The UK indoor Tug of War championship were held over the weekend in Ballymena, Co. Antrim. The closed championship took place on the Friday and the open club competitions were on the Saturday. Teams from Scotland, England, Wales, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland & Ireland competed in the open championship. Irish clubs who competed were Bremore, Clonmany, Cockhill, Gortletteragh & Sportsmen.
The Irish teams performed very well winning a total of six medals but failed to pick up a gold medal. The first competition of the day was the men’s 680kg. Clonmany B reached the final where they faced Sheen Farmers from England. Sheen who had won the closed 680kg on the Friday representing England were too strong for Clonmany who had to settle for the silver medal. Twelve teams competed in the men’s 560kg which was run in two groups. The first semi final was an all Irish showdown between Cockhill from Co. Donegal and Bremore from Co. Dublin. Bremore won the pull and went on to face Kilroe from England in the final. Kilroe proved too strong winning the gold medals in straight ends leaving Bremore with the silver. BRC from Scotland defeated Cockhill to win the bronze medals.
The next competition was the men’s 640kg which was also run in two groups. Bremore and Clonmany B qualified for the semi final stages of the competition. Clonmany who are the reigning world champions at 640 defeated BRC to qualify for the final but Sheen proved too strong for Bremore in the second semi. The final was a real clash of the titans but the very impressive Sheen Farmers from England never looked in any trouble easily winning the gold medals, their third gold medal of the weekend. Bremore defeated BRC to win the bronze medal.
The final competition of the day was the men’s 600kg. Irish teams Clonmany B, Bremore and Richill from the North qualified for the semis in this competition along with Kilroe. Bremore defeated Clonmany in the semi final to set up a repeat of the 560kg final with Kilroe. This was the fourth appearance of an Irish team in the final but again we were denied a gold medal as the strong English team took the title in a straight end victory. Clonmany B defeated Richill to win the bronze medal. The closing dinner dance and presentation of the medals were held afterwards in the host hotel. Congradulations to the Northern Ireland association and all involved in organising the event which proved to be a very successful and enjoyable weekend.