The Rossmore Pierce Purcell team under the captaincy of Eugene McGinnity last Thursday headed to Royal Tara Golf Club in County Meath where they contested the All Ireland semi-final with high hopes of being crowned All Ireland Champions.
Following the historic Ulster Final victory over Armagh Golf Club they now faced the Munster Champions and favorites for outright victory Spanish Point Golf Club from Clare. The other semi final saw Claremorris take on Corrstown from Dublin. As all four teams warmed up on the practice range one noticed a considerable age profile difference between the Clare men and the other 3 teams with the Munster champions all much younger and apparently hitting the ball vast distances.
Rossmore had prepared well and the team believed that they well capable of outright victory but knew they faced a difficult challenge in this semi-final. The first pair out M McQuaid and D Connolly found the going tough and were always fighting an uphill battle. The second pair of J Heffernan and A Finnegan started well and following 4 pars and a birdie were 2 up after 5 holes. Next up A Trappe and D McMahon were involved in a titanic struggle with never more than one hole between the teams but they at all times looked capable of victory. Fourth out was B Casey and P Trappe and they played some fantastic golf over the opening 9 holes to hold a slender advantage. Rossmore’s final pairing of M Deery and J McKenna despite facing a young golfer from Clare striking the ball well over 300yds off the tee played themselves into an early lead which they held well into the back nine.
For Rossmore all looked good until the final stretch of 4 holes where 3 of the matches lost key holes and just could not recover. M McQuaid and D Connolly finally succumbed and were defeated at the 15th Hole, following closely behind Heffernan and Finnegan had fought back from 3 down with 6 to play to be just 1 down with 3 holes to play but a crucial error at the 16th cost them dear and they eventually lost out 2 and 1. There was real pressure on the remaining 3 matches with B casey and P Trappe heading up 18 one up and well in control. A Trappe and D McMahon were also heading up the 18th all square. All now depended on M Deery and J McKenna but the Rossmore dream died over the final holes as they also lost out by 2 and 1. Rossmore in true sporting fashion accepted that they had lost to the better team on the day and wished their opponents the best of luck in the final where they would face Claremorris from Mayo.
The final as expected was mostly one way traffic and Spanish Point ran out easy winners and were crowned All Ireland champions. The only consolation for Rossmore was that they had lost to the eventual winners but there is always the thoughts of those wrong decisions, poor club selection and a few missed putts that on another day would have found the back of the hole. This team have vowed to return next year to attend to unfinished business and hopefully claim that elusive All Ireland title.
To the team captain Eugene McGinnity a very well deserved thanks for all the hard work and dedication he showed all year to drive his team to this level and hopefully he will remain to give it another try next year.
The club and team would like to express their thanks for the much appreciated sponsorship they received from the Hillgrove Hotel, Terry’s Bar Market Street and Rossmore Golf Club.