Gleeson shows East of Ireland form in Welsh Strokeplay

Irish Intervarsity champion Alex Gleeson will be one of the men to watch in next weekend's CityNorth Hotel sponsored East of Ireland Amateur Open at County Louth.

The Castle man, a former winner of the Leinster Youths and one of the most talented young players around, is at Ashburnham for the Welsh Amateur Open Strokeplay. And he certainly looks like he means business after whipping up five birdies and dropping just one stroke in an opening 68.

Welsh Open Stroke Play Championship - Scores

At four under par, he's tied for third, just a stroke behind co-leaders Jimmy Mullen from Royal North Devon in England and Craig Howie from Peebles in Scotland.

Ballymena's Dermot McElroy, the newly minted West of Ireland champion, is tied fifth after a 69 that began with a bogey but then rewarded the Ulsterman with an eagle three at the fifth and three birdies.

Castle’s Daniel Holland is nicely position in tied ninth after a two under 70 with East of Ireland champion Colm Campbell joint 30th on level par after an up and down 72.

Pictured at the launch of the 75th Edition of the East of Ireland Championship (l to r) Andrew Greenslade, Sales & Marketing Manager, CityNorth Hotel, John Ferriter, Chairman, Leinster Golf, Michael Kennedy, Captain, County Louth Golf Club, Lucy McConnell, Lady Captain, County Louth Golf Club, Eamonn Dunne, Financial Controller, CityNorth Hotel

Pictured at the launch of the 75th Edition of the East of Ireland Championship (l to r) Andrew Greenslade, Sales & Marketing Manager, CityNorth Hotel, John Ferriter, Chairman, Leinster Golf, Michael Kennedy, Captain, County Louth Golf Club, Lucy McConnell, Lady Captain, County Louth Golf Club, Eamonn Dunne, Financial Controller, CityNorth Hotel

Tiarnan McLarnon (73), William Hanna (75) and Jonathan Yates (75) completed the scoring and they will be in action in the 75th staging of the "East" at Baltray next weekend, where Campbell will be trying to become the first man since Raymie Burns in 1993 to retain the title.

Greystones’ Paul Dunne, the 2013 winner, has had to pull out as his University of Alabama in Birmingham made next week's NCAA's national finals in Florida.

However, there will be plenty of top opposition for the title Campbell and Gleeson taking on the likes of West of Ireland runner-up Eanna Griffin from Waterford, The Island’s Kevin LeBlanc and  16-year old Co Louth talent Thomas Mulligan.