Saturday 1st July 2023
Welcome to the 2023 Castle All Ireland Father & Son Competition, sponsored by Dawson Jewellers.
It is 1st July and the sunshine with a "gentle" breeze in full flow to keep the players full focussed on the day's play.
Big thanks to the early volunteers who arrived at 6.30 am to assist the Fathers and Sons as they arrived and took their place on the first tee.
Paul Fitzgerald and his green keeping staff deserve great praise for the splendid condition of the greens, fairways and the course in general - the spectacular colour on the first tee with the flowers and roses in full bloom is amazing.

Great to see past winners Martin & Michael Wilson (1999) and James & Marc Dillon (2009) still battling their way down the Castle fairways in the hope of another title.

Tough conditions prevailed for the entire day with the swirling wind testing the resolve of each Father & Son.
That said some great scores were achieved and all pairings remained intact with both Father & Son still talking (to each other!).
Qualifying scores to 77 net have made the cut into the week's matchplay rounds - but sadly a few 77's failed to join them with only Gerry & Gerard Casey and Ciaran & Ronan Dunne crossing the line.
More on that tomorrow when we announce the scores and matchplay qualifiers.

All pairings should note that we will publish a reserve list tomorrow night and from past years a few reserves may still get to play in the matchplay - keep a close eye on the Blog and the Website.
It would be great to see you up at the club tomorrow.

Sunday 2nd July 2023
Sunday at Castle Golf Club as we welcome all the competitors to the All Ireland Father & Son, sponsored by Dawson Jewellers and its day 2 of qualifying stroke play. 
Another blustery day with a testing wind to keep the golfing eye well focussed - plus some beautiful sunshine for all to enjoy.
Some great moments and some anxious looks as shots start to slip away as each pairing battled hard to make the cut and join the matchplay rounds.
At the end of play all the 77's got through plus one one 78 being Eddie & Stephan Connaughton.
Well done to all the qualifiers.
The draw is now complete and there will be great excitement around the club as the first round matches are played on Monday and Tuesday.
The draw is on the website under Father & Son and all should check for the starting times.
The Competition Committee tried to facilitate all players with preferred days but for some matches this was not possible. 
If - for any reason you are unable to play please ring the Club or Michael O'Neill (087-2683883)

The reserve list for the matchplay rounds on Monday and Tuesday is as follows:
1. Garry & Jamie Lyons
2. Ken & Elliot Doyle
3. Martin & Matt Maher
4. Ronnie & Ronan Harrison
5. Maurice & Mark Redmond
6. Conor & Dermot Ryan
Well done to all who have qualified and many thanks to everyone else for competing - these are always precious times spent with your father and/or your son.
We look forward to seeing everyone playing tomorrow night and on Tuesday - All are most welcome.

Monday 3rd July 2023
Day 1 of the All Ireland Father & Son matchplay sponsored by Dawson Jewellers at Castle Golf Club.
As always matchplay golf produces some great moments of excitement and some nervy shots thrown in for good measure.
Past Champions and All Ireland Father & Son specialists Michael (Grange Castle) & Stephen (Castle) Finlan put up a solid defence of their title, only to lose to the determined pairing of Michael & Richard Tighe (Elm Park) on the 18th green.
Former past champions James (Palmerstown House) & Marc Dillon (Castle) also met their Waterloo as the all Castle pairing of Mark & Gavin O'Riordan emerged as worthy winners on a 3 and 1 score.

Another great match saw the all left handed combination of Ciaran & Conor Gray (Donabate) advance to the second round following their match against the all left handed combo of Gerrard (Blessington Lakes) & Gerry (Elm Park) - Paddy Power - what odds on an all left handed match?
William & Donal McAuliffe won the all Castle match of the round against Niall & Ben McDonnell.

Match of the day was reserved for the final match, as Garry & Jamie Lyons (Castle) took on the might of past champions Martin & Michael Wilson (Castle) and as the evening drew to a close tie holes were required. The 19th was halved in pars, 20th was halved, two solid pars on 21 - was anything going to separate these two pairings as they headed down 22nd at 9.40 pm - another hole halved - the match finally ended in the Wilson's favour in close to total darkness on the 23rd - Hard luck on Lyons' - great performance - while the past champs march on.

Day 2 of round 1 matchplay commences tomorrow at 3.00 pm - why not pop down to Castle  - there is plenty of food, drink and good fun to be had for all - never mind some great golf to enjoy.

Tuesday 4th July 2023
Welcome to the 4th July and congrats to all who have family living in or from the United States on this glorious Independence Day - a day for celebration.
Day 2 - Round 1 of the match-play in the Dawson Jewellers All Ireland Father & Son at Castle Golf Club.
They may be honouring 1776 in the USA but tonight there were plenty of fireworks on the fairways and greens at Castle.

Well done to Martin & Matt Maher (Blessington Lakes) on winning a great match with Castle legend Harry Gleeson and his son Harry.
The Mahers are long-time supporters of this event having been beaten in the final once and finishing leading qualifiers on two previous visits over the last thirty years.
Indeed, the Mahers had a wonderful sense of ocassion on Saturday when three generations of the family teed it up in the stroke play qualifier.

Lots of ex-footballing greats here tonight with Liam Buckley (Lisheen Springs) and his son Alex (Rathfarnham) taking out Castle's Austin and Austin Duke.
Sadly, another great footballer from the past, Michael McGovern (Castle) and his son Keith (Cruit Island) fell at this hurdle as Paddy & Anthony Cameron (Rathfarnham) advanced to the next round.

Great to see the Hutton family all qualifying for the matchplay but sadly Oliver and his son Tommy (Athy) and Joseph & Robert (The Island) all bowed out tonight.
The last match of the evening, as last nigh,t went down tie holes with Barney & Bernard Bermingham (Slade Valley/Carton House) winning on the 20th against Joe & Joey Donnelly (Lisheen Springs)

Wednesday will see the 2nd round matches all being played on the same night and there are certainly some mouth-watering matches in store.
We expect all players to be on their toes, splitting fairways and holing putts.
Why not take a mid-week break from work and drop into Castle - you will always be most welcome and sure you might enjoy a pint of plain.
PS there will be some cracking golf to watch too!!

Wednesday 5th July 2023
It's been a long night for some of us at Castle Golf Club tonight as we reach the midway point in the All Ireland Father & Son Championship, sponsored by Dawson Jewellers.
Some excellent golf tonight played by all pairings.

Match of the Day saw the 2019 winners Mathew & Kevin Commins (Cloverhill) recover from 3 down after 10 to win 2/1 against Michael & Richard Tighe (Elm Park).
The former champs played the last eight holes in level par - a great achievement for the 12 and 14 handicappers - well done.

David Carroll and his son Patrick (Grange) came through in a very tight match with Castle's Donal & Paul Coleman.
David is a Senior Cup player and former runner up in the Irish Close Championship - no doubt that young Patrick will follow in his Dad's footsteps. It was a great match all the way with Colemans only falling foul on the 18th green - Stand Proud!

Mark O'Riordan and his son Gavin, (a great tennis player and golfer) were unlucky not to win through in their match with Hilary & Arthur Haydon in an all Castle match in the round, with the tie ending on the 18th green.
Paddy & Jack Conlon also won through in another all Castle match against Brian & Ed McIntyre winning on the 16th green. 

Thursday's golf starts at 16.30 and it promises to be another day full of excitement and surprises.
Why not book yourself a front seat and watch all the action - you will not be disappointed.

Thursday 6th July 2023
What a night of matchplay golf we had tonight at the Castle Golf Club in the round of 16 in the All Ireland Father & Son Championship, sponsored by Dawson Jewellers.

We had a night of young teenagers playing so well to keep their Dad's in the tournament.
First up was young Jack Conlon (Castle) at 14 years of age as he guided his dad Paddy (Castle) into the next round with a win over the St Margarets pairing of Tom & Kevin Ryan - simply great golf!
Jake Tran (Old Conna) of similar age also managed to assist his dad Kiet to advance into the quarter finals with their victory over John & Paul O'Sullivan.

Four matches made it to the 18th and beyond.
William & Donal McAulliffe, both home grown Castle players, had an epic battle with Grange's David & young Patrick (12 years old) Carroll and just came out on the right side of the result on the 20th hole.
Past Champions Mathew & Kevin Commins secured their place with a one hole victory over Stuart & David O'Brien, who both hail from Bray.

The Cosgrove family were out in force as Peter & John (Castle) took out another formidable Castle pairing comprising William & Rory O'Brien, winning on the 18th green.
Peter's son David caddied for them while his wife Liz and daughter Emma were close by at all times rooting for the Cosgrove F&S.
Where was Mary Whooley when she was needed !!

All matches were played in the spirit of friendship that you would expect from the Castle's Father & Son and certainly golf won out tonight.

Friday will see the final eight pairings battle it out in the quarter finals to see who will advance for another day - at least!!
Many thanks to the great support that turned up tonight - it is greatly appreciated by all the players.
Hope to see you all tomorrow night.

Friday 7th July 2023

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay My, oh, my, what a wonderful day Plenty of sunshine and great golf headin' my way Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay!

Welcome to Quarter Finals Day at Castle Golf Club for the All Ireland Father & Son Championship sponsored by Dawson Jewellers.
Before we get too much into the action tonight we need to express the sincere thanks and gratitude of all the competitors to Michael O'Neill, as Chairman of the Father & Son and his hard working committee for the fantastic work and assistance provided this week - it has been brilliant. Special thanks also to Phillip Murphy (The Cardinal) who is here every day welcoming everyone and giving them his blessing for the day.  

Where to start?
First off the tee tonight was Castle's William & Donal McAuliffe who faced up to Tony & Kevin Furlong (Straffan/Skerries) and this match ebbed and flowed the whole way. The key point came on the 15th when the Furlong's who were two up at the time, hit their tee shot out of bounds. The Furlongs hit their second shot on the green and holed out for an amazing 4. The McAuliffes had a ten foot putt to win the hole and believe it or not it hit the hole and spun around almost 720 degrees. Halved hole!
The Furlongs went on to win the 16th and cement their place in the semi final and FINAL FOUR.

A terrific week for the Tran family (Kiet & Jake) from Old Conna came unstuck against former champions Matthew & Kevin Commins (Cloverhill) when the match was brought to an end on the 15th with the former champions taking their place in the semi finals and into the FINAL FOUR.

The third match out was a bit of a dog fight between two pairings trying their hearts out to stay standing in this long and enduring test and yet wonderful competition. Castle's young Jack Conlon was a star tonight hitting every fairway for his Dad Paddy as they tried to take out The Island pairing of Gareth & Keane Cooke. The match ended on the 16th green with the Cooke's spoiling the broth for Paddy & Jack - fear not, I think we will see young Jack (and of course his Dad, Patrick) advancing further in this competition in the coming years. The Cooke's now stand proud in the FINAL FOUR.

Woof! Woof!
The final match of the night saw the Haydon's (Hilary & Arthur) take on the Cosgroves (Peter & John) in the all Castle quarter final match. 
To give them great credit the Cosgroves played top quality golf while unfortunately the Haydon's seemed to play with four flat tyres and no diesel in the engine.
The Cosgroves, duly supported by their lovely family (Liz, Emma and of course David) were worthy winners and advance to the FINAL FOUR as the last surviving Castle pairing. No Pressure!
The four losing quarter finalists can stand tall - FATHER & SON - what a brilliant week for all of them - Yes they have now fallen but what a week and an honour and privilege to play, Father with Son and Son with Father - Simply Amazing.

So, the semi final pairings will see five different clubs involved, including Straffan, Skerries, Cloverhill, The Island and Castle Golf Club.
It promises to another great day of golf with plenty of excitement and heart break, pressure moments and exhilaration.
The first match tees off at 16:00 - so why not pop down to Castle to provide some support - you are guaranteed to receive a great welcome and sure you never know you might still enjoy a pint of plain.

Good luck also to Castle's Mens and Ladies Senior Cup teams in the Leinster finals tomorrow in Blainroe.

Saturday 8th July 2023

Sorry about this - but before we go anywhere, we are delighted to congratulate Archie (McEvoy) and the Senior Cup Team today - Rob Moran, Peter McKeever, Ross McKeever, Jack Walsh and of course tail ender Dan Holland and not to forget Alex Gleeson who was not available today on their brilliant performance in Blainroe winning the Leinster Senior Cup Pennant for Leinster South. This does not happen without great effort and commitment from the whole squad including caddies.
It is fantastic to achieve this piece of glory in Captain Frank O'Hare's year - well deserved - go on now and perform well in the All-Ireland finals.

And so, onto our own All Ireland Finals of the Father & Son at Castle Golf Club, sponsored by Dawson Jewellers.
This was the penultimate day or indeed day 8 of this great competition.

Well done to all the Semi Finalists - an amazing performance from all of you on reaching this far in the competition, after eight gruelling days of  fiercely competitive golf.
Semi finals are always tough, as the players are so close to the Holy Grail and yet crossing that white line can be so difficult both physically and mentally.

The first semi final today involved the Castle pairing of Peter & John Cosgrove pitting their wits and golfing talent against The Island pairing of Gareth & Keane Cooke.
Team Cosgrove turned up in force and Castle were delighted to welcome Mum Liz, daughter Emma and of course super caddy (and other son) David to the match.
The Cooke family also had Valerie Cooke in attendance shouting them on, while the Island's Captain Stevie Craig (former League of Ireland legend) also sent the Cooke's best wishes from their club.
The Cosgrove's started where they left off last night against the Haydon's (Hilary & Arthur) playing solid golf and truly excellent match play golf.
The short game from John Cosgrove was top notch, leaving no doors or windows for the Cooke's to climb back into the game.
After a truly sporting and memorable match, the Castle pairing of Peter & John Cosgrove won through to FINALS DAY.
Many thanks to Gareth & Keane Cooke for the excellent contribution to the week's golf and the Father & Son competition.
We look forward to welcoming you back next year.

The second semi final saw former champions Matthew (12) and Kevin (16) Commins from Cloverhill Golf Club take on Tony (18) and Kevin (11) Furlong (Straffan/Skerries).
The Furlongs were supported by Mum Tasha, helping to make it a great family affair on the day.

The golf from the Commins family continued, as throughout the week, to be of the highest standard.
Try hard as they could the Furlongs just not keep with the quality and excellence of the Commins golf game.
n the 10th Par 3 hole, the Commins hit their tee shot stone dead within two feet - while the Furlongs playing a provisional ball almost holed out - albeit on the 12th.
The Commins were three over gross when winning their way through to FINALS DAY and indeed were two under par for the Loop (10th to 13th) - golf of the highest standard.
Huge thanks to the Furlongs on a splendid achievement on reaching the semi-finals.

And so we have our two finalists with Castle's Peter & John Cosgrove taking on Cloverhill's Matthew & Kevin Commins.
The final will start at 14:30 pm.

It has been a fantastic week of golf so far and no doubt this will continue into the final.

The ethos and spirit of the All Ireland Father & Son competition has been so good as each evening we see the winners and losers of each matchplay game sitting down after the golf to break bread and share a drink.
The pain of losing seems to disappear after a few pints of the plain stuff - while the victors have always been humble and gracious, knowing that they may win or lose on the following day.
There is little doubt but that Castle committees of yester-year who worked so diligently to get this competition up and running would be so proud to see this act of friendship and comradeship - which is what golf and sport is all about.

We look forward to welcoming the two Father & Son pairings tomorrow and of course all of you as supporters - this will be a GREAT FINAL.
Do not miss it and sure afterwards you can always enjoy a pint of plain. 

Sunday 9th July 2023
It  Finals Day at Castle Golf Club for the All Ireland Father & Son Championship, sponsored by Dawson Jewellers.
Forget about the hurling, the Under 20's Rugby, Wimbledon, Grand Prix and all other sporting activities it has been all action down here at Castle Golf Club.

The course has been turned out immaculately by the club's course superintendent Paul Fitzgerald - a great credit to him and his staff.
The club house facilities under the direction of General Manager Paul Paterson and Facilities Manager Philip Hollowed has been nothing short of magnificent all week.
The catering has been fantastic from food to bar.

And now Back to the Golf!
Kevin and his Mathew Commins (Cloverhill) stood up on the first tee today nicely kitted out with matching white tee shirts and navy slacks - presenting a strong team image. They had good support from their family and friends.
Peter & John Cosgrove, the local Castle pairing were more casual in their dress approach, both wearing Castle shirts - (not sure about the blue socks - John)

Kevin Commins tee off first launching his drive down the fairway followed by John Cosgrove - match on.
The first was halved after the Commins second cleared the green in two and scrambled for a par.
The Commins stepped up a little on the gas when winning the second and third after the Cosgroves failed to get up and down from the greenside bunker to take an early advantage - 2 up to the Commins.
Following a half on the fourth with pars, the Cosgroves managed to claw one back on the fifth - 1 up to the Commins.
The Commins were happy to halve the 6th, giving the first of three shots, but no so happy when losing the 7th to a Cosgrove's birdie - match all square.
Kevin & Matthew restored their lead to 1 up on the 9th, only to be pinned back to all square again from the fighting Cosgroves winning with the benefit of their shot.

Great match and all square after 9 holes with an enormous crowd in attendance, who were giving both pairings equal and warm applause when good shots were struck.
Up on the 10th Tee and its now Game on for both pairings.

Peter Cosgrove hits his tee shot into the back bunker while Matthew Commins is on the green back left. An amazing bunker shot from John Cosgrove is 8 feet from the hole and Peter duly holes the putt while the Commins take two putts for an equalling par - All square.

On the 11th, John Cosgrove hits an almigthty tee shot down the centre while Kevin Commins is in the trees on the right. The pitch out from the trees finds the fairway and the following shot lands 25 feet up the green from the flag. The Cosgroves make four and win the hole - 1 up to the Castle pair.

Two blistering drives from both pairs down the 12th were followed by tentative second shots that left them both with work to do on this tricky green for putting.
Both pairings left themselves with putts of 5 feet and they duly obliged with par putts - still 1 up to the Cosgroves.

The 13th and often unlucky for some - as John Cosgorove came slightly out of his tee shot and into Jaws on the right. There was no follow up for Kevin Commins as he hit his tee smoothly onto the green some 15 feet from the pin. Peter Cosgrove's bunker shot came up a little short and the pitch from John was a little strong - the Commins made a comforatble par and now all square again.

OMG - What a Match !!

On the 14th Matthew Commins looked like he had gone a little right off the tee with shouts of "FORE" only to find his ball on the right but with a shot - albeit testing to the green. Peter Cosgrove hits a great three wood down the right right and drawing ever so gently towards the fairway. John's shot made the front of the green while Kevin Commins played a truly terific shot over the trees and landing 8 feet from the hole. What golf!
Peter Cosgrove rolled the putt up the hole a little right to left leaving John with a four foot tricky putt for par. A poor putt from the Commins left them shrt 3 foot. The Cosgroves with a shot on the hole missed while the Commins holed for another halved hole - still all square.

The Commins teed off first on the 15th and hit another majestic shot onto the green some 25 feet from the hole, while John Cosgrove's tee shot lands a little short but on the short grass. Peter Cosgrove putts up the green and WOW leaves it two feet from the hole. Matthew Commins putt runs close to the hole - another hole halved in pars - still all square.

Kevin Commins tee shot on the 16th goes left and is just short of the bunker beside the 17th green - the Cosgroves are much better in the trees on the left.
John Cosgrove hits a good second shot while the Commins follows suit down the 17th fairway. Peter Cosgrove gets a little helping hand from the trees as hits the 16th fairway with the third shot while the Commins go long down the 17th fairway and nearly up to the 17th tee box. What are they feeding these players?
The Cosgroves hit their fourth shot up the green on the left to a back right pin, while the Commins pitch comes up a tad short and their follow up runs down the green. The Cosgroves putt down to 3 feet and hole out for a winning six - 1 up with two to play.

You had to be there to describe the two drives from John Cosgrove and Kevin Commins down the 17th as they both finished close to the 150 yard marker on hte fairway - this is golf of the highest standard by two pairings who have played each day every day for the entire week with the Commins traveling the guts of 400 kilometres each day. What commitment from both families.

Peter Cosgrove hits his second shot in the greenside bunnker while Matthew Commins goes a fraction long just over the green - they are both there in two.
Kevin Commins hits a delightful chip to a front left pin as it rolls down the hill past the hole and ten feet past. John Cosgrove, under the watchful eye and instruction of "Super Caddy" David Cosgrove takes no chanes from the bunker and leaves hinself 20 feet above the hole - this could go any way!

Peter Cosgrove steps up and without a flinch in the world rolls the ball down the hill and just misses holing out - what a putt.
Mathew Commins is now putting up the hole for a win and he goes for it - it misses and now is 6 feet past - this is matchplay golf at te gighest level. Close your Eyes !
Kevi Commins as the Dad, steps over the ball needing to hole out for a halve and we walk down 18.
He hits it - it rolls down the hill and as it reaches the hole the ball says "not today my friend "and stays above ground - How cruel can it get!

In a moment you get the estacy and pain of match play golf - In a flash of time.
The crowd now realise that this miss means that the Cosgroves - Peter & John are the All Ireland Father & Son Champions.
It is over - the match is over and we have new champions - Peter & John Cosgrove become the first all Castle pairing to win this coveted title since Gerry & Rob Moran won in 2012 - 10 years ago. 
By this stage the large crowd were in a wild frenzy, shouting an clapping, congratulating - although great to see how many went over the Kevin & Matthew Commins and commiserated with - they had put up a great match .
The final result is:

Winners                                           Peter (21) & John (12) Cosgrove (Castle/Castle)
Runners Up                                    Matthew (12) & Kevin Commins (Cloverhill/Cloverhill)
Semi Finalists                                 Tony (18) & Kevin (11) Furlong (Straffan/Skerries)
                                                       Gareth (11) & Keane (12) Cooke (The Island/The Island)
Quarter Finalists                             Hilary (17) & Arthur (13) Haydon (Castle/Castle)
                                                       William (21) & Donal (11) McAuliffe (Castle/Castle)
                                                       Patrick (21) & Jack (17) Conlon (Castle/Castle)
                                                       Kiet (12) & Jake (21) Tran (Old Conna/Old Conna)
Leading Qualifier                           Ciaran (16) & Conor (20) Gray (Donabate/Donabate) 
Best Gross                                     Jim & Charlie Quinn Castle/Castle)
Leading Castle Qualifier                Austin (21) & Austin (12) Duke (Castle/Castle)

2023 will always be remembered as being the year Peter & John Cosgrove won the All Ireland Father & Son Championship, sponsored by Dawson Jewellers.
Fantastic and well done.
The day could not be allowed to pass with remembering the great support they received all week from the Cosgrove family with David on the bag and indeed Mum Liz (supporter of the week) and daughter Emma - and at least other daughter Lizzie was there for the final - well done to you all - (JOHN - still not sure about the BLUE SOCKS - may need to talk to the Fashion Police! - that said you and your Dad, Peter are now TRUE CHAMPIONS)

2023 Father & Son comes to a close - we have enjoyed your company and look forward to seeing you all next year.
Good luck to Captain Frank and Anna for the rest of the year.
That's all Folks !