The Ballina Agricultural show was the venue today as Lakehill hosted the national 680kg championship along with the second rounds of the ladies and youth leagues. The championship was well supported with 24 clubs taking part and despite the heavy rain at the beginning of the day the large crowd were treated to a great day of action. The clubs who attended were Ballinagh, Ballyhooly, Ballinastoe, Boyneside, Binnian View, Boley, Canavans, Cleggan, Connemara, Clonmines, Gortletteragh, Killoughey, Killylough, Lakehill, Lavalley, Lough Arrow, Mountain View, Rockies, Renvyle, St. Pats, Saddlers Inn, Slaneysiders, Saltmills, and Thatch Bar.
11 teams competed in the senior 680kg competition which was run in one group. Boley looked very sharp and finished top without loosing a single end. The teams who joined them in the semi finals were Lakehill, Gortletteragh & Mountain View with Killylough just missing out in fifth position. Gortletteragh put up a good fight against Boley in the first semi final but it was the Wexford team who qualified for the final with a straight end victory. Lakehill enjoyed a hard fought straight end victory over Mountain View to reach their third final in a row. Once again it was arch rivals Boley and Lakehill who faced each other in one of the most memorable and hard fought finals between these two heavyweights in recent years. It was Lakehill who got off to a good start winning a hard fought first end in a time of around five minutes. The second end was a bit of a stalemate with very little movement in the rope but it was the Mayo team who began to show cracks picking up 3 cautions and a disqualification. The third and deciding end was another great battle with both teams attacking. It was Lakehill who took a slight advantage of around a meter but once again picking up 2 early cautions was their downfall as they received their third caution and second disqualification of the match handing the title to the resilient men from Boley. Mountain View defeated Gortletteragh to win the bronze medal.
Two Wexford teams qualified for the Div 2 final as Clonmines faced Slaneysiders. This was another great battle as the gutsy Clonmines team went on to take the title and the gold medal rounding off a great day for the teams from the south east. Five teams took part in the 680kg non-championship competition as Ballinagh from Co. Cavan were victorious over Boyneside from Co. Offaly in the final.
6 teams took part in round 2 of the ladies 405kg league as Thatch Bar continued where they left off in Clarinbridge topping the league and the table with a maximum of 14 points. Boyneside finished in second place and Ballinagh were third. 8 teams competed in round 2 of the ladies 435kg league as Saddlers Inn from Boyle, Co. Roscomman made their debut at national level. Once again it was the Tatch women of Ballygar who showed their superiority finishing in first position and also top the 435kg league with maximum points. Boyneside pulled very well to finish in second place as did Canavans from Belclare who finished third.
6 teams competed in round 2 of the youth 420kg league as preparations continue for the forthcoming GENSB Games in Switzerland. There was great pulling in this competition as Boyneside who didn’t feature in the top 3 after round one produced and outstanding display to finish in first position picking up the 7 points. Ballinagh finished in second place and they retain top spot in the league with 13 points. Binnain View were third.
See results on our Results page.
Click here to see the updated ladies/youths league tables after round 2.
Watch out for this week’s Foinse, free Irish language magazine with Wednesday’s Irish Independent, who will feature a short piece on the championship in Ballina in this week’s edition. Short reports on national championships can also be found in Tuesday’s Irish Examiner and Saturday’s Evening Herald.