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Gleeson feeling confident in his pursuit of more Irish title glory


By Paul Kelly

Irish international Alex Gleeson (Castle) goes in search of his second AIG Irish Amateur Close title today at The European Club.

The 24-year-old faces Robbie Cannon (Balbriggan) in the semi-finals this morning with Portmarnock's Conor Purcell playing Eoin Leonard (Wentworth) for a place in the decider.

The penultimate day of competition saw silver medallist Ronan Mullarney (Galway) bow out in round three along with Ulster's last hope, Ross Dutton. The Tandragee golfer was beaten 2&1 by Marc McCormack (Moss Creek) yesterday morning,

"On the final day everybody is kind of tired so if you can be solid, that's very good a lot of the time," said Gleeson after edging out Peter O'Keeffe (Douglas) in the quarter-final. "I've won this tournament (in 2016). It helps that I've been there before and I know how I'm going to feel. If I can do exactly what I've been doing then I'll be in good shape."

Gleeson will have his work cut out this morning against experienced former Irish Amateur champion Cannon. The 39-year-old cruised into the final four by beating Gary Collins (Rosslare) 7&6 and Dylan Brophy (Castleknock) 4&2.

In contrast, the second semi features two 21-year-olds. Purcell needed extra holes to beat Mallow's James Sugrue, winning with a birdie at the 20th, before beating Eugene Smith (Laytown & Bettystown) 4&2.

Leonard birdied the 19th to beat McCormack in the last eight having crushed Kevin Stack (Dungarvan) 6&5 in round three.

• The Ladies and Girls Home International matches get under way tomorrow at Ballybunion GC (8-10).

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