Provincials opt to show off teen power in U-25s
The Provincials approach the IBA Under-25 Inter-association Championship at Belmont tonight not only without their talisman Gary Kelly, but also a posse of other experienced heads!
In fact, selection convenor Jackie Smyth reckons it's the youngest team ever to pull on the Provincial jersey - which includes three 15 year olds!
Age has caught up with Irish international ace Kelly and Owen Steele, while Andrew Millar and Adam Wilson are unavailable. To make matters worse, Adam Hunter is taking a year out.
It means that young guns, Ciaran O'Kane, Adam Stratten, Mark McKeown and David McConnell have been handed their first chance at this level.
"I cannot remember a squad of players so young representing the association," said Smyth.
"This will be a totally new experience for quite a few of them.
"We have lost a number of established lads, including Kelly and Steele.
"They are a big loss. But it opens the door for a lot of young kids that are coming through the system."
IBA Inter-Association programme: Tonight: (games all at Belmont): 5.30pm: NIBA v NIPBA; NIPGL v BLI; Tomorrow: 9.30am: NIBA v NIPGL; NIPBA v BLI; 2.30pm: BLI v NIBA; NIPBA v NIPGL.