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Pierce Purcell preview: Charleville hoping to maintain Munster trend 

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Munster clubs have dominated the AIG Pierce Purcell Shield over the last decade and Charleville will hope to continue that trend at Westport in 2019. 

Not since the Curragh won at Castlebar in 2010 has the Purcell gone to a club outside the southern province. The signs are promising then for Charleville, who previously triumphed in this competition at Enniscrone in 2006. 

Three of the four semi-finalists have been victorious at the Cups and Shields Final before. Ulster champions, Rossmore, are the only club without a green pennant. Castlebar won the Jimmy Bruen Shield in 2017, succeeding Cill Dara as champions at Carton House. 

Charleville captured the Munster title following wins against Douglas and Ballykisteen at the provincial finals weekend in Nenagh. The final, against a strong Ballykisteen side, hinged on the final game. Stephen Twomey and Eamonn Leahy were taken all the way but eventually prevailed on 18 to secure provincial honours for their club. 

The Cork club play Rossmore from Monaghan in the semi-finals on Saturday (21 September)Rossmore were beaten finalists in 2014 at Carton House, when they went down to Spanish Point in the decider. They beat Donegal in this year’s Ulster final with a side that contained six survivors from 2014.  

Christy Roche (Cill Dara) on the 1st tee during the AIG Pierce Purcell Shield Leinster Final, Greenore Golf Club, Greenore, Co Louth. 21/07/2019.
Picture: Golffile | Thos Caffrey

Cill Dara play Castlebar in the second semi-final. Leinster champions Cill Dara came through against Newlands in their provincial decider at GreenoreFormer jockey Christy Roche, who saddled Secreto to victory in the 1984 Epsom Derby, is chasing another All Ireland medal with his club having holed the winning putt for Cill Dara in the Jimmy Bruen Shield Final three years ago. 

Castlebar overcame Portumna in the Connacht final at Westport. Their side contains two members of the victorious Bruen team from 2017: Colin Dawson and Ray Prendergast. Given their familiarity with the course, that factor may prove decisive for Castlebar this weekend.  

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