up with a tricky putt, leaves it a good 15ft short. Murmuring from the crowds. Paul plays his down to six feet.

Niall is up next. Silence. Crows take to flight from a nearby tree as he addresses the ball, he rolls the ball towards the flag and falls in to set off wonderful scenes of celebrations around the 18th green. BGC 7, KGC 7. Playoff.

Team managers Fergal Doogue, Liam Horgan and Dan Leigh had a brief meeting before the playoff and chose 14-year-old Stephen Patterson to represent BGC in the three-hole matchplay.

Former League of Ireland star David Mulcahy was the KGC player. Holes 12, 13 and 18 were the chosen holes for the match. Kilkenny won the toss. David played a good shot into 20 feet above the flag.

With a very tight pin on the left-hand side of the green, Stephen left his tee shot under the green. A bare lie made his shot all the more difficult, he chipped it to eight feet. David left his putt on the lip, down for three.

Stephen lipped out, down for 4. 1up KGC.

Both drives were down the middle of the 13th fairway. Second shots were short right and left.

Of the 2, Stephen’s was the more difficult, he had to chip over a bunker with the green falling away, he played a beautiful shot to 12 feet below the pin.

David hit his shot to eight feet above the flag. Stephen rolls his putt in, and David duly follows in. 1up KGC.

18th tee box, David plays to the right of fairway, Stephen plays to the left semi amongst the trees. Stephen chips out to the front of the green. David nails his second shot to three feet. Game over.

Congratulations to Kilkenny Golf Club on a marvellous victory, the match was played in the right spirit.

Golf was the real winner, Baltinglass may not have won the final, but they won many admirers in the manner the event was hosted. The course was in beautiful condition, all credit to Eamon and his team of volunteers. The spectators were put through the mill with the many different ups and downs of the match.

The team were unanimous in their gratitude to Fergal, Liam and Dan for the time and support to them.

A special word to the young man Stephen Patterson who represented BGC in the playoff. He can be very proud of his achievement.

He is a credit to his family, his club and his teaching Professional Tom O’Neill. Stephen has recently been added to the Leinster U15 Performance Development squad. His brother Neil who was on the bag for him yesterday is also on the Leinster U17 Performance Development squad.

The future looks bright. Baltinglass have been in eight finals over the last five years, a lot of it boils down to the hard work and determination of their players but also serious credit must go to Tom O’Neill PGA Professional who works tirelessly with the Baltinglass Golf Club juveniles and many members.

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