20th All-Ireland Senior title for Portmarnock

by Gazette Reporter
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It was a case of Deja-vu for Geoff Lenehan and Portmarnock as seven years after their last success, they captured the prestigious AIG Senior Cup in Thurles on Sunday.

The Munster Interprovincial player claimed the winning putt, as he had done in Portmarnock’s last success, with a 4-1 win over Royal Portrush.

The North Dublin club were very impressive and led in all five games from early in the day with Conor Purcell using his international experience well in accounting for Richard McCrudden 5 & 4, while Stephen Walsh had a 4 & 2 win over Andrew Morris.

But the other three matches proved to be tighter affairs with the sides tied in two of those, while the third saw Royal Portrush trail by just one.

Lenehan had worked hard to level after 16 holes with former Walker Cup player Paul Cutler, and when the 30-year old saw a tee shot go into the trees, it looked certain that a win on the 17th wasn’t to follow.

Although his next two shots failed to gain much traction, a four-iron effort went onto the 18th tee, and he finished in five.

Culter required three more shots to get down the green, holing from eight-foot to take a bogey.

The 29-year old had two chances to win on the 18th, but after badly misreading a 15-footer for eagle, he three-putted to send the match down the 19th, where Lenehan had made an eagle three to close out a 3½-1½ semi-final win over holders Galway on Saturday.

“It always seems to turn out that way,” Lenehan said of his habit of clinching winning points in team matches.

“It’s scary winning in tight situations.”

“You are just trying to keep applying the pressure. We had John McHenry with us with Munster this year and he kept saying ‘just keep moving forward, apply pressure, apply pressure’. You get lucky sometimes.”

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