Our final national event of 2018 takes place tomorrow with the staging of the National Inter-Club Finals in Royal Meath in Clonee. Communications & Press Officer Jason O’Connor takes a look at the three events being held tomorrow at one of the Union’s most renowned venues.
LAST year’s winners Fermoy made a brilliant start to the defence of their title by topping the Qualifying event in Bruff two weeks ago. Interesting enough they play the club that hosted last year’s Finals Day in Hillview in what is the first of two Cork vs. Tipperary ties in the Semi-Finals. Irish International John Cahill and Munster Senior Matchplay winner Declan Freeman headline the Fermoy side alongside Daithi Sexton and Barry Morrissey with Daniel Keohane, Peter O’Donovan and Ryan Sexton also available to the defending and three-in-a-row seeking champions tomorrow.
Hillview were nine shots behind Fermoy in the Qualifier in claiming the last spot in Bruff aided strongly by a 14 under par score from Irish International James Cleary and 10 under from David White as the Clonmel club have Noel Joyce, John Fitzgerald, Paul Sweeney, Michael Kennedy and David Hallinan to call on in choosing their six players for both sessions. The other Semi-Final between St Annes and Lakeside should be interesting too. St Annes won the first two stagings of this event back in 2013 and 2014 so much so that only St Patricks of Enniscorthy are the only other club to win this event (2015) alongside the two Cork sides.
St Annes will have their National Singles winning trio of Ray Murphy, Darren Collins and Frank Dineen to call on alongside Kieran Dunscombe, former National U-16 Strokeplay winner Ryan Towler, David Doyle, Liam Myers and John O’Sullivan. Stephen and Paul Shoer Jnr along with Mick Fennell, Paul O’Brien, Brian Cahill, Noel Leahy and Arthur Mitchell are available to the Templemore club tomorrow as they bid for their first title.
Whether it’s all Cork, all Tipp or a mixture of both counties in the decider only tomorrow morning will tell.
THIS will be the third day out for four teams in this section after going through an initial qualifying section to get here and playing Quarter-Finals in Hillview two weeks ago. Tipperary Hills claimed the fourth of the five Qualifying spots on offer in Munster last month in Collins but caused a stir by beating defending champions Fermoy in the Quarter-Finals by 5.5 to 3.5. Michael Brennan, Charlie Compton, Eddie Jones, Ray Lyons, Johnny Martin, Brian O’Flynn, Michael O’Donoghue and Daniel Ryan make up the Tipp town side who face fellow Tipperary club Riverdale of Nenagh in the first Semi-Final.
Last year’s runners-up claimed the fifth and final qualifying spot in Collins for the Munster entrants but they had a strong 7.5 to 1.5 win over 2014 winners St Patricks in the Quarter-Finals in Hillview. Michael Brophy, Dean Courtney, Seamus Gleeson, Aidan Healy, Victor Long, John and Sean Minogue and Peter O’Brien make up their squad as they prepare for an all Tipperary encounter. The second Semi-Final sees 2013 and 2016 Runners-Up Deerpark of Killarney take on Gowran 1 of Kilkenny, the sole Leinster side left in the grade. Gowran had finished second in the Leinster qualifying in St Bridgets but were 6-3 winners over 2016 winners Parteen in the Quarter-Finals.
James Casey, Derek Delaney, Tom Fitzpatrick, Larry Gibbons, Michael Kehoe, Kevin Knox, Robert Middleton and Derek Whelan make up their squad as they bid to reach a first Final. Deerpark topped the Munster qualifying for this event in Collins before going on to record a strong 7-2 victory over Gowran’s fellow CKW club Bagenalstown in the Quarter-Finals. Gearóid Cronin, Kieran Fitzpatrick, Adam and Declan Kelly, Lorcan Martin, Noel Moynihan, John O’Brien and Darragh O’Callaghan make up the Killarney side’s squad this year.
Royal Meath will provide a great test of these sides’ capabilities as shots will also play a big factor in the three matches tomorrow.
Ryston’s withdrawal from the competition means that we are now unfortunately left with a straight match between current holders Lakeside and host club Royal Meath.
The Templemore club will be picking their players from a panel comprising National Ladies Nett Matchplay winner Elaine Quinn, former National Intermediate Strokeplay winner Mary Quinn, Munster Intermediate and Junior Strokeplay Champions respectively, Bridget and Sive Shelley, Josie McCormack, Helen McMorrow and Frances Ryan. They are bidding to win the title for the third time in total after winning in 2014 as well.
The Royal Meath side meanwhile consists of Patricia Byrne, Teresa Fagan, Sally Mellon, Vera Mulvey, Angela Ryan and Maureen Whelan. The decider is due to get underway around lunchtime in Clonee.
Best Wishes to all concerned in the three events tomorrow. Updates will be available on the PPUI website throughout the day as well as on our social media platforms.