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Dermot close to dream win in Portrush at long last

By Paul Kelly

Experienced Irish international Dermot McElroy is just two matches away from finally getting his hands on the North of Ireland Amateur Championship trophy.

The 24-year-old Ballymena GC man, a beaten finalist in 2010, has plans to turn professional at the end of the year and he would love to bow out by adding his name to the list of champions at Royal Portrush.

"This the tournament that I always came down to watch when I was 10, 11 and 12-years-old and I've always wanted to win it," said Dermot, who faces Irish Close champion Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene GC) in the last-four today.

"This is my 10th year playing in the event and I'm looking forward to the game tomorrow. I found a wee bit of form this afternoon.

"My iron play is very good and I'm hitting my driver straight as well which I haven't been doing in recent times."

The other semi-final will see Jordan Hood (Galgorm Castle) take on Sean Flanagan (Co Sligo).

This is uncharted territory for 21-year-old Hood, who has never before gone beyond the last-16 stage.

"I'm not playing overly fantastic," said the Maynooth University student.

"I've had a long couple of weeks. I was playing for Ulster in the inter-provincials down in Cork and before that I was in France watching the European Championships.

"But this is where you want to be.

"At this stage it doesn't really matter how you're playing.

"Any one of the remaining players can take it from here if you can get your head down and hole some putts."

Quarter-finals: Dermot McElroy bt Paul Reavey; Tiarnan McLarnon bt Owen Crooks; Jordan Hood bt Marc Nolan; Sean Flanagan v Ross Dutton.

Semi finals: 8.30am Dermot McElroy v Tiaran McLarnon; 8.45am Jordan Hood v Sean Flanagan.

Belfast Telegraph


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