BY KIERAN McCARTHY
THE long wait is over after Skibbereen Golf Club ladies won the West Cork Shield for the fifth time last weekend.
Clinching victory at home against Kinsale last Saturday, in the second leg of the final, Skibbereen ended their 29-year wait for this trophy – and huge celebrations followed.
‘This win means a lot to the club,’ explained team member Mary Crowley.
‘We won the West Cork Shield four times in the past and the last win was in 1990, which is a long time ago.
‘We have been to finals several times since, most recently in 2013 and 2015, but we never seemed to get over the line.’
This year was different though.
With the Skibbereen club’s Director of Golf, Sarah Claridge, coaching the team on and off the course and ensuring this band of Skibb ladies were as prepared for the mental side of the game as well as the physical aspect, no stone was left unturned this season.
Including the final, Skibbereen played four clubs in four rounds, with a home and away leg in each round, so that was eight competitive days of
golf where five teams of two from each club went head to head.
In their away leg of the West Cork Shield final against Kinsale two weeks earlier Skibb won three of the five matches and that set them up for last weekend’s home round where they powered to victory.
‘There were great celebrations after because we’ve waited a long time for a win like this,’ Mary Crowley added.
‘A lot of work has gone into this from the players, managers, selectors, everyone in the background, so it’s fantastic that we have something to show from all the hard work.
‘We’re a small, rural golf club with maybe 30, 35 playing ladies’ members so it means a lot to us all to win the West Cork Shield title.’
The Skibbereen Golf Club panel for all the matches included Maura Dwyer, Bernie Ryan, Mary Crowley, Hilda Hegarty, Una Murray, Leah O’Regan, Marie Kerr, Betty Chapple, Bernie O’Regan, Breda Hamilton, Clodagh Byrne, Anne Price, Mary Dineen, Teresa O’Sullivan, Kay Ronan and Eileen O’Regan. The team is managed by Hilda Hegarty and Margaret Foley.
The West Cork Shield was set up in 1972 and is the brainchild of two ladies from Skibbereen, Marie Connolly and her sister-in-law Josie Ring, and two ladies from Glengarriff, Patricia Connolly and Noreen Deasy.
The competition was first held in 1973 and it has grown in stature ever since.
Now, Skibbereen Golf Club are the best in the west – and that’s a title the club will hold proudly for the next 12 months.