76 teams will compete in the Leinster and Munster Schools competitions this Friday in both Erry (Leinster) and Cunnigar (Munster) looking not only to win the event but also qualify for the National Finals which will take place in Ryston on Friday October 24th. Communications & Press Officer Jason O’Connor looks ahead to a unique event which is the only PPUI event which doesn’t consist of entries from the traditional club or County/Regional Board structure.
36 teams compete in Erry for the Leinster title with last year’s winning school, Drimnagh Castle of Dublin, having three teams entered. Liam O’Reilly and Shaun McDonnell return from their winning team of last year with Cameron Raymond replacing Ciaran Purtill from last year’s winning trio. Purtill is on a different combination this year with the school consisting of Luke Birrell and Daniel Doyle while Nathan Edwards, Jamie Power and Ian O’Connell make up the other Drimnagh team. Mullingar Community College of Westmeath return with the same team who finished second last year in Lucan namely Shane Redmond, Dean Dinnegan and Nathan Woods.
Some of the other interesting names on teams from 2014 include National Intermediate Gents Strokeplay Champion Owen Farrell from St Bridgets who competes on the Cross & Passion, Kilcullen No 1 team alongside Ben Phelan and Dylan Sheehan. Leinster Boys 10-13 Strokeplay winner Evan Carry from Castletown is also playing on Friday with the O’Carolan College team from Nobber, Co Meath along with Oliver Campbell and Aaron Sheerin. Leinster Girls 10-13 Strokeplay Champion Aoife Mahon of Lucan is also playing in Erry this Friday along with Aaron Monaghan and Gary Delmar on the Lucan Community College team.
In terms of the host county there are eight Offaly teams from three Schools entered namely Gallen Community School, Ferbane (four), Ard Scoil Ciaran Naofa, Clara (three) along with a team from Tullamore College. The Ard Scoil Ciaran Naofa teams would be classed as the home sides and they consist of (i) Mark Newman, Ciaran Doyle and Josh Fleming, (ii) Conor Egan, Daryl O’Brien and Kieran Hartnett and (iii) Colm Doyle, Luke Dignam and Carl Stewart.
In all six counties are represented in the field namely, Dublin, Kildare, Louth, Meath, Offaly and Westmeath and while winning and getting amongst the medals will be the main aim of all competitors a Top Nine finish will also be coveted as it guarantees entry to the National Finals in Ryston two weeks later.
A FIELD of 30 take part in Friday’s event at Cunnigar with some of last year’s prize-winners in both the Munster and National events well represented among the qualifiers this year. Last year’s Munster winners St Brendan’s College, Killarney have two of last year’s winning trio from Riverdale in their first team’s ranks with Creagh Courtney and Michael Cronin returning and David Harnett taking the place of Jason O’Brien from the 2013 team. The second place team in last year’s Munsters Killarney Community College also have two of their trio from last year with brothers Conor and Stephen McCarthy returning and Adam O’Sullivan taking the place of Kieran Fitzpatrick on their side.
Davis College from Mallow were third in last year’s Munsters before they went on to effectively swap places with St Brendan’s by finishing first in the National Finals in Lakeside and the Killarney team coming third. The Mallow School have the same trio from last year’s success namely Edward Walsh, Greg Barrett and Roy Whelan on their first team alongside two other teams in Friday’s field. The team who were second in last year’s Nationals, Colaiste an Chraoibhin, Fermoy are back with the same trio who earned them the silver medals namely Dale and Gavin Dawson along with Cillian Lynch. The Fermoy School also has a second team in Friday’s field while another School from the town, St Colman’s College Fermoy also have two teams taking part. One of those St Colman’s teams (Daniel O’Regan, Colm Dorgan and Adam Carey) were the recent winners of the Cork Schools event in St Annes and will be hoping for a county and provincial double on Friday.
In terms of the host county, three are four Waterford teams entered, three from Dungarvan itself along with one from Tramore. The Dungarvan teams consist of (i) Aidan Ryan, Stephen Donovan and Luke Cummins, (ii) Colm O’Shea, James Kiely and Luke O’Callaghan and (iii) Kyle Hackett, Tommy Hyslop and Alex Shanahan. There is a good representation of nine teams from Tipperary meanwhile, three each from Abbey CBS and Cashel Community School, two from St Ailbe’s and one from St Joseph’s.
Munster Boys 14-15 Strokeplay Champion Conor Irwin of Douglas competes on the Colaiste Chriost Ri team in the event but with Cunnigar arguably neutral territory for many of the usually figures on the Juvenile it should even Friday’s contest up very nicely.
We wish all competitors the best of luck in both Erry and Cunnigar on Friday, tomorrow we will look at what will be a welcome return of an event in Munster and a historic first for Leinster, Saturday & Sunday’s Provincial Juvenile Matchplays.
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