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Leinster and Ulster aim for back-to-back success in Interpros – News – Irish Golf Desk

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PGA National Slieve Russell is set to host this year’s Men’s and Women’s Interprovincial matches with eight teams to do battle in county Cavan.

Leinster and Ulster come into the event as reigning champions with team captains Harry McAlinden (Bray) and Oonagh McClure (Malone) hoping to lead their teams to more success.

McAlinden holds the honour of captaining his Leinster Men’s side for the third time in-a-row, having led the team to the title in 2022 and 2023 and while hoping that a hat trick of wins is on the cards, the Bray clubman knows there is a large target on the players backs this year.

“They’ll all be out for our heads, so we have a job to do, and we have to make sure that we keep level-headed about it. We know that they are all there to knock us off our perch, but we just have to make sure that we keep performing” said McAlinden.

“The first year it was a narrow victory, last year we seemed to kind of gel well from the very start and it was a great team spirit and they all were fighting for each other, which was great and all I had to do was submit the team each day, they went out and did all the work so it made me a very proud man to be that captain.”

Five of the eight selected for the region make their return to the team this year with West of Ireland Champion Keith Egan (Carton House), Munster Champion Paul Coughlan (Castleknock) and Connacht Champion Jake Whelan (Grange) among the picks. Evan Farrell (Co Louth) and Eoin Murphy (Dundalk) have also been selected to make another appearance and McAlinden knows that bond formed among the players last year will be key.

“It’s one of the things that we pride ourselves on, we have very open communication so all the players they can say whatever they want to everybody and to us as well, we all listen to one another, and we have a good open communication” said McAlinden.

“Last year we had a great team atmosphere, the chats we had over dinner and everything like that would go on for hours so there is a very good team spirit, it’s something I’m very happy to be part of and the lads are happy to be part of as well.”

Oonagh McClure (Malone) makes her debut as Ulster Women’s team captain and while looking to build on the success formed by the 2023 winning team, she knows keeping the group mentality strong will be one of the most important factors this week.

“This is going to be competitive but I want it also to be fun for people. I love foursomes but foursomes you’ve got to be supportive and I’m going to get that across. It doesn’t matter how good you are you have got to be there for your partner as well so that’s important, but I do want them to bond together, I want them to have fun together,” said McClure.

Judithe Allen (Royal Portrush), Kate Dywer (Rossmore), Amy Kelly (Massereene) and Amy O’Donnell (Royal Portrush) return to the title winning Ulster side with Katie Poots (Knock) and the Clandeboye pair of Molly O’Hara and Rebekah Gardner rounding out the final seven.

“There’s lots of talent but as I say foursomes is a different game, it’s not just singles in the morning you know it’s a different type of game and they’ve got to pull together on that. That will be interesting,” said McClure.

“When they go out in singles they’ll be well used to that they’ll be able to do their thing, they’ll be in the zone but foursomes is going to be keeping them constantly thinking about their partner, not just playing the shot that they know they can play on to the green but can their partner play it on the green that sort of thing, just reminding them of that.”

The three-day event tees off at 7.30am tomorrow (WED) as the women lead the way in the foursome matches when Ulster face Connacht while the men begin at 8.18am with Leinster taking on Munster.

Follow all the action here

 

Connacht Men’s

Aodhagan Brady (Co. Sligo)

Harry Gillivan (Portmarnock)

David Kitt (Athenry)

Cian O’Connor (Roscommon)

Ruairi O’Connor (Co. Sligo)

Luke O’Neill (Connemara)

David Shiel (Enniscrone)

Simon Walker (Roscommon)

Captain: Rory O’Connor (Strandhill)

Manager: Cathal McConn (Roscommon)

 

Connacht Women’s

Shannon Burke (Ballinrobe)

Maeve Kelly (Strandhill)

Sophie Leonard-Dodd (Enniscrone)

Ellen Lonergan (Westport)

Hannah McInerney (Gort)

Maebh McLoughlin (Co. Sligo)

Sarah Prendergast (Castlebar)

Captain: Enda Lonergan (Westport)

Manager: Jacqui McGrath (Tuam)

 

Munster Men’s

Jordon Boles (Charleville)

Morgan Cain (Cork)

Darragh Flynn (Carton House)

Jack Hearn (Tramore)

David Howard (Fota Island)

Peter O’Keeffe (Douglas)

Joseph O’Neill (Berehaven)

David Reddan (Nenagh)

Captain: Fred Twomey

Manager: Diarmuid Linehan (Muskerry)

 

Munster Women’s

Valerie Clancy (Killarney)

Clodagh Coughlan (Douglas)

Anna Dawson (Tramore)

Mairead Martin (Kanturk)

Emma O’Driscoll (Ballybunion)

Caitlin Shippam (Ballykisteen)

Aideen Walsh (Lahinch)

Captain: Mary Dowling (Mallow)

Manager: Sinead Enright (Macroom)

 

Leinster Men’s

Paul Coughlan (Castleknock)

Brian Doran (Millicent)

Gerard Dunne (Co. Louth)

Keith Egan (Carton House)

Evan Farrell (Co. Louth)

Eoin Murphy (Dundalk)

Adam Smith (Mullingar)

Jake Whelan (Grange)

Captain: Harry McAlinden (Bray)

Manager: Ian Mooney (Wicklow)

 

Leinster Women’s

Helena Burke (Carlow)

Kate Fleming (Elm Park)

Hannah Guerin ( Royal Tara)

Jenny Maguire (Foxrock)

Rachael McDonnell (Elm Park)

Emily Murray ( Co. Louth)

Ellen O’Gorman (Laytown & Bettystown)

Captain: Orla Darcy (Naas)

Manager: Leigh Bolger (Carlow)

 

Ulster Men’s

Adam Buchanan (Royal Portrush)

Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint)

Seamus Cullen (Slieve Russell)

Luke Kelly (Dunfanaghy)

Ross Latimer (Clandeboye)

Dwayne Mallon (Dungannon)

Aaron Marshall (Lisburn)

Shane McDermott (Slieve Russell)

Captain: Peter Waddell (Knock)

 

Ulster Women’s

Judithe Allen (Royal Portrush)

Kate Dywer (Rossmore)

Rebekah Gardner (Clandeboye)

Amy Kelly (Massereene)

Molly O’Hara (Clandeboye)

Amy O’Donnell (Royal Portrush)

Katie Poots (Knock) 

 

Captain: Oonagh McClure (Malone)

Manager: Deirdre Savage (Balmoral)

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