Noel and Barry’s perfect day.

A pristine course, wall to wall sunshine and top-quality golf from so many contributed to the perfect Captain’s Day for Noel Melanaphy.

After 18 holes, sixteen players with a net score of 72 or better assembled for the traditional 9-hole shoot-out by shotgun start. Having shot a net 67 on the first 18 holes, Barry McGrory had a nightmare start on the final nine by launching his tee shot out of bounds. Supported by his playing partners, Barry recovered and added a net 36.5. Was this enough? Back room staff studied counted and recounted and Peter Cumisky finally arrived with the results.

Before the presentation, club President Mel McLoughlin introduced Noel to the large attendance saying that Noel had hardly left the club in his first six months in the role. His work ethic was extraordinary and he had proved to be an inspiring Captain.

Noel thanked Mel for his kind remarks and made special mention of the council – no one really appreciated the effort the backroom staff put in to make this day special. He was especially appreciative of all the members who had turned out with rakes and strimmers to ensure the course was in good order. Gaby and Francis had performed miracles on the course and he had never seen it look better. Lady Captain Vera and the ladies were acknowledged for the clubhouse flowers and the display of prizes as well as all their assistance throughout the year. He had been a member since 1992 having been introduced to the game by Aidan Melanaphy and convinced by Paddy Maguire that he was fortunate to achieve membership of the club. He thanked Dolores and Linda for the sumptuous meal served with a smile. Finally, he thanked his wife Jacinta and his family for their support for this special day.

After prolonged applause, he asked Peter Cumisky to announce the prize-winners.

Lady Captain Vera Waters, who won the ladies’ prize asked Noel for the names of the saints to whom he had prayed for good weather as she wanted something similar for her Captain’s Day. She complimented Noel on his fine array of prizes and thanked her playing partners for her support.

The tension rose as Peter Cumisky announced that the Captain’s prize had gone to countback with Barry McGrory winning by that narrowest of margins.