AIG Cups & Shields - LIVE

Action​ underway at Carton House

  • 20 September 2017

PHOTO: The AIG Cups and Shields. Image by Golffile.


Success at the AIG Cups and Shields carries a special resonance. At the moment when victory occurs it is as if a spell has been cast upon the players, those dramatis personae who take part in such wonderful theatre year after year. Some sing or jump or jig with delight, many simply do not how to react. To stand still midst an emotional torrent can be pleasure enough, to feel that shower cascade from invisible heights, the tingle of skin and electric beat, a pulsing sensation gushing down to your feet.



Victory, no less than defeat, is utterly consuming. And so the teams gather again, bold and brave, courageously seeking an infinite bliss. Their memories will be made of this.

A four-year run at Carton comes to an end and from 2018 onwards, the showpiece of interclub golf will return to the previous format of rotating venues. 
The road to Carton House is paved with tales of triumph and despair, universal themes that never fail to captivate. During the last three stagings of the Finals, history has been written and rewritten, clubs emerging on the biggest stage for the first time, others festooned with pennants returning to reclaim their place at the top table.
This year promises much more. Carton House have the chance to win the AIG Senior Cup on home soil, Warrenpoint could retain the AIG Barton Shield and three different clubs are in the mix for a first ever AIG Jimmy Bruen Shield title. Castle and Tralee (AIG Barton Shield), Loughrea (AIG Junior Cup), Moyola Park and Portumna (AIG Pierce Purcell Shield) are pursuing maiden wins too.
The AIG Senior Cup is most intriguing of all. Ulster champions Royal Portrush represent tradition as their success at the highest level dates back to 1923. Limerick, winners in 2002, have been a powerhouse since the 1970s, winning three times between 1976 and 1982. Galway are recent trendsetters with wins in 2006 and 2009. Carton House, new kids on the block having been established in 2002, are bursting to make the breakthrough.

Warrenpoint, not for the first time are chasing success on numerous fronts. The AIG Jimmy Bruen Shield is on their radar, in addition to the bid for successive AIG Barton Shield victories. Multiple wins are rare though Warrenpoint know what it takes. When they last won the Bruen, they completed an amazing feat by winning four of the five pennants in 1987. By contrast, Mountrath, Castlebar and Ballykisteen are seeking a first-ever Bruen victory.

Galway are also dreaming big and have hopes of completing the much-coveted AIG Senior Cup-AIG Barton Shield double, last achieved by Shandon Park in 2000.
The race for the AIG Junior Cup is as wide open as ever. Ballybunion, Grange and Malone have plenty of pedigree while Loughrea would dearly love to claim a first success.

Portumna are another Galway club seeking maiden glory in the AIG Pierce Purcell Shield. So too Moyola Park, but Thurles (2015) and Royal Curragh (2010) have scaled these heights before. 

When this year’s AIG Cups and Shields Finals take place at Carton House from 20-23 September it will be the final instalment of the biggest annual amateur golfing competition in Europe. It is estimated that 40,000 golfers and 1,800 club teams participate at the first round stage and just 20 teams left standing heading into the All Ireland Finals week at Carton House.