THE AIG Women’s Minor Cup competition commenced for The Heath Golf Club back in early June with home advantage against Killeen. The team did the club proud by winning all the matches.
The next match was on 27 June when The Heath travelled to Rathdowney with three matches away. The ladies playing at home made it easy for the away players by winning both matches. The Heath then got the one match needed in Rathdowney.
Marching on to Royal Curragh on 11 July with three matches at home. The Royal Curragh ladies won two of their three away matches. The news filtered back to the Curragh that they only needed one win at home.
The matches were very tight, looking like they could fall either way, but The Heath ladies never lost focus. The first match was flat after 18 holes and went to the 19th hole. The Heath player won the hole and the match after hitting a wonderful drive that had her opponent under pressure from the word go. Their second player won on the 18th rounding off a great victory against the odds.
The win saw them advance to the area semi-final when they were up against Co Longford 25 July with three matches away. The Heath home players played their part by winning both matches leaving them needing just one away win. Having lost both the first and second matches on the 16 and 17 holes it was all or nothing for the third match. This was won on the 17th hole.
This victory put them through to the area final on 8 August against Mount Juliet with them having home advantage. Winning just one match at home The Heath needed to win two away. Once again the team came up trumps by winning the two, one on the 15th and the other on the 17th.
Having won the area final, they had qualified for the All Ireland Inter-Club Finals. There were eight areas that qualified – two from Ulster, two from Munster, one from Connacht, and three from Leinster. These matches were played at Shandon Park Golf Club in Belfast this week.
There a practice round at Shandon Park on Monday. Play started on Tuesday where The Heath were drawn against Castlegregory, the West Munster regional winners which The Heath won convincingly to qualify for the semi-finals.
This time they met East Cork, a club that has a formidable reputation. This was a very exciting match having won two and lost two it was anyone’s game. The last match was even on the 18th so it was on to the 19th. The Heath player stayed focused and having put from the edge of the green to a “gimme” distance the match was conceded by the opposition.
On to the fourth day of golf in a row The Heath were set to contest the final against Powerscourt. Unfortunately for The Heath their opponents had a fairly easy win in their semi-final winning two matches early, one on the 17th and two matches called in so they had reserves in the tank.
The Heath ladies gave them a good match. Having lost two on the 15th they had three matches still all to play for on the 17th. Two matches were even, and one was 1 up. The Heath won one on the 18th, lost one on the18th and the other match was called in as Powerscourt went home with the gold medals.
Marion Mills accepted her Captain’s medal from the chief executive of Golf Ireland and presented the silver medals to the team. She congratulated Powerscourt on winning and thanked them for the sporting way the match was played. She also thanked Golf Ireland for all the work they put in for the organisation of the event.
And she especially thanked her own team for their dedication and commitment and the supporters for travelling so far.
The team played consistent and exciting golf and from the start practised hard and committed to all the matches. They were assisted with coaching and received invaluable tips from The Heath Club PRO, Mark O Boyle.
A number of Heath Ladies teams have reached semi-finals in ILGU events but reaching an All-Ireland final in the first year of Golf Ireland ranks among one of the clubs biggest triumphs.
TEAM: Mary Mahon, Mary McNamara, Anne Doolan, Maria Delaney and Helen Bergin. Subs: Therese Ryan, May Tyrrell and Imelda Monahan.
Team Managers: Marion Mills and Jane O’Rourke.