Mehaffey and Carty target final chapter
Northern Ireland is guaranteed representation in this afternoon's final of the Irish Women's Close Championship at Enniscrone after Olivia Mehaffey and Jessica Carty were paired to meet in this morning's semi-finals.
Sunday had been a tough day for the province's representatives with both last year's champion Paula Grant and leading qualifier Jessica Ross knocked out of the competition in the first round of matchplay.
However, the remaining three players from north of the border all won quarter-finals with Mehaffey and Carty victorious in their subsequent last-four ties.
Louise Coffey of Malone looked set to join her compatriots in the competition's final day but, despite leading by one when approaching the 16th tee, she fell to Aedin Murphy after her opponent from Carlow won two of the last three holes.
Holywood's Carty was the most comfortable victor in the quarter-finals after she beat Amy Farrell 7&5 to book her place in the final four but it had taken 22 holes to separate herself from Mary Dowling of New Ross earlier in the day.
Mehaffey – winner of the Irish Girls' Open Strokeplay earlier this season and one of the favourites for the title – endured a more strenuous day beating Sinead Sexton of Lahinch 2&1 in the last eight before overcoming home favourite Sarah Helly 2&1 in the semis.
In the other quarter-final, Mary Doyle of The Heath beat Chloe Ryan from Castleroy 2&1 and will meet Murphy in the first of the semi-finals today.
Second Round: Roisin Brady (Co. Louth) lost to Louise Coffey (Malone) 3&2, Aedin Murphy (Carlow) beat Emma O'Driscoll (Ballybunion) 4&3, Mary Doyle (The Heath) beat Karen Delaney (Carlow) 2&1, Jean O'Driscoll (Muskerry) lost to Chloe Ryan (Castletroy) 2&1, Jessica Carty (Holywood) beat Mary Dowling (New Ross) on 22, Darcey Carr (Milltown) lost to Amy Farrell (Moate) 3&2, Maria Dunne (Skerries) lost to Sarah Helly (Enniscrone) 2&1, Olivia Mehaffey (Royal Co. Down Ladies) beat Sinead Sexton (Lahinch) 2&1. Quarter-finals: Aedin Murphy (Carlow) beat Louise Coffey (Malone) 1up, Mary Doyle (The Heath) beat Chloe Ryan (Castletroy)2&1, Jessica Carty (Holywood) beat Amy Farrell (Moate)7&5, Sarah Helly (Enniscrone) lost to Olivia Mehaffey (Royal Co. Down Ladies) 2&1.