Boys kick off Home quest against Scots
Published 04/08/2015 | 02:30
Ireland will attempt to regain the Boys Home International title they surrendered last year when the 2015 event begins at Conwy on the North Wales coast this morning.
Having gone into last year's event at Western Gailes in Ayrshire as defending champions, the Irish saw their hopes of back-to-back crowns dashed following a narrow 8-7 defeat to England - who snatched the title on a tense final day.
Five of the Irish contingent that played last year are once again among the squad - which features six debutants.
The Island's Kevin Le Blanc, Cathal Butler, (Kinsale), Thomas Mulligan (Co Louth), Conor Purcell (Portmarnock) and Peter Kerr (Royal Portrush) bring valuable experience. Meanwhile, Marc McKinstry (Cairndhu), Marc Norton (Belvoir Park), Marc Boucher (Carton House), Devin Morley (Oughterard), Alan Fahy (Bray) and Rory Williamson (Holywood) will all be looking to do well as they make their bows.
The team will be captained by Cathal McConn as they also look to bounce back from last year's disappointing third-place finish - after also losing to Scotland - with holders England gunning for their fourth title in five years.
Ireland begin the three-day round-robin event this morning against Scotland.
Meanwhile, there will be two new caps in the Irish Girls team as they look to halt England's domination of the Home Internationals when that event begins at Lanark in Scotland tomorrow.
Shannon's Lisa O'Shea and Elisa Corcoran of the Grange will both make their international bows in an eight-strong Ireland team that also includes Welsh and Scottish Open stroke-play champion Olivia Mehaffey (Royal County Down).
Ciara Casey (Hermitage), Mairead Martin (Killarney), Julie McCarthy (Forrest Little), Niamh McSherry (Lurgan) and Annabel Wilson (Lurgan) are also included.
Ireland have never won the coveted Stroyan Cup but gave England a good run for their money at Donabate last year - only losing the head-to-head 5-4 - and finishing with the Swansea Spoon as runners-up.