GOLF: St Killian’s win Ulster Schools’ Matchplay title

The St Killian's College golf team. Back row: Chris Guiller, Ronan McCambridge, David Burns. Front: Fergus McCambridge, Marc McKinstry, Christy McLaughlin. INLT 12-901-CON Photo: Bill Guiller
The St Killian's College golf team. Back row: Chris Guiller, Ronan McCambridge, David Burns. Front: Fergus McCambridge, Marc McKinstry, Christy McLaughlin. INLT 12-901-CON Photo: Bill Guiller

St Killian’s College senior golfers won the Ulster Schools’ Matchplay championship for a third time with victory over Sullivan Upper.

St Killian’s had drawn Patrician High Carrickmacross in Tuesday’s semi-final at Hilton Templepatrick, but decided to rest their captain Marc McKinstry who had been injured for most of the past month.

It was a polished performance from the other five team members, David Burns and Fergus McCambridge both winning 5 and 4, Chris Guiller 8 and 7, and Ronan McCambridge 6 and 5, with Christy McLaughlin called in at the 12th one up.

Meanwhile, Sullivan Upper upset the form book to beat Regent House in the other semi-final to set up the afternoon’s final.

Captain Marc McKinstry was soon into a lead in his game and he went on to win 5 and 4. In the second game however, Fergus McCambridge struggled to keep in touch and eventually went down 4 and 3.

David Burns, however, was always ahead in his game going through the turn 3 up and he finished a 5 and 4 winner. In the fourth game, the younger of the McCambridge brothers, Ronan battled hard but lost 3 and 2.

That meant that everything hinged on the last game and Chris Guiller took an early lead of two holes, but by the turn, he had been reeled in and the game finished in a tie requiring a play-off hole.

Chris settled the nerves with a good drive off the tee. He managed to fire a birdie and claim the championship for St Killian’s in a dramatic finale to an excellent day’s golf.

This is the third time St Killian’s has claimed the title and each year they have been captained by a McKinstry. It was Ryan for the first win in 2011, then Neil in 2013 and now Marc.

The boys now head to Athlone for the All-Ireland on April 19, with Connacht the opposition in the semi-finals.