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WON 4-1 in Semi-Final v Waterford GC

Last Sunday history was made as our All Ireland Fourball team won their 5th match in a row against Waterford Golf Club in a fantastic display to reach our first ever Leinster final in Edmondstown’s proud 75-year history! And when you realise that we won the first four rounds with three pairs away from home, it makes this achievement even better.

Superlatives are almost superfluous in describing this victory. Managers Frank Gallen and Richard Green had to juggle their forces yet again due to several players being unavailable, but no matter what is thrown at this team, they seem to find a way to get over the line.

This was their BEST performance yet: no semi-final nerves; no bottling it at the penultimate hurdle; every pair in the zone and producing great golf to get us into the Leinster final against Ardee on Saturday August 24th in Killeen Castle  at 2.45pm – now that’s something to look forward to.

For the first time in this run, we were drawn with three pairs at home - a big advantage at this stage of the competition. But what a start to the match as Eamonn Walsh and Michael Maher teed off first with Eamonn feeling unwell. He had picked up a virus and was clearly in trouble from the start. (The speculation was that it was the food he ate in Chater One – but he’s denying that!!!) He had to take a break on the 2nd and our opponents very graciously allowed match two to go through to allow Eamonn to recover – and no better man as his partner than medical Consultant Michael Maher – sure you couldn’t write this stuff.

Away from home, the perennial winners Seamus Keating and Kevin Maguire settled nerves with an incredible start, they were 3 up after 3 holes and seemingly sailing along. On his comeback to inter club competition, Niall Clarke was paired with Fergal Morris and they made a steady start in a very close match.

At home, it was so close. At the turn, Dean Brady and Colm Fallon were 1 up; Eamonn and Michael all square and Tom McGrath and Conor Devlin were 1 down – the tension was palpable, we all knew that this semi-final could go either way.

Down in Waterford, Seamus and Kevin – who have played every match away from home with great success – having been 3 up early on, had a poor run of form and lost 7 of the next 10 holes, the classic, match play reversal of fortune. Standing on the 15th tee, they were dormie 4 down.

Fortunately, Niall and Fergal were dormie 3 up – so it was looking like honours even from the two away games.

Dean and Colm led from the front at home. They were 2 up after 11 and played steady golf that was good enough for a 3 and 2 win, Edmondstown getting their noses in front.

Down South, Niall and Fergal were steady as a rock, putting us 2-nil up and well on the road to victory. What a comeback for Niall, the former Bloom cup winner, playing in his first match in this year’s All Ireland Fourball and fully justifying his selection.

Meanwhile, Seamus and Kevin were on the comeback trail themselves. In match play, it’s so important to keep the game alive: they won 15, 16 and 17 to be only one down playing eighteen They had just teed off when the news came through that Eamonn and Michael had won the crucial 3rd point on the 16th – incredible tenacity from Eamonn who was lucky to have the calmness of Michael to rely on when he needed it most – which is more than can be said about poor Richard Green, he was so anxious at the denoument that he wasn’t sure what the score was!

For the record, Tom McGrath and Conor Devlin were 2 up when they were called in, and with a final score of 4-1, we had registered our biggest win when it mattered most.

Already, Frank and Richard are working on the logistics for the Leinster final in Killeen Castle on August 24th. In 75 years, this is Edmondstown’s first ever GUI pennant Leinster final – and if we beat Ardee, there will be an All-Ireland semi-final and final to look forward to in September. Heady days indeed in our 75th anniversary year!

Stephen Alkin