AHEAD of what will be a unique day on the PPUI calendar on Sunday, Communications & Press Officer Jason O’Connor takes a brief look ahead to Sunday’s inaugural Provincial Inter-County Championships for Intermediate and Junior Handicapped players in St Stephens (Munster) and both Athgarvan and McDonagh (Leinster).
WHILE this Sunday won’t be the first time that Intermediate and in some cases Junior handicapped players will have put on their county colours, it certainly will be the first time they do so on a totally level playing field as for the first time ever provincial graded Inter-County Championships are being run by the PPUI for such players. Indeed that is what creates the beauty and novelty about these events in so many ways. There is no previous form on which these teams can be judged, we don’t know players are going to react to the feeling of having their county colours on their chest and how they will interact and gel with their team-mates particularly in the Scotch Foursomes setting. Also with the creation of these events, every registered PPUI member has a realistic and credible chance of lining out for their county at some level.
17 different PPUI registered counties are sending teams to the events across Sunday’s three venues with five counties (Cork and Tipperary in Munster, Louth, Offaly and Kildare in Leinster) having a team in all of the Championships they can respectively enter on Sunday.
ST Stephens are the hosts for the inaugural staging in the province. Both Gents Championships see full participation from the six counties in the province with the pairings for the Junior Gents (beginning at 8.30am) comprising Clare and Limerick, Waterford and Tipperary along with Kerry and the host county. The Intermediate (beginning at 12pm) pairings are different in that Tipperary and Clare will kick off proceedings followed by Kerry and Limerick with Waterford and Cork the last two counties to tee-off in this grade. The Ladies grades see three counties taking part in the Junior competition (beginning at 9.15am) namely Waterford, Tipperary and Cork with the Intermediate Ladies Championship (start time 12.30pm) a straight shootout between Tipperary and Cork. Home advantage should play into Cork’s hands in all four grades but again we just don’t know how it will pan out on the day with us never having seen competitive team action between players in these grades before.
PROCEEDINGS in Leinster are split between two different Kildare courses in Athgarvan and McDonagh with the former playing host to the Gents and the latter playing host to the Ladies. 10 teams are taking part in the Junior Gents grade with Dublin and Offaly teeing off at 8.30am followed by Longford and Louth, Meath and Monaghan, Wexford and Down with Westmeath and Kildare finishing off proceedings in this section. There are nine teams taking part in the Intermediate grade (starting at 12.30pm) beginning with Louth and Offaly followed by a three way split between Wexford, Westmeath and Meath. Down and Dublin then tee-off together followed by hosts Kildare and Carlow who interestingly are sending their first representative team to a PPUI Inter-County since the Leinster Inter-County of 2008.
Unfortunately there is only one Ladies Championship in Leinster in the inaugural year of the grades with Louth and Offaly along with hosts Kildare the three teams to take part in the Intermediate event on Sunday in McDonagh beginning at 11am.
We wish all the players lining out for their respective counties for the first time the very best of luck on Sunday in what will be a unique experience for them all. Updates will appear on the PPUI Website, Facebook and Twitter pages throughout Sunday.
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