The tree-lined fairways of Tullamore played host to the Revive Active Fourball National Finals where Dun Laoghaire, Thurles, Kilrea and Galway Bay were this year’s semi-finalists.
Both overcoming their oppositions on Saturday, Kilrea and Dun Laoghaire came head-to-head in the All-Ireland Final on Sunday.
Dun Laoghaire held the advantage in terms of lowest combined handicap, however, the format allowing shots to 90% of the difference compared to the lowest handicap player in each match would become crucial as each game progressed.
The first two contests were won convincingly but with one match going to each team the tie still stood in the balance. However, a quick run of form for the Northern Region Champions at the turn saw them take a significant advantage in the remaining three matches.
Lorna Torrens and Bridie McCloskey added the second point in favour of Kilrea which was equalled when Dun Laoghaire’s Anne Marie Garth and Yvonne Hill - who came back from a 3 hole deficit – won on the 18th green.
In the fourth match, Rose Shaw and Mo Bradley-Travis had all but captured the title on the final green for Kilrea but when the short putt of Shaw rushed by the hole, the match was level once again – where it had been leaning in favour of Kilrea for the entire match.
And so, additional holes were needed and after the 19th was halved, a season-long journey came to an end when Anne Coffey knocked in a testing three-foot putt for par on the 137yard 20th.
"We just kept believing, we battled really, really hard, I could barely believe it when we walked off the 18th green all square," explained Coffey, who with her partner Fiona Scott had been two down with two to play.
“The 19th was a little scrappy but I hit a good shot into the 20th and I told myself to take loads of deep breaths."
"This was my chance to be the hero and to try and take it, I’m still shaking!"
The “Woman of Steel” as her clubmates have now named her, had already won two previous matches on extra holes on Dun Laoghaire’s road to the final so it is with pride – and some exhaustion, that she can return with her teammates as an All-Ireland Revive Active Fourball Champion.
Revive Active Fourball National Final Results
Kilrea (2) Dun Laoghaire (3) (Kilrea names first):
U Bradley & Kelly lost to Halpin & Quinn 6&5
S Bradley & O’Hara beat Tan & Archdeacon 7&6
Torrens & McCloskey beat Caslin & Jolly 4&3
Shaw & Bradley-Travis lost to Scott & Coffey on the 20th
Calderwood & Donaghy lost to Garth & Hill 1 down
Image credit: Jenny Matthews