14 September 2023

~3 minutes read

Gort seeking Revive Active silverware

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Gort seeking Revive Active silverware

By Daragh Small

Gort captain Anne Marie Craddock believe this weekend’s Revive Active Women’s Fourball semi-finals will be emotionally charged after the passing of a great supporter.

The Connacht representatives will face Cahir Park in the final four while Gowran Park take on Dundalk in the other match at Knightsbrook in Trim on Saturday morning.

And Gort will be without one of their biggest supporters after Gort Golf Club Men’s Treasurer, Stephen Dervan, died suddenly following their quarter-final victory over Dungannon.

“It would mean an awful lot to us, next year is our centenary year in Gort Golf Club and it would be a great lead in for this, if we achieved success and brought that pennant home and have all of the ladies up on the wall, it would be fantastic,” said Craddock.

“With all of this, we had a tinge of sadness. We had a great supporter, Stephen Dervan, he came to our matches even before we got to this stage but he had a heart attack and died.

“On 31 August he had his room booked for Knightsbrook, all ready for off. A young man, 66. There is a bit of sadness there for us. Himself and his wife are super supporters of all matches, all through. They are always there so there is sadness in the club.

“His sister-in-law, Teresa Gill, is a member of our panel. He died just after the win against Dungannon. He wasn’t able to come to Dungannon and his wife contacted him the minute we won and he said I will book the room straight away. He had the room booked, ready to come.

“It was his first time to miss, due to something. It was very sad for all of the club, he was a great man. Definitely, the angels and all came into play in the quarter-final. We really couldn’t believe it when we won, it was a great fightback from our girls.”

Gort had lost two of their matches comprehensively but they came back to defeat Dungannon and book their place in the finals weekend in Knightsbrook.

They return after just missing out in 2021 and with four of their players coming through the ‘Get into Golf’ programme, Craddock knows how important it is for women looking to join the game.

Joan Fogarty, Anne Connolly, Marcella Killeen and Petra O’Connor would not be playing this weekend if it wasn’t for Get into Golf.

“Our numbers increased totally with the girls. We probably increased our numbers at least by 60. That is big, we had a very small ladies club but these girls, even the last day we had three get into golf girls travel up to Dungannon to support the girls, that is how interested they are in golf which is fantastic to see,” said Craddock.

“And I am looking forward to being out on the fairways, bringing down the handicap completely after this. I am just looking forward to doing that from now on. I was going to take it and play more in the winter time which I didn’t get a chance before.

“We would have junior alliances and that. I am going to start that and get back into golf myself really better than I ever was.”

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