Venues are now confirmed for Saturday's QF's in the 2019 MyClubShop.ie All-Ireland Softball Senior Singles Championship.
A trio of quality double headers should entice Softball spectators out as the action starts to heat up with the introduction of the top seeds into the fray.
In Na Fianna HC, Dublin, we will see the current Softball King Robbie McCarthy in action for the first time this year. McCarthy is most peoples hot favourite to win his 8th Senior Singles crown, and he faces former Doubles champion Carl Browne at 1pm. That precedes an intriguing tussle against seed #4 Gary McConnell & #5 Gavin Buggy. McConnell is a Championship semi-finalist from last year, whilst Buggy has already shown some form this year by reaching the Softball Nationals Final three weeks ago.
In Crinkle HC, Offaly, the bottom half of the Men's draw plays out from 12pm as Martin Mulkerrins takes on David Hope in the opener. Mulkerrins will have big hopes that he can make the breakthrough in the Senior Softball ranks, and possibly be the man to end the stranglehold Robbie McCarthy and Eoin Kennedy have had on the code the past decade. His win at the Nationals will fill him with confidence, although Hope is no slouch and was ruthless in seeing off Brian Mahon in his Round of 16 encounter. An even battle is expected.
Joe McCann then has the chance to build on his good win last weekend against Ger Coonan, but will have to raise his game even further to take down Eoin Kennedy. Kennedy is yet to hit full form this season, but the 9 time champion has the court craft to make the game look very easy at times and will enter as favourite to advance.
In the Ladies section, Cashel HC, Tipperary hosts a double header, starting with Aoife Holden versus Aishling O'Keeffe. The duo met in the recent Nationals with Holden edging a tough two game tussle, and she will hope to repeat against the reigning Doubles champion in a bid to make her maiden Senior Singles SF. This will be followed by the meeting of 5 time champion Catriona Casey against Aoife McCarthy. McCarthy will need to be in top form if she is to prevent Casey from reaching the final for the first time since 2011.
Garryhill HC, Carlow then plays host to the remaining fixture of the weekend as Ciara Mahon faces teenager Leah Doyle. The more experienced Mahon took the honours a few weeks back during the Nationals and will start as favourite. But she will know she cannot let up as Doyle has the talent to cause damage despite her youth.
FIXTURES: Saturday 17th August
Na Fianna HC, Dublin, 1pm (OIC Frank Daly 087 224 7379)
- Men’s QF1: Westmeath (Robbie McCarthy) v Dublin (Carl Browne)
- Men’s QF2: Wexford (Gavin Buggy) v Meath (Gary McConnell)
Crinkle HC, Offaly, 12pm (OIC Kevin Cooke 087 642 3846)
- Men’s QF3: Galway (Martin Mulkerrins) v Offaly (David Hope)
- Men’s QF4: Dublin (Eoin Kennedy) v Mayo (Joe McCann)
Cashel HC, Tipperary 2pm (OIC David Maloney 086 605 0807)
- Ladies QF 2: Kilkenny (Aoife Holden) v Cork (Aishling O’Keeffe)
- Ladies QF 4: Cork (Catriona Casey) W/O Westmeath (Aoife McCarthy) inj.
Garryhill HC, Carlow 7pm (OIC Dan Fenlon – 086 088 9376)
- Ladies QF 3: Kilkenny (Ciara Mahon) v Kildare (Leah Doyle)