AFTER hosting the first national event of the year back in April, Fermoy will host the final Munster event of 2018 in the Munster Matchplay Finals on Sunday with Majestic in Mallow hosting play in the Junior Gents and Ladies grades on Saturday. Communications & Press Officer Jason O’Connor takes a look at proceedings down south in this preview.
The Senior and Intermediate Men find themselves in Fermoy for the whole weekend with defending Senior Champion Stephen Shoer beginning the defence of his title against Tipperary Inter-County team-mate Christopher Hickey of Larkspur Park. Shoer beat Bruff’s Liam O’Donovan around his own track last year as the World Strokeplay Champion takes on Raffeen Creek’s Shane Murphy in an interesting First Round affair.
National U-20 Strokeplay winner Eoin Keating of Douglas bids for another success around Fermoy with Munster Strokeplay winner Kieran Earls his opponent in what could be a very interesting tie as well. Of Fermoy’s six entries they are guaranteed at least one player in the Last 16 with Declan Freeman taking on Daniel Keohane as Daithi Sexton from the host club takes on Deerpark’s John McGrath. Barry Morrissey will play Hillview’s John Fitzgerald with John Cahill taking on Martin Keohane from Bruff. Peter O’Donovan will play 2015 winner Thomas Hanley of Bruff in the bottom half of the draw with the winner to take on either John Walsh of Collins (2016 winner) or Tralee’s Alan Hobbart in the Last 16.
National Matchplay Champion Bryan Delaney will face St Annes David Doyle in the First Round as Irish International James Cleary of Hillview plays Bruff’s Pacelli Darcy. The Intermediate event actually kicks off the day in Fermoy tomorrow with defending champion John Farrell returning to take on Parteen’s Kevin Flynn in the First Round. Munster Junior Strokeplay winner Dylan Seymour heads the local challenge as he plays John Minogue of Riverdale while JJ Quirke and Jimmy Quinn from the host club find themselves in all Cork affairs Daire Mulvenny of Collins and Ronan O’Driscoll of Douglas respectively. O’Driscoll was on the winning St Francis College, Rochestown side from the National Schools event back in April.
Last year’s winner of the Junior event in Bruff, Charleville’s Dominic Kavanagh will take on Deerpark’s Gearóid Cronin as there is also an all Tralee clash in the First Round between club-mates Aidan O’Sullivan and John Fitzgerald. Tipperary Intermediate Matchplay winner Paul Shoer Jnr will play Collins’ Damien Long as National 0-55’s Intermediate Strokeplay winner Sean Minogue of Riverdale will play Parteen’s Tommy Fennell. The Juniors in Majestic meanwhile see Limerick Junior Matchplay winner Michael McGuane of Bruff receive a bye into the Second Round where he will await the winner of the match between Ken Hayes of Larkspur Park and Brendan Moloney of Parteen.
Cork Junior Matchplay winner and winner of the recent National Mixed Foursomes Dave Towler of St Stephens faces PJ Ryan of Bruff in the First Round with Kerry Junior Matchplay winner David Harnett of Deerpark taking on Raffeen Creek’s Stephen Ashcroft. Tipperary Junior Matchplay winner Sean O’Neill of Larkspur Park will take on Listowel’s John Carey meaning four of the provincial Matchplay winners in the grade will be taking part this weekend.
Oliver Dolan of Fermoy will aim to make Sunday’s Quarter-Finals on home turf as he plays Parteen’s Kieran Hogan in the First Round of the 31 man field.
All three grades are in play this year with the Senior Ladies competition of three entries seeing the loser of the first Semi-Final between Martha O’Brien of Lakeside and Mary Murray of Rocklodge (current holder of the Intermediate title and the Senior Strokeplay title) get a second chance against Sarah Byrne of Fermoy in the afternoon. The winners of the two matches will advance to Fermoy for the Final on Sunday afternoon.
All play on Saturday is in Majestic with the Intermediate grade having an even entry of 16 players with five of the eight matches featuring players from Sunday’s hosts Fermoy. Ailish Sexton plays inaugural National Ladies Nett Matchplay winner Elaine Quinn in the First Round with Nicole Burke taking on Lorraine Troy from Cunnigar. Jean Clancy faces former Munster Intermediate Strokeplay winner Pauline Lucey of Hillview as Kathleen Lee takes on the current holder of that title Bridget Shelley of Lakeside. Breda Kennedy will play Lakeside’s Frances Ryan in the other tie of Fermoy interest in the grade as last year’s runner-up Patsy O’Donovan of Collins will play Paula Nolan from Rocklodge.
National Ladies Intermediate Strokeplay winner and playing partner to Dave Towler in their recent National Mixed Foursomes success Mairead Manning will take on Riverdale’s Margaret Forde with the meeting of Sarah O’Neill (Collins, third in Munster Intermediate Strokeplay) and Hillview’s Kathleen Shanley completing the First Round line-up. The Junior grade has 19 entries meanwhile with three preliminary matches comprising Mary Ann O’Donoghue (Fermoy) vs. Cunnigar’s Cait Mulcahy, Jacinta O’Mahony (Cunnigar) vs. Lily O’Brien (Lakeside) and Michelle Flynn (Fermoy) vs. Corinne McGee (Cunnigar). Mary Morrissey of Fermoy will await the winner of the first Preliminary match, Liz Forde of Riverdale the second with Tralee’s Lisa O’Connor playing the winner of the third match.
The other five First Round matches all have Fermoy interest bar the meeting of Valerie Leahy (Lakewood) and Ann Delahunty of Hillview. Frances Tobin from the Cork club will play Bruff’s Margaret O’Donovan with Theresa O’Keeffe taking on Veronica Anglim from Hillview. Terry Cleary will play Stella Kinsella from Cunnigar with Bridget Noonan taking on Lakeside’s Josie McCormack.
The Intermediate and Junior Ladies will play down to the Semi-Finals in Majestic before they head to Fermoy on Sunday for the conclusion of proceedings.
Best Wishes to all players this weekend in both provinces, updates will be available on the PPUI website and across social media throughout the weekend.