Munster golf's finest ready for AIG action

Cork Golf Club plays host to 12 teams bidding for provincial glory on an exciting weekend of AIG Munster final action.
Munster golf's finest ready for AIG action

An attractive programme of matches will be contested at the superb Little Island venue, with the semi-finals and finals of the Senior and Junior Cups along with the Barton Shield all down for decision.

The foursomes championship gets things underway on Saturday morning, with Tralee and Tramore in the first semi-final, followed by the meeting of Limerick and Cork.

While Tramore are invariably a potent force at this stage, Tralee, including cousins Fergal and Darren O’Sullivan, won’t be easily overcome.

John Hickey and Gary O’Flaherty form the core of the Cork side but Limerick also have a number of experienced players, including Pat Murray, Justin Kehoe, and Michael O’Kelly.

The Senior Cup semi-finals follow immediately with Waterford Castle taking on Castletroy and Ballybunion up against Monkstown.

Junior international Andrew Mulhall and brothers Bill and Ben Murray have played major parts in getting Waterford Castle this far but Castletroy, with the impressive Munster player Andrew McCormack in their ranks, may still have the edge in experience.

Monkstown have been strengthened by the arrival of Martin Poucher, an experienced campaigner in these matches over the years with Limerick, but otherwise their squad is much the same as last year with Donal McDonnell, Eoghan Long, and youngsters Sean Desmond, Nick Moore, and Shane Livesey available once again.

Like Monkstown, Ballybunion have given youth its head as they combine the experience of Ed Stack and Peter Sheehan with 2013 Irish Junior Cup champions Senan Carroll and John Molyneux.

The finals of the Barton Shield and Senior Cup take place on Saturday afternoon, with the Junior Cup taking centre stage on Sunday.

Fermoy, the Irish champions at Ballybunion in 1965, looked very impressive in beating Bandon in the southern area decider held at Blarney, but can expect a tough match from double seekers Tralee, while the other semi brings together close neighbours Nenagh and Co Tipperary.

AIG Munster finals schedule, Cork Golf Club:

Saturday. Barton Shield semi-finals:

8am: Tralee v Tramore;

8.20am: Limerick v Cork.

Final afternoon.

Senior Cup semi-finals:

8.45am: Waterford Castle v Castletroy;

9.25am: Ballybunion v Monkstown.

Final afternoon.

Sunday Junior Cup semi-finals:

8am: Nenagh v Co Tipperary;

8.40am: Fermoy v Tralee.

Final afternoon.

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