Munster and Ulster will meet to decide the destination of the Senior title, while Leinster’s Boys look set to take their third title in a row as the Interprovincial Championships draw to a conclusion at The Island on Thursday.
Ulster’s victory over Leinster yesterday was greatly facilitated by their performance in the morning foursomes, in which they weathered an early storm to win three of the four matches.
Although Dermot McElroy and Cormac Sharvin were in sensational form in beating Gavin Moynihan and Gary Collins 7/5, Ulster trailled in the other three matches after nine.
But Chris Selfridge and Colin Fairweather were victorious on the 18th against Robert Cannon and Conor O’Rourke, while Colm Campbell and Stephen Coulter won at the 16th against Paul McBride and Stuart Grehan.
Richard Bridges and Daniel Holland defeated Irish Close champion John-Ross Galbraith and Matt McClean to give Leinster some hope in the afternoon singles.
And although they started strongly, with Moynihan beating Selfridge on the 14th, it proved too difficult a task to overturn Ulster’s advantage.
The defending champions’ campaign was well and truly on track thanks to three victories on the 16th from McElroy, Campbell and Fairweather, the last of which clinched the victory. It would only be by the slimmest of margins, however, thanks to victories for Leinster trio Conor O’Rourke, Paul McBride and Richard Bridges.
Munster had started very strongly on Day Two against Connacht, taking the lead in all of the morning foursomes matches.
They ended up with three victories – but a win in the fourth match for Alex Gleeson and Joe Lyons over Gary O’Flaherty and Niall Gorey gave Connacht a boost heading into the afternoon.
It was clear from the outset that Munster were not going to have things their own way, and despite taking early leads in three matches, with six holes to play it was Connacht who had the upper-hand – up in three matches, level in another three and only behind in one, where O’Flaherty was in command against Steffan O’Hara.
However, Munster showed all of their grit in the first two matches, where Robin Dawson defeated Gary McDermott in a very tight top match on the 18th green, to be followed just a few minutes later by Gary Hurley, who saw off a spirited challenge by Barry Anderson.
Victories for Stephen Healy and Gleeson had earlier given Connacht hope, but those two narrow victories, in combination with O’Flaherty’s defeat of O’Hara, were enough to bring Munster over the line.
In the Boys Interprovincial Championship, Leinster remained firmly on course thanks to a resounding victory over Connacht.
Day 3 (Thursday 24th July)
Senior Interprovincial Championship
Leinster v Connacht (Leinster names first)
Gavin Moynihan & Paul McBride v Steffan O’Hara & Sean Flanagan; Robbie Cannon & Conor O’Rourke v Gary McDermott & Barry Anderson; Richard Bridges & Daniel Holland v Alex Gleeson & Joe Lyons; Stuart Grehan & Gary Collins v Stephen Healy & Declan Loftus
Gavin Moynihan v Barry Anderson; Robbie Cannon v Gary McDermott; Conor O’Rourke v Sean Flanagan; Paul McBride v Joe Lyons; Richard Bridges v Stephen Healy; Stuart Grehan v Declan Loftus; Daniel Holland v Alex Gleeson
Munster v Ulster (Munster names first)
Gary Hurley & Ian O’Rourke v Dermot McElroy & Cormac Sharvin; Pat Murray & Geoff Lenehan v Chris Selfridge & Colin Fairweather; Niall Gorey & Gary O’Flaherty v Colm Campbell & Stephen Coulter; Robin Dawson & John Hickey v John Ross Galbraith & Matt McClean
Gary Hurley v Chris Selfridge; Robin Dawson v Dermot McElroy; Ian O’Rourke v Cormac Sharvin; Gary O’Flaherty v John Ross Galbraith; Geoff Lenehan v Colm Campbell; John Hickey v Colin Fairweather; Pat Murray v Stephen Coulter