The top Softball players will be descending on Wexford town tomorrow for a the 2019 Irish Softball Nationals, with a total of 170 players competing across all adult and juvenile grades around the county.
In the Men's Open, it is hard to look past 9 times All-Ireland Softball champion Eoin Kennedy, as the Dubliner takes top seed and with it a bye into the QF's.
Hometown man Gavin Buggy will have the local support on his side, as the #4 ranked player nationally occupies the #2 seed for this weekends event.
There are a few interesting first round tussles in store, including #4 seed Ger Coonan against the returning local man, former All-Ireland Softball Doubles champion Barry Goff. Kilkenny's former All-Ireland Minor winner from 2016 Shane Dunne, faces 2017 Softball Intermediate champion Martin Mulkerrins. The younger Mulkerrins, Diarmuid, the Minor Softball champion of 2017 is also in the draw, as the younger players bid to make their mark on the Senior ranks.
In the Ladies Open, Catriona Casey bids for her 3rd consecutive Softball Nationals title. The obvious threat to her crown this weekend is the reigning All-Ireland Softball champion Martina McMahon, but there are several other young ladies in the draw hoping to make their big breakthrough, similar to the Men's grade.
Kildare teenagers Mollie Dagg & Leah Doyle are widely expected to eventually be big stars at Senior level given their juvenile careers, whilst Ciara Mahon, Aoife Holden & Aishling O'Keeffe have all competed regularly in Senior Doubles finals and thus have plenty of big game experience.
Follow GAA Handball on Facebook for regular result updates throughout the weekend.
Grades on offer this weekend: (all Doubles unless listed)
- Men's & Ladies Open Singles
- Men's A/B/C & Ladies B/C
- Masters 40+B, 45+A
- Boy's 17&U, 15&U, 13&U, 11&U
- Girl's 15&U, 13&U