THIS weekend sees the National Underage Championships down for decision in Fermoy. Communications & Press Officer Jason O’Connor takes a look at the four different competitions taking place this weekend.
20 for the U-20 grade has a nice ring to it as the second staging of the event takes place on Saturday. Last year’s inaugural winner Cian Morrison from Douglas along with third place finisher Ronan O’Driscoll return this year alongside a club field featuring 2017 National Intermediate Strokeplay winner Conor Irwin, Eoin Keating and Shane Madden. Last year’s National U-16 Matchplay winner Seanie Bellew of Castletown is entered for the weekend after winning that title in another Cork course, St Stephens.
Ryan Towler of St Annes is the other former National U-16 winner entered, the Cork player having won the Strokeplay in Tipperary Hills back in 2015. The last two winners of the Munster Junior Gents Strokeplay Fermoy’s Dylan Seymour (current holder) and his club-mate Keith Flynn are entered with Darren Byrne making up the club’s representation. Tralee’s Eamon Sheehy and Listowel’s Killian O’Gorman were members of last Saturday’s Kerry Intermediate Gents winning side at the Munsters in Parteen.
Deerpark’s Lorcan Martin was second in the U-16 Strokeplay in Royal Meath two years ago as his club-mates Adam Kelly and Darragh O’Callaghan were first and second in the Munster U-16 Strokeplay last year.
THERE will be a Girls Championship this year as Lucan’s Eimear and Maebh Ahern along with Skyrne’s Sophie Farnan will contest the title with 54 Boys to follow in the battle for the Eugene McCarthy Cup. The major question on everyone’s lips is whether anyone can stop Evan Carry in his bid for three-in-a-row and trying to replicate Barry O’Neill of Waterford Crystal’s great achievement from 1997-99. After winning both Leinsters and the National U-16 Matchplay in recent weeks it would be brave to bet against him as he tees-off alongside Glenville’s Oisin Horan and Deerpark’s Eoin O’Riordan-Looney.
The only other National Championship winner in the field, St Annes’ Glenn Towler, tees-off alongside Deerpark’s Cathal Kelly and Seapoint’s Eoin Murphy. Former National Plate Matchplay winner Aaron Roche of St Stephens plays with Deerpark’s Dara O’Shea and Seapoint’s James Stewart as Munster Matchplay winner Shea Fennell of Parteen plays with Deerpark’s Fintan Martin and Glenville’s Luke Devlin. His Parteen club-mate Patrick Mitchell won the Munster Strokeplay in Rocklodge as he tees-off alongside Deerpark’s Ruairi O’Connor and Crosshaven’s Liam Connolly. Leinster Matchplay Runner-Up Dylan Hudson of St Patricks tees-off with Deerpark’s Joey McCarthy and Douglas’ Colm O’Sullivan as Munster Plate Matchplay winner Cillian Courtney of Deerpark plays with Lucan’s Alex Keegan and Cunnigar’s Fionn Nagle.
Courtney is amongst 20 entries from the Killarney club for this grade as Irish team member Luke Murphy of Seapoint plays with Deerpark’s Jack McCarthy and Douglas’ Liam McGrath. Last year’s 10-13 prizewinner Jack Mullins of Kilbeggan is also entered for this weekend along with third place finisher from Erry and last year’s Munster U-16 Matchplay winner Cian Murphy of St Annes who plays with Deerpark’s Jack O’Sullivan and Seapoint’s Oisin Mulryne.
Whether any of the Cork contingent or someone else can break Carry’s stranglehold on the title remains to be seen but it could well be a memorable afternoon in Fermoy on Saturday afternoon in crowning the 2018 Champion.
CORK bid for a third consecutive title this weekend and a fifth this decade as they play with Meath on home turf in Fermoy. Munster winners Kerry start off in the seven team event alongside Louth and a Tipperary/Limerick combination featuring Parteen duo Shea Fennell & Patrick Mitchell along with Tipperary players Sean Crowe, Jamie Ryan, Alan Quigley and Darragh Walsh. Kerry have their four winners from last week in Parteen in Cillian Courtney, Eoin O’Riordan Looney, Jack McCarthy and Robbie Harnett joined by fellow Deerpark players Erin Moloney and Fintan Martin.
Kerry have been second to Cork the last two years and are the only other county besides Dublin to win the Tommy Murphy Cup this decade (2012). Louth are represented by the Murphy brothers Eoin and Luke, Oisin Mulryne, James Stewart, Alan Keane and Kyle Thornton. Leinster Champions Westmeath are paired with Offaly, the former represented by National Matchplay Plate winner Jack Buckley, Brian Bray, Padraig Carton, Jack and Conor Mullins along with Eanna Rabbitte. Offaly (Leinster are represented by last year’s National U-16 Strokeplay Runner-Up Dominic Scully, Daniel and Michael Fox, Stephen Falsey, Conor Doyle and Niall Robbins as Cork and Meath will be the final counties to tee-off.
Meath’s side is made up of Evan Carry, Eoghan Moore, Shaun Mulryan, Aidan Rennie and Joseph Smith with Cork represented by Glenn Towler, Cian Murphy, Liam McGrath, Cian Mulcahy, Aaron Roche and Colm O’Sullivan. It should be a very tight battle on Sunday with recent results and form in general this year at U-16 level.
Best Wishes to all competitors in the four different events this weekend. Updates will be available on the PPUI website and social media platforms throughout the weekend.
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