OUR final National event of 2015 takes place in Lakeside tomorrow with the staging of the Secondary Schools Finals in Lakeside, Templemore. Communications & Press Officer Jason O’Connor takes a look at proceedings in advance.
IT’S been a custom for the national programme of fixtures to finish with the Secondary Schools event since its introduction in 2010 and tomorrow in Lakeside sees the second staging of the event at the Templemore venue. 18 Schools (nine each from Munster and Leinster) compete for the title with last year’s winners Carraigaline Community School having come through Munster to defend their title.
The winners from the recent provincial events, Douglas Community School and St Marys Secondary School Drogheda are paired with each other in the draw alongside the second place Leinster side Mercy Secondary School Kilbeggan from the event at St Bridgets two weeks ago. Douglas were the victors in Fermoy by a very narrow margin with Cian Morrison, Iain Aherne and Shane Madden combining for a total of 16 under par to give them a one shot success over former National winners Davis College Mallow. St Marys, Drogheda qualified mainly on the strength of a fine nine under par score from Luke Heeney as Jamie Leech and Christopher Woods complete the Louth School’s line-up. They were four shot winners over Mercy Secondary School on the day with both Heeney and Morrison no strangers to each other having finished second third respectively in this year’s National Intermediate Gents Strokeplay in Cunnigar back in July.
There was a big difference in the standard of scoring in both provinces with Munster far lower than that of its Eastern counterpart. There can be a myriad of different reasons for that but with no Tipperary School having qualified from Munster for tomorrow’s event; Lakeside is well and truly neutral territory for all 18 teams. Davis College will fancy their chances at the venue; they were victorious here only two years ago with the same trio of Ed Walsh, Greg Barrett and Roy Whelan who tee-off for the school tomorrow. Ard Scoil Chiaran Naofa of Clara were the most successful school in terms of qualified teams with three teams from the Co Offaly school making it through from Leinster with St Marys Drogheda also managing to get their second team through the Leinsters as well.
What’s interesting about the nine qualifiers from Munster is that there are from all different schools with eight of those coming from Cork. St Brendans College, Killarney were the only non-Cork school to make it through Fermoy in finishing in fifth, with Fermoy (both St Colmans College and Colaiste an Chraoibhín), Glanmire and Colaiste Chriost Ri the locations of the other participating schools from Cork in tomorrow’s event. St Patricks of Navan were the third place finishers in Leinster and they tee-off alongside Davis College and Colaiste an Chraoibhín as part of the 11.30am shotgun start.
A shotgun start will bring its own dynamic to proceedings. All teams will be out at the same time and it will be hard to keep track of who is going well and who isn’t making a final result really unclear until all the cards have been handed in, tallied and checked. Hopefully the weather will be kind and give us a good finish to the national year as well as Lakeside’s 50th anniversary celebrations. The winning team will certainly get an ideal start to their mid-term break from School!
We wish all teams travelling to Lakeside the very best of luck and a safe journey both to and from the venue. Updates will be available on the PPUI website as soon as we have scores to hand.
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