THE year will end at Munster level in Bruff much like it started back in March at the Limerick venue with the Munster Schools Competition. This weekend it’s the Munster Matchplay Finals with play also in Parteen on Saturday in the Junior Gents and Ladies grades. Communications & Press Officer Jason O’Connor previews the grades below.
Parteen hosts the play on Saturday in this event with matches continuing until we reach the Semi-Final stages and transfers to Bruff on Sunday for its conclusion. Brian Mason and Tommy Fennell are the two competitors from the club involved in this grade on Saturday with St Annes Declan Sheehan Brian’s opponent in the First Round as Fennell will take on Listowel’s Robert Heffernan in his First Round match. On the other hand both Michael McGuane and PJ Ryan of Bruff will be hoping to come through the first day and make home advantage count for the conclusion. They face Willie Casey of Castlelyons and Michael O’Donoghue of Tipperary Hills respectively in their First Round matches as the Limerick Board competitors also include players from Charleville and Ardnacrusha.
Ardnacrusha’s Brian Dillon takes on Listowel’s Nicky Barry while Charleville duo Joe Mulvihill and Dominic Kavanagh will hope to set up a meeting between each other in the Second Round should they get the better of St Annes Gerard Walsh and Bishopstown’s Colm O’Connor respectively. Hillview, Listowel and Tipperary Hills all have three competitors each in the grade, Adrian Anglim from the Clonmel club taking on Cunnigar’s Cormac Coleman as his club-mate Sean O’Connor follows in an all Tipperary encounter with Riverdale’s Peter Dunning. The third Hillview player, Con Lucey, will take on Tralee’s Tommy Higgins as Listowel’s Liam Heffernan will take on Jamie Kearns from Larkspur Park. Michael Murphy of Tipperary Hills will take on St Stephens Dave Towler while club-mate Charlie Compton also faces a Cork player in the form of Raffen Creek’s Mark O’Keeffe.
Other First Round matches include an all Cork clash between Callum O’Donovan of Collins and Greg Lynch of Raffeen Creek as Deerpark’s Darragh O’Callaghan will take on Bishopstown’s Mark Roche. Ray Murphy of Collins vs. George Goodman of Larkspur Park completes the First Round draw as it will take three wins for those wishing to make the Semi-Finals to ensure that they will be in Bruff on Sunday.
Last year’s winner and runner-up from the Finals in Lakeside are both back amongst the field for this year’s staging. Defending champion Craig Cahill of Rocklodge will begin the defence of his title against Deerpark’s James Fleming while the player he beat in the decider, Alan Bennis of Parteen, takes on Clint O’Keeffe of St Annes in his First Round encounter. Local interest in this grade is with three players, John and William Farrell along with William O’Donovan as John plays Raffeen Creek’s Bryan Murphy, William Farrell plays St Annes Eric O’Shea and another St Annes player in Daniel Long takes on William O’Donovan.
Lakeside’s Anthony Maher was the Runner-Up in last year’s Junior Final and he makes the step up this year in taking on Kyle Kennedy from Tipperary Hills. Both Lakeside and Tipperary Hills have three players each in the grade and another match between the Templemore and Tipp Town clubs sees Paul Malone take on Paul Shoer Snr. Paul Shoer Jnr meanwhile will take on Clare Road’s Brian O’Flynn as Tipp Hills’ John Martin plays Aidan O’Rourke of Cunnigar. Returning to the Limerick Board clubs, Parteen’s Ger Kehoe takes on Gerard Hogan from St Stephens with Ardnacrusha’s Eugene McNamara taking on the former Munster Intermediate Strokeplay winner in Ryan Towler.
Towler is one of six St Anne’s players amongst the field with Brian Barry taking on St Stephens Brian Walsh and Ian Leech playing Riverdale’s John Minogue amongst the aforementioned matches. Sean Minogue completes the second ‘father and son’ combination amongst the grade as JJ Quirke of Fermoy is his opponent in the First Round with Tralee’s Eamon Sheehy vs. Hillview’s Paul Sweeney and Listowel’s Chris Curran vs. Collins’ Trevor Carroll the other First Round encounters.
While the Intermediate grade is all in the one venue, the field will have to contend with playing an extra round on Saturday in the form of the Quarter-Finals.
After last year’s marathon between John Walsh and Bryan Delaney in the decider (40 holes to be exact), hopes are high that this year’s senior event can provide similar drama. One thing is for sure, if both players advance again it won’t be at the Final stage they meet as both are in the bottom half of the draw. Walsh begins the defence of his title against Tralee’s Jamie Blake while for Delaney he will have to try and overcome one of the home contingent in Martin Keohane of Bruff. Keohane is one of six from the host club involved as World Strokeplay Champion Liam O’Donovan faces Tramore’s Eddie Hennessy in the First Round and 2015 winner from Rosscarbery Tommy Hanley takes on Fermoy’s David Sexton.
Pacelli Darcy takes on Hillview’s John Fitzgerald after making a run to last year’s Semi-Finals while Patsy Farrell faces National Matchplay Runner-Up Ray Murphy in the First Round. Michael Darcy meanwhile will also face a St Annes player in the form of David Doyle as last year’s other Semi-Finalist in Kieran Earls will take on Fermoy’s Declan Freeman in the First Round. Gus Hayes is the other Parteen player amongst the field as Frank Dineen is his First Round opponent as another interesting encounter sees two players who contended for the National Strokeplay title in Lakeside’s Stephen Shoer and Listowel’s Declan McCarron square off. An all Cork clash between Raffeen Creek’s Barry Morrissey and Ballinlough's John O’Leary gets the grade underway in a Shotgun Start.
John Cahill of Fermoy will take on Tipperary Hills’ Robert O’Donnell as Daniel Keohane follows against Tralee’s Tony Blake. Both the Larkspur Park players in the field face matches against Tipperary players as Jimmy O’Neill plays Lakeside’s Brian Carroll while Sean Ryan will take on his namesake James from Tipp Hills. The meeting of Tralee’s Jason O’Regan and Lakeside’s Mick Fennell completes the First Round draw as there will be only two rounds on Saturday followed by the conclusion of proceedings Sunday.
At this stage of the year anything could happen and a surprise might well be sprung before we learn the identity of the winner come Sunday afternoon.
The draws for the Ladies grades in both provinces are now done with the draws in the Munster Intermediate and Junior grades seeing all play in Parteen on Saturday before moving to Bruff on Sunday for the Semi-Finals. The Intermediate grade sees Munster Intermediate and Junior Strokeplay winners square off as Pauline Lucey and Margaret Forde face off for the right to play Hillview’s Kathleen Shanley in the Quarter-Finals. Patsy O’Donovan will play Frances Ryan of Lakeside meanwhile with the winner to face Cill Na Mona’s Helen Daly in the last eight.
Mary Murray will play fellow Cork player Sarah O’Neill meanwhile with the winner to face another Cork player in Paula Nolan as Lorraine Troy of Cunnigar vs. Liz Lysaght of Charleville is the only confirmed Quarter-Final. The Junior grade sees two preliminaries to determine the Quarter-Final line-up as Liz Forde will play Mairead Manning of St Stephens with the winner of that match to play Tralee’s Lisa O’Connor in the Quarter-Finals. Lakeside’s Elaine Quinn will take on Bruff’s Margaret O’Donovan in the other preliminary as the winner will face Riverdale’s Margaret Courtney. The confirmed Quarter-Finals here see Kitty Murphy of Cill Na Mona play Tralee’s Charlotte Blake as there is an all Cunnigar clash of Mary Walsh vs. Jacinta O’Mahony.
In Leinster at Castletown the Intermediate sees Shandon’s Mary Fullam play Ryston’s Margaret Keogh for the chance to play Marie McEvoy of Tullamore in the Quarter-Finals. Mairead O’Toole of Poulaphouca and Geraldine Edwards of Fairview will play to determine who faces Ryston’s Esther Martin in the Quarter-Finals meanwhile. The other matches see Laytown’s Ann Bird play Pauline Balfe of Old County, Christina Carroll of Seapoint and Rose Kelly of Ryston face each other to determine the third Quarter-Final match while the last Quarter-Final will played between the winners of the Mary Donnelly (Ryston) vs. Ann Ward (Seapoint) and Helen Greagsbey (Fairview) vs. Una Brennan (Ratoath) matches.
The Junior grade sees all of last year’s Semi-Finalists involved. Defending Champion Bronagh Darby of Ratoath will take on Noreen Myles of Gaeil Colmcille to decide who plays Catherine Dillon of St Bridgets in the first Quarter-Final while Theresa O’Keeffe of Ryston will play Loughlinstown’s Betty Cody to decide who plays Audrey Donnelly of McBride in the second Quarter-Final. In confirmed Quarter-Finals meanwhile, Trim’s Margaret Conneely will face Wendy Mary Mooney of Cement while Dina Dillon of St Bridgets will play last year’s Runner-Up in Francis Farrell of Cement.
We wish all competitors in the 10 competitions in both provinces this weekend the very best of luck. Updates will be available on the PPUI website throughout the weekend but please note on Saturday they are likely to be less frequent due to the ‘Shotgun Start’ nature of play.
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