In bright sunshine, members turned out in force to welcome 2015 Captains Patsy McCorry and Margaret McDermott at their drive – in. After a stimulating glass of mulled wine and some delicious cake, Patsy and Margaret launched their drives long and straight to prolonged applause. The traditional Mixed Scotch Foursomes then got underway with a stableford competition for partnerless men.
Mixed Scotch Foursomes.
It was good to see the return of Kathleen Maguire to competitive golf after a long lay-off due to shoulder surgery and when she and husband Paddy were announced as runners-up, they were cheered to the echo. A similar ovation was extended to the winners – Eileen Treacy and Eugene Walsh who won by the narrowest of margins 36.5 to 36.75.
The Men’s competition was won by Shane Walsh who scored 21 points to runner-up Paul McKenna’s 20.
Spring League Matchplay Final.
The eagerly anticipated Spring League Final took place prior to the drive-in. In the top match, Jimmy Donovan and Kevin McElhatton defeated Peter Robinson and Fred Cavanagh 3.5 – 0.5 in a thrilling encounter. Gerry Connaire and Joe Giblin halved their match with Michael McHugh and Frank Maguire 2 – 2. Paddy Maguire and Michael O’Connell were four up after the front nine thus securing the single point needed for a team 5 victory.
Presentation of prizes.
Club President Jimmy Donovan introduced the new captains saying that the club was in good hands with Patsy and Margaret at the helm. It was an onerous task for both but they were more than capable in all facets of captaincy. Captain Patsy thanked Jimmy for his kind remarks and said he was overwhelmed by the way the members had turned out for the drive-in. Of course, Blacklion was renowned for its support and selfless work for the good of the club and he hoped to draw on this in his year of captaincy. Since the course was in such good order, his priority would be ensuring that the clubhouse and its environs could be made more welcoming and attractive for both members and visitors. He encouraged the recruitment of new members and made special mention of Michael O’Dwyer who had begun lessons for ladies but would be willing to coach new male members too. Patsy also acknowledged the sterling work of Sean Flanagan who had been tireless in his organising of both the winter and spring leagues. Lady Captain Margaret endorsed Patsy’s words and thanked the ladies who had prepared and served the mulled wine and cakes. She knew she could rely on their continuing support during her Captain’s year. After sustained applause, the craic continued well into the night.
Maguire and O’Connell take team 5 to final.
After a nervy start when top pairing Jimmy Donovan and Kevin McElhatton took only one point, team 5 recovered well. Gerry Connaire and Joe Giblin brought the tie level with a 3 – 1 win over Sean Leonard and Frank McCabe. However, in the final match Paddy Maguire and Michael O’Connell romped home with a sizzling 4 – 0 victory to take the team into the final.
Semi-final 2 proved to be quite an anti-climax as team 8 had two members unavailable and thus started 4 points down. So when Peter Robinson and Fred Cavanagh trounced Ronan McCabe and Jim Leonard 4 – 0, the final pairs were called in.
The final will be contested between team 5 and team 9 next Sunday at 11 am. However, the main event for Sunday 8th March is the Club Captains’ Drive-in. All members are encouraged to show their support for Patsy McCorry and Margaret McDermott at 2pm. Mulled wine will flow freely and there will be “foosies” too!
The traditional mixed Scotch Foursomes will take place at 3pm with a 9 hole competition for partnerless men.
The celebrations for Blacklion’s first 50 years culminated on Sunday when two stalwarts of the club planted a red oak tree. Bob Thompson and Josie Clancy former captains of the club were cheered to the echo by a plethora of past captains, presidents and members.
A huge turnout for the evening of nostalgia and reminiscence included visitors from Castlehume, Enniskillen, Nuremore, Cavan and Bundoran. M.C. for the evening, club secretary Pat Gallery introduced President Paddy Maguire who, in a comprehensive and moving speech paid tribute to the early leaders who showed such foresight and perseverance to establish Blacklion Golf Club. Paddy mentioned Dan McCann’s initiative in proposing a golf club in a small Cavan village, Bertie Armstrong and Michael O’Dwyer who were instrumental in getting the project underway and many members of the fledgling club: Hugh and Josie Clancy, Kevin Curran, Peadar and Annie Greene, Vincent and Teresa McGovern, Kevin and Joan Lunny, Mairead O’Dolan, Teresa O’Dwyer and Bob and Hilda Thompson.
Paddy reflected that other courses might prove more challenging with grander clubhouses but few could compare with the serenity and beauty of Blacklion. However, the main asset of Blacklion is its ethos; members and visitors are made to feel at home and all are treated as equals. Its friendliness is a legacy which the present club strives to maintain.
The culture of voluntary labour inherited from those early days persists to this day. So many people in so many ways have contributed to the club’s well-being.
Finally, Paddy paid tribute to the ladies of the club for ensuring that this special night would live long in memory – Lady Captain Pat Illand, Josephine Gallery, Yvonne Cullen and Eileen Tracey. And of course his present(!) wife Kathleen for choosing the prizes. Paddy sat down to ringing applause.
Lady Captain Pat Illand, while acknowledging the past presidents and captains, made special reference to the unsung heroes – the ordinary club members without whom the club could not function. When they saw a job needing to be done, they did it – these were the foundations on which the club was based.
Josephine Gallery spoke of the backbone of the club – the ladies’ section. Though small in number, they had taken the lead from trail-blazers like her parents. She had grown up with the club – it was a place of friendships with golf as a bonus.
On behalf of the visitors, Forster Richardson, president of Castlehume remembered playing in Blacklion in the early days. He had enjoyed playing the course and agreed that the friendliness of the club was second to none.
At this point, President Paddy Maguire, Captain Francis O’Reilly and Lady Captain Pat Illand cut the anniversary cake
Photographs from our 50th Anniversary celebrations are now available in the Gallery and, as slideshows, in the article below.
N.B. As the images have been compressed, so that they can be accessed more easily over the Internet, the quality is not as good as in the originals – and the dimensions are different.