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Ulster duo Beth Coulter and Katie Poots kept apart in Irish Girls’ Close Championship semi-finals

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Beth Coulter is the defending champion

Beth Coulter is the defending champion

Golffile.ie

Beth Coulter is the defending champion

Two of Ulster’s leading amateurs could be on a collision course for a blockbuster meeting in the final of the Irish Girls’ Close Championship at Kilkeel.

Defending champion Beth Coulter of Kirkistown Castle and Knock’s Katie Poots are both into the semi-finals and have avoided each other in the draw.

Coulter, who defeated Oughterard’s Kate Dillon in the last-16 and then Club de Golf Llavaneras’ Maria Joyce-Moreno in the quarters, will play Ballykisteen’s Caitlin Shippam in the last-four, while Poots will take on impressive Roscommon 14-year-old Olivia Costello, who was the leading stroke play qualifier, after beating Elm Park’s Sarah O’Brien in the first round and then Clandeboye’s Molly O’Hara on the first play-off hole of a gripping all-Ulster quarter-final.

Malone’s Fionn Dobbin is also in semi-final action today at the Irish Boys’ Close, which is being played at the same venue, as he defeated East Clare’s Eoin Magill and Athenry’s Aaron Gilligan to set up a last-four tie with Athlone’s Charlie Kelly.

Down the road in Thurles, Royal Portrush’s Laura Webb carries Ulster hopes into the semi-finals of the Irish Senior Women’s Close as she beat home favourite Marian Finn and then Malahide’s Alison Taylor to progress, with Dooks’ Tracy Eakin waiting in the penultimate round.

However, Ulster interest came to an end at the Irish Senior Men’s Close, also at Thurles, as Clandeboye’s Colm Murphy lost by one hole to Galway’s Joe Lyons in the last-16.

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