2018 Provincial Inter-County Weekend Preview
P.P.U.I. - 10/08/2018 - A look ahead to this weekend in both provinces
THIS weekend sees the county colours donned in both Leinster and Munster with the Provincial Inter-County Championships down for decision in Glenville and Lucan (Leinster) and Parteen (Munster). Communications & Press Officer takes an over of proceedings at the three venues this weekend.
GLENVILLE now plays host to some of Saturday’s play instead of Ringcommons as the U-16, Ladies Junior & Ladies Intermediate events are down for decision there. Meath are the defending champions from last year in the U-16 grade as Westmeath, Offaly, Kildare and Louth are also entered for the event. Westmeath were second last year with Offaly third also it is likely to be a lot closer last year than the big margin Meath won by in the Lake County.
The Ladies events are Stableford again for the Intermediate and Junior teams as Louth are the defending champions from 2017. They play with host county Dublin as is tradition with Westmeath and Kildare completed the four team field. The Intermediate Ladies field have five teams meanwhile in Dublin, Kildare, Meath, Offaly and Louth with Kildare the defending champions from last year after finishing ahead of both Meath and Westmeath respectively. They play with Dublin with Meath, Offaly and Louth pairings mixed up through both the Scotch Foursomes and Singles.
Meanwhile over in Lucan the Intermediate and Junior Gents titles will be decided on Saturday with nine counties taking part in the Junior event. Kilkenny were 15 shot winners in the grade last year but face a tough defence of their title in being paired with Dublin on home turf with Louth and Westmeath the second and third placed counties from last year. Louth will be paired up with Carlow and Offaly in their play as Westmeath play with Down and Meath and Kildare are the other two counties in this grade.
There are 10 counties in the Intermediate grade meanwhile meaning five pairings of two counties in play. Westmeath won on home turf last year as less than four shots separated them from Dublin and Wexford in the Top Three. Westmeath will play with Dublin with Wexford starting off the grade alongside Offaly. Meath will play with Kilkenny while Carlow and Louth along with Down and Kildare are the other pairings of the counties in this grade that has the biggest number of entries for any of the competitions in the eastern province.
Sunday is all in Lucan with 12 teams taking part in the Senior Ladies and Gents grades. Kildare and Dublin will be expected to do battle with for the Senior Ladies title with Kildare last year’s winners but the pressure is on to win in Dublin’s own backyard this year. Louth and Offaly will be the other two sides taking part in the grade with Louth third last year in Westmeath. The Senior Gents grade has eight teams entered with Dublin entering this year’s event as defending champions and playing alongside Meath in Lucan. Westmeath were runner-up’s last year on home turf as they play with Down on home turf as third placed Wexford start off the grade alongside Kildare.
Offaly and Louth is the other pairing for the Senior Gents grade as in total there are 45 teams entered from 10 different counties in the seven grades.
ONE venue (Parteen) in the southern province as all six counties have entered a team in one of the five competitions at play this weekend. Some changes this year see the Ladies event played as a one grade event with the overall winners the best Gross score as the remaining prizes will be awarded on a Nett basis as it will see different teams from Cork and Tipperary actually competing against each other. The U-16 competition has also been reduced to teams of four with the option of a second side for entry with Tipperary returning to the U-16 competition this year.
The Intermediate Gents get the weekend underway on Saturday with four teams entered as defending champions Cork play with Limerick and runners-up Tipperary and third placed Kerry paired together on Saturday morning. The Ladies grade sees Senior, Intermediate and Junior sides from both Cork and Tipperary with Clare making their return to Ladies level with a Junior side entered. The Junior Gents grade on Sunday is a four team competition as well with Kerry the defending champions after their two shot victory over Cork last year in Castleisland. Limerick will be their playing partners on Sunday morning as Cork and Tipperary officially get the grade underway.
The U-16’s follow as Kerry and Cork have second sides this year who will play alongside Tipperary in a mix of pairings between the three sides. Kerry defeated Cork in a three-hole playoff in Castleisland last year and it looks like being similarly tight between the two counties on neutral ground this weekend. The Senior Gents grade will be contested between five counties as Cork bid for an eighth consecutive title at Munster level. Limerick brought them to a playoff the last time this competition was held at a Limerick registered course in Bruff back in 2011 and it should make for an interesting battle between the two counties that were first and second last year as they will both be paired together.
Third placed Kerry will play with Tipperary and Waterford in what will be an interesting tune-up for the Kingdom in hosting the National Inter-County in Deerpark next month. Plenty to get excited about in Munster this weekend as hopefully the changes at Ladies and U-16 level will have the desired effect.
Best Wishes to ever man, woman and child in the 16 counties donning their county’s colours this weekend. Updates will be available on the PPUI Website & Social Media throughout the course of the weekend.