THE Rainey Endowed Junior golf team of Mark Rooney, Adam Moore and Chris Pickering represented Ulster in the All Ireland Under 16 Strokeplay competition at Strandhill Golf Club, Sligo.
They qualified for the competition by winning the Ulster U16 title at Dunmurray Golf Club last June where 32 schools competed.
They boys had a practice round on the Tuesday and teed off at 9.09am on Wednesday morning in very windy conditions against the top schools from Munster, Leinster and Connaught.
They got off to a perfect start with Mark Rooney having an eagle at the first hole.
The signs looked good as the team played steady golf into the strong wind and it looked as if they would pull off a rare win for Ulster.
After 15 holes, according to a Golfing Union of Ireland official, ‘they were looking good.’ Unfortunately, with the wind picking up the boys could not hold it together over the last three holes and eventually ended up a runners up to Kinsale Community College, Munster.
It was a remarkable achievement for what is a minority sport in the school and one which will hopefully encourage others to take up the game.
The boys were excellent ambassadors for their province, school and themselves.
This completes an excellent three years for the team. In 2009 they won the Ulster Junior Championships and the NEELB Schools Cup and were runners up in the Darren Clarke Golf League.
In 2010 they became the first school to retain the Ulster Junior Championships and in 2011 they won three in a row, as well as collecting the NEELB competition.
They are currently competing in this year’s Darren Clarke League and should be in the quarter final with the Ulster Stroke Play and the NEELB competitions to come later.