St Killian’s GarronTower are the 2014 Ulster Schools’ Senior Matchplay champions.
St Killian’s GarronTower this week at Rockmount GC won the Ulster Schools’ Senior Matchplay championship for the second time in three years.
They defeated Regent House 3 and a half to 1 and a half in the semi-finals in the morning and then overcame BanbridgeAcademy by the same margin in the final later in the day.
Captain Neil McKinstry, whose brother Ryan captained the last winning team from the school in 2011, had been in outstanding form in the qualification rounds last term, but the Cairndhu clubman recently sustained a back injury and was unable to participate this week.
In his place, younger brother and 2-handicapper Marc stepped up to the plate however, winning both his games, while Neil’s replacement Galgorm’s Daniel Reilly was also a double-winner despite playing in the Senior team for the first time.
Marc McKinstry was first out against Regent House’s Mark Rea and he came home a 3 and 2 winner. Andrew Clegg however levelled the tie with a 2 up win over Cushendall’s David Burns.
Cushendall clubmate Fergus McCambridge scored a 3 and 2 win over Ryan Corey and with Ali McQuillan and Johnny Linter halving, it all came down to the final rubber. Rookie Daniel Reilly was taken to the final hole by Josh Holliday, but he holed in par to win by 2.
BanbridgeAcademy defeated RBAI in the other semi-final on a score of 3 to 2 to face St Killian’s in the afternoon’s final.
Marc McKinstry had a great battle with Stefan Greenberry in the opening match, Marc taking the 17th to level the match and then sinking a birdie on the 18th to win.
The rest of the team seemed inspired by this result and David Burns salvaged a half with Peter Cummings on the final green.
With the fifth pairing finishing early and Daniel Reilly securing a 5 and 4 victory against Josh Corey, St Killian’s only needed a half from the remaining two games to get their hands on the silverware.
Ali McQuillan settled the issue with a 4 and 2 win over Tandragee’s Jack Roe, leaving Fergus McCambridge’s game with Josh Lochkart redundant. Josh eventually won on the last hole.
St Killian’s now go through to play in the All-Ireland series over Easter Monday and Tuesday in Nenagh GC in Tipperary.
Before that however Marc McKinstry will spend next week with the Irish under 16 team in Holland, while Fergus McCambridge will captain his school hurling side in the Foresters’ Cup final on Monday against St Patrick’s Maghera
The team outside the school on their return
St Killian’s College Garron Tower Ulster Senior Schools’ Matchplay champions
Back row (l to r) : David Burns, Neil McKinstry, Marc McKinstry, Mr J Brady Principal.
Front : Fergus McCambridge, Ali McQuillan, Ronan McCambridge, Daniel Reilly