Twenty two clubs competed today in the sunny south east as the Saltmills club hosted the national 720kg championship in Ballycullane, Co. Wexford. The clubs who competed were Ballinagh, Ballyhooly, Ballinastoe, Binnian View, Boley, Boyneside, Canavans, Clonmines, Cuan Rithe, Donoughmore, Gortletteragh, Killylough, Killoughey, Lakehill, Lavalley, Lough Arrow, Mountain View, Saltmills, Slaneysiders, Stapeltons, The Mill & Rockies.
Nine teams competed in the senior 720kg competition which was run in one group. Lakehill recovered well from a shaky first end with Donoughmore to top the group without loosing a single end. Joining them in the semi finals were Boley, Mountain View & Killylough with Gortletteragh just missing out. Lakehill continued their good form with a straight end victory over Killylough in the first semi final. There was great rivalry in the other semi as Boley faced Mountain View. However it was the crafty Boley team who went through to the final with a straight end victory. Once again it was arch rival Boley & Lakehill who faced each other in the final. The first end was a grueling contest which lasted around 4 minutes. Lakehill took the advantage and with both teams on two cautions each, Boley were disqualified receiving their third caution for sitting. Lakehill dropped in very hard in the second end and powered the rope back to take the gold medal and their third 720kg title in a row.
Killylough showed a lot of determination to defeat the catchweight champions, Mountain View to win the bronze medal. Donoughmore from Co. Cork faced Slaneysiders from Co. Wexford in the Div 2 final. This was another grueling contest but it was the Cork team who emerged with the gold medal and the title.
Twelve teams took part in the novice championship which was run in two groups. There was very little between the teams as Cuam Rithe from Co. Cork & Killoughey from Co. Offaly emerged from group 1. The newly affiliated Mill TOW from Co. Tipperary produced an outstanding performance to qualify from group 2 along with the hosting club, Saltmills. Saltmill defeated Cuan Rithe in the first semi final as Killyloughey defeated the Mill to join the Wexford team in the final. There was very little between the teams but it was Saltmills cheered on by their large home support who took the gold medal and the novice 720kg title with a straight end victory. Cuan Rithe defeated the Mill in a three end contest to win the bronze medal.
The youth development program of recent years was showing as seven teams took part in the 420kg youth league as Lough Arrow from Co. Sligo made their debut at national level. The top two places went to the two Cavan teams as Rockies finished in second place and the impressive Ballinagh team topped the league after round one. Killoughey finished in third position.
Clonmines, another local club rounded off a mixed day for the Wexford teams with an impressive victory over Killoughey to win the U23 640kg title.
See full results on our Results page.
Click here to see the youth league table after round 1.
Click here to see photos from today’s national championship in Ballycullane (note: there are 3 pages of photos). Thanks to the ever reliable, Pat Lee for sending on photos.