Ballyheane's Under 18 Connaught Cup winning team from 2019. Many of this side will be involved in the the club's Under 21's league campaign.

Ballyheane the team to stop?

TF Royal Theatre & Hotel Under 21 League: Division 1 Preview

By Stuart Tynan

With the inaugural TF Royal Hotel and Theatre Under 21 League getting under away this weekend, we take a closer look at the teams that will be participating. First up, let's go to Division 1.

Ballyheane

Manager: Joe Redmond

The league favourites? Ballyheane will be a lot of people's fancy for this year's Under 21 title. The 2018 Connaught Under 18 and Quigley Cup champions have an array of their Super League players at their disposal such as Jack Rochford, John Vahey, Dara Ludden and Cillian Redmond.

With no game on the opening weekend due to the uneven number of sides in the division, they will be keeping a close eye on may be their biggest challengers

Castlebar Celtic

Managers: David McNicholas and Barry McLoughlin

Celtic will have a lovely mix of players from the 2019 Super League-winning side such as Cathal Coyne and Ruairi Nevin. Liam Whyte (who has returned from the Airtricity Leagues) and Under 18 stars from the Quigley Cup win in 2019 such as Eoghan Hughes, Stefan Hester, Calum Lavelle and Paul Walsh are also expected to feature, the latter lighting up the Super League last season for Celtic.

Claremorris A

Manager: Darragh Kennedy

It has been a mixed bag for many of their Under 18 players. They finished second from bottom in 2019, having finished second the year before. They will look to standout players such be Noel Mellet and James Ruane to ensure there will be no repeat of their 2019 form.

Conn Rangers A

Manager: Nigel Reape

Conn Rangers won the Helen Johnson and Quigley Cup at Under 18 in 2017 and have blooded a lot of them players forward to their senior team. They will expect big things from Lorcan Towey, Darragh Jordan, Liam Durkan, Eoin Prendergast and Evan Reape, many.

Glenhest Rovers

Manager: Chris Rowland

Led by adult senior captain Rowland, Glenhest will be hoping to compete in Division 1 with the likes of Tommy Scahill and Mark Forrestal to the fore, who gained some experience in the Super League for the senior side last year.

Kiltimagh/Knock United

Manager: James Costello

Kiltimagh/Knock will be outsiders in Division 1 but boast players such as Cormac Caufield, Simon Walsh and Matthew Leadbetter. They will prove a tough not to crack, but you do feel they will need a result or two early on if they are to challenge for top four.

Manulla

Manager: Gerry Conroy

Manulla have been very competitive at Under 18 over the last few Seasons and won the Helen Johnson Under 18 league in 2018 and 2019. Super League players Darragh Byrne, Ruairi Henry, Aiden Dunleavy and Lorcan Conroy should stand out.

*You can read our preview of Division 2 online tomorrow.

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