12 teams compete for the Anchor Cup this weekend with Dublin entering Ryston as defending champions after ending a 17 year wait last year on home turf in RGSC. Communications & Press Officer Jason O’Connor previews this year’s event.
14 years since it last hosted a National Inter-County weekend, Ryston plays host once more with some interesting possibilities ahead of the weekend’s play. After winning Leinster for the first time in eight years last month, Dublin will hope to retain the Anchor Cup for the first time since 1983 as John Ross Crangle, Chris Gallagher, Gary Healy, George McGreal, Stephen Murray and Junior Smith make up their side for the weekend. On Saturday they will play with the defending champions as per tradition, Kildare hoping they can repeat what happened following Dublin’s last success in 1999 when they were crowned Champions in the Millennium Year.
Ian Dillon, Cathal Dunne, William Fitzgerald, Darren Keogh, Declan Mulpeter Snr and Joe Ronan are the Lilywhite’s representatives in Newbridge as Cork enter looking to make up for a poor showing by their own standards in RGSC where they failed to finish amongst the medals. John Cahill, Darren Collins, Bryan Delaney, Frank Dineen, Declan Freeman and Ray Murphy make up the Rebel side this year looking to build on their Munster win in Castleisland. Meath will be their playing partners for the first day with Michael Conneely, Robert Bissett, Anthony and Eamon Gibney, Peter Reilly and Niall Winters Jnr the Royal County side for this year’s event. Louth were last year’s Runners-Up in RGSC (a second consecutive finish for them in that position) although they finished outside the medals at the Leinsters in Lough Owel last month.
George Beardsley, Gerry Breen Jnr, Ian Donnelly, Sean Goggin, David O’Brien and Barry Thornton is their line-up for this weekend as it is 15 years since their last success in Seapoint back in 2002. Louth will begin the whole weekend tomorrow morning with Limerick as the Treaty County enter off the back of a second place finish at the Munsters. Pacelli Darcy, Kieran Earls, Conor Fahy, Thomas Hanley, Martin Keohane and Liam O’Donovan will look to bring them back into the medals at National level. Kerry were third on home turf in the Munster, the Kingdom looking for their first medals since 2014 with James Dignan, Damien Fleming, Declan McCarron, John McGrath, Aidan O’Connor and Jason O’Regan representing their county ahead of being next year’s hosts of the event.
They will play with Tipperary on the first day, Michael Bourke, Michael Fennell, Michael Kennedy, Stephen O’Reilly, James Ryan and Stephen Shoer will wear the Premier colours this weekend as neighbouring Offaly and Westmeath will be paired with each other for the first day. Westmeath had to make do with a Runners-Up finish on home turf at the Leinsters, John Browne, Alan Hanlon, Pat Malone, John McDonald, Gary Middleton and Stephen Ruane representing the Lake County this weekend as Offaly have Aongus Coughlan, Dylan Melia, Joe McGrath Jnr, Patrick Murphy, Darren O’Connell and Jimmy Scanlon represent the Faithful County. Wexford are the current holders of the bronze medals at National and Leinster level and will look to consider their steady progress this weekend with Graham Donohoe, Ruairi Fortune, Dean and Richard Grannell, John and William Hudson in the Model County colours.
Wexford will play with Down in the penultimate pairing of Anchor Cup counties on Saturday morning, the Mournemen represented by Michael Concannon, Mark Flynn, Michael Green, Liam McMahon, Niall Quigley and Colin Sommers as the 72 holes this weekend will be played in the same order of recent years in Scotch Foursomes & Singles on Saturday followed by Foursomes and Singles on Sunday. A whole host of possibilities this weekend as a great tradition started in 1956 continues.
Can Dublin retain the title, will Cork come back better than ever in 2017 or will some other county force their way into the reckoning. We hope that you can join us in Ryston to find out the answers.
We wish everyone involved the best of luck this weekend in Newbridge and thank Energia for their sponsorship of the event this year. Updates will be available on the PPUI website throughout the course of the weekend.
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