National Youth Championships Preview: Day Two
A look at the U-20 Singles & U-16 Inter-County
Please see revised draw for the Under 20 Strokeplay in the Downloads (Draws) section of the website, we have had a number of players withdraw from the competition.
THE second day of action in the National Youth Championships on Sunday sees the U-20 Boys and National U-16 Inter-County events take place in Glenville. Communications & Press Officer Jason O’Connor takes a closer look at both events in this preview.
The unfortunate postponement of Saturday’s play at the Leinster Inter-Counties two weeks ago and its rescheduling for this Saturday means that the U-20 event goes to Sunday this year in its third staging overall. In the two years of its playing in Erry and Fermoy, both winners have come from the Douglas club in Cork, namely Cian Morrison and Eoin Keating.
What makes this staging interesting is not only the fact Keating is back to defend the title but also that Evan Carry makes the step-up after his three years of success at U-16 level. The defending champion in this event tees-off directly after Carry on Sunday morning with Listowel’s Conor Leahy and Trim’s Evan Ganley, Eoin’s playing partners on Sunday. Evan has a solid if maybe not spectacular start to his time as an adult player as Listowel’s Killian O’Gorman and Gowran’s David Holland are amongst his three-ball on Sunday.
2017 National U-16 Matchplay winner Seanie Bellew is amongst the field on Sunday as well, teeing off with Gowran’s Conor Cleere and Deerpark’s Darragh O’Callaghan as former Munster U-16 Strokeplay winner Adam Kelly from Deerpark is in the first three-ball with Gowran’s Nicholas Brennan and Seapoint’s Josh Murtagh. David Horan is the only entry from Glenville in this event as he plays with Munster Junior Matchplay winner and captain of the Munster Junior Inter-County winning team, Daniel Ryan of Tipperary Hills as well as Athgarvan’s Cathal O’Toole with former National U-16 Strokeplay Runner-Up Lorcan Martin playing alongside Killineer’s Sean Clerkin and Tipperary Hills’ Anthony Harding.
Gowran’s James Casey and Castleton’s Eoghan Moore are the others to take part in Sunday’s event as it is a straight 36 holes to determine the winner.
THE return of Kildare and Dublin gives us eight entrants this year for the U-16 Inter-County, an encouraging sign as the decade ends on an event that has been dominated by Cork, Dublin and Kerry over a period of nearly 12 years. The Kingdom are the defending champions after victory in Fermoy last year as they line out with three of last year’s side in Cillian Courtney, Robbie Harnett and Eoin O’Riordan Looney and are joined this year by Jake Shine, Bobby McCarron and Ryan Neeson.
The quartet of Courtney, Harnett, O’Riordan Looney and Shine won the Munster event in Hillview two weeks ago for Kerry as the Munster sides move up to six players now for national level. They will play with Dublin who were third in the Leinsters last week with the side containing a strong Glenville influence in Luke Devlin, Conaill Barnes, Oisin Horan, Darragh McGibney and Jamie Palmer as Lucan’s Alex Keegan makes up the Dublin side. Leinster Champions Meath will start off the event alongside Kildare with Sophie Farnan, Patrick Farrell, Ollie Halpenny, Padraig Mallon, Shaun Mulryan and Joseph Smith making up the Royal County side again this week.
Kildare meanwhile are represented by Feidhlem and Michael Behan, Jason Brady, Andrew Curran, Jack Fogarty and Peadar O’Toole as they will be hoping for a good showing upon their return to the event. Last year’s bronze medallists Westmeath will no doubt want to improve on their Leinster showing last week as Jack and Billy Buckley, Brian Bray, Jack and Conor Mullins along with Eanna Rabbitte represent the maroon and white once more. Louth are their playing partners on Sunday as twins Eoin and Luke Murphy, Alan Keane, Oisín Mulryne, James Stewart and Kyle Thornton make up the north-east county’s side.
Tipperary field a full side of six players from the county this year as a player who player with them last year in a combined Tipp/Limerick outfit, Patrick Mitchell lines out for Cork this year. Tipp and Cork are paired together in the penultimate pairing on Sunday as Cork bid to make it six out of 10 for the decade with Glenn Towler, and the ‘five M’s’ in terms of surnames with Liam McGrath, Patrick Mitchell, Cian Mulcahy, Cian Murphy and David Murray making up the Rebel outfit this year.
There are a lot of interesting dynamics to look forward to on Sunday especially whether or not being in Leinster might tip the contest more towards the eastern province or whether Cork and Kerry’s stranglehold of the top two spots since 2016 continue.
After an encouraging summer on the underage front in general for the game, let’s hope we finish the year with some exciting fare in the different events this weekend in Glenville.
Best Wishes to all those travelling to Glenville this weekend as well as the re-arranged Leinster Inter-County events. Updates on everything will be available on the website and on social media throughout the weekend.
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