Ladies in line for a green pennant
Race is on in AIG Ladies Cups and Shields National Finals as 60 teams are all set for showdown across five enthralling District competitions
Published 25/08/2016 | 02:30
The AIG Ladies Cups and Shields National Finals take place at Dundalk from September 21-24, but the race begins in earnest this weekend when 60 teams battle it out in five District Finals at Athenry, Milltown, Wexford, Dungarvan and Dungannon.
The ILGU's five Districts will each welcome 12 teams for what promises to be an action-packed weekend of highly competitive golf.
No fewer than 30 teams will make it to Dundalk for next month's AIG Ladies Cups and Shields National Finals, where there will be six coveted green pennants up for grabs.
Here's our guide to the weekend action.
Connacht District - Athenry Golf Club, Saturday, August 27
No fewer than 12 clubs will descend on scenic Athenry for the Connacht district finals, where Co. Sligo and Portumna both have two teams competing.
The clubs meet in the Senior Foursomes final while the Rosses Point Ladies will also be vying for Challenge Cup victory over Galway, as Portumna take on Co. Longford in the Intermediate Cup.
Co. Sligo are the dominant force in the Challenge Cup as they are reigning district champions, while Co. Longford - the 2014 Intermediate Cup champions and 2015 District Cup finalists - return with high hopes of regaining the Connacht District Championship.
Roscommon will take on Ballina in the Junior Cup, as Ballinrobe face Bearna in the Minor Cup and the Junior Foursomes sees Castlebar face Gort.
Senior Foursomes: 10:00 Portumna v Co. Sligo
Junior Foursomes: 10:30 Castlebar v Gort
Junior Cup: 11:00 Roscommon v Ballina
Minor Cup: 11:50 Ballinrobe v Bearna
Intermediate Cup: 12:40 Portumna v Co. Longford
Challenge Cup: 13:30 Co. Sligo v Galway
East Leinster District - Milltown Golf Club, Sunday, August 28
Powerscourt will be hoping to reproduce the impressive form of last year as they secured the 2015 District Junior Foursomes title and were narrowly pipped to the All Ireland titled by Bearna at Knightsbrook.
Headfort and Edmondstown will face each other in two categories; both the Intermediate and Challenge Cups, while home side Milltown will be confident that local knowledge can help them overcome Donabate in the Senior Foursomes.
The Junior Cup will involve The Island and Castle, while Greystones and Newlands will battle for victory in the Minor Cup.
Senior Foursomes: 08:30 Donabate v Milltown
Junior Foursomes 09:00 Stackstown v Powerscourt
Junior Cup: 10:00 The Island v Castle
Intermediate Cup: 11:00 Headfort v Edmondstown
Minor Cup: 12:00 Greystones v Newlands
Challenge Cup: 13:00 Headfort v Edmondstown
Mid Leinster District - Wexford Golf Club, Saturday, August 27
There will be huge local interest at Wexford on Saturday when the host club seeks Mid Leinster District glory in two events.
Wexford face tough opponents in Royal Curragh and Mount Wolseley in the Junior and Challenge Cups, respectively, while Royal Curragh will also be hoping to come away with at least one victory as they will be competing in the Senior Foursomes, where they take on Kilkenny.
Tullamore will face Wicklow in the Intermediate Cup, Athy will take on Gowran Park in the Minor Cup and Mullingar will try to overcome Tramore in the Junior Foursomes.
Senior Foursomes: 09:00 Royal Curragh v Kilkenny
Challenge Cup: 09:30 Mount Wolseley v Wexford
Junior Foursomes: 10:20 Mullingar v Tramore
Intermediate Cup: 11:20 Tullamore v Wicklow
Minor Cup: 12:00 Athy v Gowran Park
Junior Cup: 13:45 Wexford v Royal Curragh
Munster District - Dungarvan Golf Club, Friday-Saturday, August 26-27
The Munster District final begins tomorrow at wonderful Dungarvan with the imposing backdrop of the Comeragh Mountains adding to the atmosphere of the AIG Munster District finals.
Co. Tipperary return to defend their title in the Minor Cup as they face Raffeen Creek, while there are three other Tipperary teams in the finals, with Ballykisteen facing Fermoy in the Intermediate Cup and Ballybunion in the Challenge Cup, as Cahir Park take on Killarney in the Junior Foursomes Final.
The Senior Foursomes Final sees Cork take on East Cork, as Castletroy duel with Mallow in the Junior Cup.
Friday August 26
Senior Foursomes: 14:00 Cork v East Cork
Junior Foursomes: 14:30 Cahir Park v Killarney
Saturday August 27
Junior Cup: 10:00 Castletroy v Mallow
Intermediate Cup: 10:50 Fermoy v Ballykisteen
Minor Cup: 11:40 Raffeen Creek v Co. Tipperary
Challenge Cup: 12:30 Ballybunion v Ballykisteen
Ulster District - Dungannon Golf Club, Saturday Sunday, August 27-28
Dungannon is the home of Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke and there will be huge match play bragging rights up for grabs this weekend as 12 teams from seven clubs compete for Ulster pennants.
Shandon Park, Malone, Co. Armagh, Belvoir Park and Donaghadee produced impressive golf to get two teams to the finals.
Shandon Park will defend the Intermediate Cup title against Malone and the Senior Foursomes against Royal Portrush as Malone battle Co. Armagh for the Minor Cup.
The Challenge Cup sees Co. Armagh's second team take on Donaghadee, while Belvoir Park face Galgorm Castle in the Junior Cup and Donaghadee in the Junior Foursomes.
Saturday August 27
Senior Foursomes: 15:30 Shandon Park v Royal Portrush
Junior Foursomes: 16:00 Donaghadee v Belvoir Park
Sunday August 28
Junior Cup: 10:00 Belvoir Park v Galgorm Castle
Intermediate Cup: 10:40 Shandon Park v Malone
Minor Cup: 11:20 Malone v Co. Armagh
Challenge Cup: 12:00 Donaghadee v Co. Armagh
Teams must play in order of handicap/combined handicap with no shots conceded. Handicap ranges for the singles and foursomes in the AIG Ladies Cups and Shields Finals are as follows:
Senior Foursomes - Minimum combined 14; Junior Foursomes - 15-36 (Minimum combined 35)
Junior Cup - 8-15; Intermediate Cup - 16-22; Minor Cup - 23-28; Challenge Cup - 29-36.