CASTLE Golf Club captured the Chartis Europe sponsored Senior Cup at Kinsale Golf Club last weekend and, in doing so, ended a 99-year run of failing to win the most coveted team prize in Irish golf.
With the mantra of “give it everything you’ve got”, Harry Gleeson’s team left it to the last match where 21-year-old landscape architect graduate Daniel Holland saw off the challenge of Warrenpoint’s Ryan Gribben to seal the victory.
Holland, who has won the nine matches he has played in the Senior Cup this year, maintained his 100% record in beating Gribben, and was ready for the challenge of being the one to see out the victory.
“These matches are always tight. I had a feeling it was going to come down to me, I really did.
“I knew it was going to be either four or five. There’s no way that matches are won straight out one, two, three in senior cup finals, it never happens. I knew I had to be ready for it”.
With two-time All-Ireland senior football winner Conor Deegan on the team, Holland explained the influence of the county Down legend at the team meeting before the final.
“He said to us before going out, just give it everything guys. We’re now at the final, don’t hold back, give it everything you have, don’t hold back.”
Deegan, who beat David Barron to put Castle’s first point on the board, holds the lowest handicap of any golfer in Ireland (plus 5) and was beaming afterwards.
“To say ecstatic is not even close. I’ve been very lucky to have been in All-Ireland finals playing football but it’s very different. You have a very tight-knit club here and we’ve had tremendous support all week.”
The preparations put in by the Castle included a session with the GUI ‘mind coach’ Karl Morris and Deegan revealed what the team got from that.
“We talk more, we understand the game a wee bit better. We’re talking about process, keeping in the game, staying in your bubble, all those good things”
Team Captain Harry Gleeson, who also captained the Castle’s 2003 Jimmy Bruen Shield team that won the shield in Lisburn, was visibly shaking after the win and paid tribute to Holland.
“He’s definitely the hardest worker on our squad; he puts the hours in, the other lads slag him because he puts so much work in.
“We’ve always played him number five, he seems to thrive under pressure. He knows he’s going to be called on when the posse start watching him. He has always delivered.
“We’ve had nine matches and he’s the only person to play in all nine.”