Sunday will sees the 2019 season officially end in Tullamore with the staging of the first ever National Challenge between the graded Intermediate and Junior Gents winning teams in both Leinster and Munster. The introduction of this Challenge comes five years after the provincial events were introduced back in 2014. John Manning gives us a brief overview of the two deciders in this piece.
Intermediate: Cork vs. Dublin
Munster Champions Cork will play Leinster kingpins Dublin in the inaugural Intermediate Gents Inter-County Challenge. Cork will be represented by Gavin Dawson (Fermoy), former National Junior Gents Strokeplay winner Keith Power (Collins), Dylan Seymour (Fermoy), Jimmy Quinn (Collins), Ronan O'Driscoll (Douglas) and JJ Quirke (Fermoy). Dublin’s team is Gareth Walsh (Lucan), Lennon Blake (Old County), Tom McMorrow (Lucan), Paddy Gaynor (RGSC), National U20 Strokeplay champion David Horan (Glenville) and Barry Gorey (Lucan).
Cork won the Munster championship at Hillview on August 11th while Dublin were crowned Leinster Champions at Royal Meath on August 24th. Dylan Seymour can already boast a national win in Co. Offaly having played on the victorious Cork U16 Inter-County side at Erry two years ago while Lennon Blake was on Dublin’s successful 2015 line-up at Tipperary Hills.
Junior: Tipperary vs. Westmeath
In Sunday’s Junior decider, Tipperary will take on Westmeath. Wearing the Premier County colours will beTipperary Hills duo Daniel Ryan (the Munster Junior Matchplay champion) and Michael O'Donoghue, Michael Butler (Larkspur Park), Ken Hayes (Larkspur Park) along with Ger Tuite and Sean Crowe. Tuite and Crowe will seek a second national medal inside a few weeks having helped Riverdale win the National Nett Inter-Club title on Saturday October 19th.
Westmeath’s squad comprises Robert Masterson (Collinstown), Leinster Junior Matchplay Champion Clive Byrne (Collinstown), Shane Kinahan (Lough Owel), Michael Dinnegan (Lough Owel), Fergal O'Connor (Rochfortbridge) and Raymond Fay (Collinstown). Westmeath had a four stroke win over Meath in the Leinster championship while Tipperary pipped Limerick by two in Munster. Raymond Fay’s fine singles 48 was a vital component of Westmeath’s victory at Royal Meath in August – their second provincial junior crown.
The start time in Tullamore is 10am and the format for both finals, played over 54 holes, is one round of Scotch Foursomes (18 holes Matchplay) and two rounds of Singles (36 holes Matchplay).
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