The fourth round of the national outdoor championships took place yesterday at the home of the Boley club in Ballinabolla, Co. Wexford. The weights which were contested were the men’s senior 640kg, men’s 720kg novice and men’s 600kg novice.
The clubs who took part in the championship were Boley, Bremore, Killylough, Lakehill, Gortletteragh, Slaneysiders, Carbery, Donoughmore, St. Pats, Lavalley, Harps, Sportsmen, Bryanstown and Ballyhooley. The 640kg is the most fiercely contested weight at both national and international level and yesterday’s competition was no different. Host club Boley finished top of the league system closely followed by Lakehill in second place. Killylough and Bremore took the other semi final positions with Gortletteragh from Co. Leitrim just missing out in fifth place. Boley enjoyed a comfortable straight end victory over Killylough in the first semi final. There was very little between the teams in the second semi final between Lakehill and Bremore with Lakehill just edging the contest to qualify for their fourth national final of the season. Killylough outstayed Bremore in the third place pull-off and went on to win the bronze medals with a straight end victory. The final between Boley and Lakehill was the third meeting of these two clubs in a national final this season with both clubs hoping to win their second national title. There was very little between the teams in the first end but Boley proved too strong edging the Mayo team in a hard fought battle which lasted around four and a half minutes. Lakehill gained a little ground on the Wexford men in the second end but Boley responded with great strength to pull the rope across the line to win the gold medals much to the delight of the cheering home support.
Donoughmore from Co. Cork and Slaneysiders from the Carlow-Wexford border were the teams who qualified for the division two final. Donoughmore who had to settle for the silver medal in the 600kg a number of weeks ago were hoping to go one better this time round while the men from the south east were appearing in their first national final of the season. It proved to be second time lucky for Donoughmore who produced a strong performance to win the gold medals.
Five teams took part in the 720kg, the first of the day’s two novice championships. The teams who qualified for the final were Bryanstown from Co. Wexford and Lavalley from Co. Mayo. Lavalley were hoping to win their second novice championship having previously taken gold in the catchweight in Slane a number of weeks ago. However it was the strong young Wexford men cheered on by their home support who produced a fine performance to win the gold medals and their first ever national title.