Tandragee boys ready for Spain to tackle Home Nations final meeting

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Tandragee’s junior players will switch the focus from club commitments to international play next week with a special visit to Spain.

The boys, the current All-Ireland runners-up, will join defending champions Kilkenny at the Home Nations alongside squads from England, Scotland and Wales at the Antequera resort.

Progress to the inter-club championship has arrived courtesy of Ulster glory and All-Ireland experience under the guidance of Tandragee’s PGA club professional Dympna Keenan.

The junior convenor and players will be joined on the tour by club officials, team managers, family and supporters.

Ireland can boast championship glory across the past two campaigns thanks to success for Galway and Munster.

Tandragee enjoyed a 10-game winning run to claim the Fred Daly Trophy before second to Kilkenny at All-Ireland level.

“The boys are absolutely excited and working hard to make sure they are fully prepared,” said Jeff Forde, a past club captain and current deputy team manager. “The whole club is throwing its support behind the team, there is a lot of interest.”

Fund-raising activities within the Tandragee family have included the auction of a signed Northern Ireland football shirt assigned to Chris Baird for the EURO 2016 qualifying campaign tie against Faroe Islands.

Play for the 21st Home Nations’ Nigel Dolton Trophy will run across March 7-10.

More than 1,300 clubs compete each year across the United Kingdom and Ireland - with highlights on SKY TV.

CLUB

The final week of Johnston Shield qualifying placed Adrian Maney and Mark Bannerman on 177 points to protect top spot.

The Ulster Carpets-sponsored competition featured Maney and Bannerman on 152 from the five leading cards for a four-point lead overall.

Neil Hazard and Douglas Hazard shared second with Paul Topley and John Quinn on 148 points apiece.

Colin McKillop and Philip Irwin finished next in line with 146 points to edge out the pairings of Geoff Gray and Ashley McConville plus John Weir and Robert Megarity.

Stuart Paul and John Haffey registered 141 points, a score matched by Greg Bannerman and Andy Burns.

Simon Muldrew and Norman McGladdery finished level in ninth alongside Tony Graham and Michael Lyons plus Alan Hewitt and Colin McMullen.

The cut for the matchplay stages came in at 124 points.

Paul Topley and John Quinn finished first on 31 points last week in front of Neil Cooke and Brian Fyffe.

Cooke and Fyffe posted 30 points thanks to 16 over the back six.

Stefan McNeill and William Brady put 30 points following 13 across the back six.