September 23rd, 2023
The 15th Carne Trophy event took place in St. Helen's Bay Golf Club on Saturday September 23rd.  The weather looked quite dodgy all week but turned out to be reasonable for the golf though the wind was picking up words the end.  The timing turned out to be very good as it started raining that evening and had not stopped 24 hours later.  20 played in the golf this year with the traditional Friday night draw resulting in the following teams:
Mercury – Fergal McGrath, Russell Burke, Paddy Dunne, Gary Burke
Venus – Nora Kavanagh, Danny Donohoe, Susan Connolly, Paddy Burke
Mars – Michael Sullivan, Charlie Nelson, Dermot (Jock) Kelly, Stephen Connolly
Jupiter – Ger Blake, Janet Slattery, James Burke, Mary Burke
Saturn – Peter Ryan, Grainne Ryan, Anne-Marie Ryan, Luke Murphy
The usual scramble format was the order of the day, and we welcomed a number of Carne Trophy debutants in Mary Burke, Nora Kavanagh, Janet Slattery, Paddy Dunne and Charlie Nelson. We were joined later in the Kilrane Inn for dinner by Ellie Conolly, Natalie Donohoe, Ann Cloney, Cliona Burke and Ciara Mangan.
We were also honoured to have both current captains of St. Helen’s Bay Golf Club golfing with us this year, our own Susan Connolly and her ‘golf husband’ of the last two years, Captain Paddy Dunne.
And so to the results……
This fifteenth Carne Trophy was, as usual, a very close-run affair with just four shots separating the first three teams.  Team Venus came in with a very creditable 73, Team Jupiter with an excellent one under at 71, but the winners, with a super score of 69, three under par, was Team Mercury consisting of Fergal, Russell, Paddy (D) and Gary. Though Fergal and Russell have previously enjoyed Carne Trophy success, this represents a first win for long term participant Gary and, of course, debutant Paddy (D).
Longest drives were won by Susan Connolly (6th) and Michael Sullivan (13th).  Nearest the Pins were both won by ladies with Norah Kavanagh on the 7th and Grainne Ryan on the 17th.  Gráinne Ryan retained the Gay Reilly Golfer of the Day award and Fergal McGrath won the best ‘family’ golfer title, thus earning the Carne Trophy Green Jacket and Metal Mickey for the year.
As always, absent friends were remembered – Tommy O’Donnell, Brian d’Eath, Colm O’Shea, Hughie O’Donnell, Joe Connolly, Pat Hennessy, Gay Reilly and Molly O’Donnell.
A great dinner and night were had by all in the Kilrane Inn, enhanced with Ireland beating South Africa in the Rugby World Cup and later by Karen Dunbar’s wonderful music.  Along with the usual prize-giving, it also afforded to opportunity to view the new ‘Lane of Stones’ trophy, also in memory of Molly and the Carne ‘connections’, which was presented by Captain Susan to Saint Helen’s Bay Golf Club as a perpetual trophy for the winner of the ladies Club Championship. As it happens, the initial winner was Carne Trophy debutant and former SHB captain, Janet Slattery, who got re-presented the Lane of Stones trophy by Captain Susan.
Finally, we acknowledge the staff of both St. Helen’s Bay (especially Suzanne, Caroline, Jill and Damien and the Kilrane Inn (especially Sarah and Mark) for making this a great day for all.  We look forward to 2024.
Fergal, Russell, Paddy (D) and Gary
Other Winners
The Gay Reilly Golfer of the Day Award – Gráinne Ryan
The ‘Family' Green Jacket and Metal Mickey – Fergal McGrath
Longest Drive – Susan Connolly (6th), Michael Sullivan (13th)
Nearest the Pin – Nora Kavanagh (7th), Grainne Ryan (17th)
Ger Blake
Gary Burke
James Burke
Mary Burke
Paddy Burke
Russell Burke
Stephen Connolly
Susan Connolly
Danny Donohue
Paddy Dunne
Nora Kavanagh
Dermot (Jock) Kelly
Fergal McGrath
Luke Murphy
Charlie Nelson
Anne-Marie Ryan
Gráinne Ryan
Peter Ryan
Janet Slattery
Michael Sullivan
Thank You
A grateful nod to Ellie Connolly and Russell Burke for sponsoring the main prizes, to Guy Wheeler for the wonderful, customised golf balls and other prizes and to Susan Connolly for the rest of the prizes. Finally, many thanks for Peter Ryan who took the evening photographs and Cliona Burke for the team shots.
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