Last Sunday, the Irish Ladies Development Squad (IDS) travelled to the UK Open Championships hosted by the Welsh Tug of War Association in Llandrindod Wells in Mid-Wales. The 12 strong panel was comprised of ladies from Ballinastoe, Brideswell, Canavans and Boyneside Tug of War Clubs.
The squad competed in two weight categories on the day. First up was the 500kg competition which saw the Irish ladies meet English teams Bedford and Sheen Ladies as well as Welsh teams Ithion Valley and Llangadog Ladies. The ladies produced a strong performance in their first competition working together as a team and managed to acquit themselves very well against very strong opposition. The final saw the very experienced Bedford and Sheen meet in what proved to be a top quality contest which saw Sheen emerge victorious in two straight ends.
The 540kg competition saw 6 teams enter. These were English teams Sheen, Bedford and Holland Ladies, the Scottish team Ayrshire and local team Ithion Valley along with the Irish Ladies. There was a lot of even pulling in this competition and the Irish Ladies produced their best performance against Ithion Valley. At the end of the round robin, Bedford and Sheen again emerged on top in a repeat of the 500kg final. Sheen proved to be the stronger of the two and rounded off a fine day for their club with yet another straight end victory.
The Irish Ladies gained a wealth of experience in what was the first exposure to international competition for the vast majority of this new look panel. This trip should prove to be the launching pad for the further development of the panel with a view to being even more competitive at the European Championships in Holland next year. Any ladies interested in being considered for inclusion on the panel should contact the Ladies Liaison Officer Helen Coyne on 086 8669278.
On a final note, the panel would like to recognise Eddie Fitzgerald and Gerry Ferguson for the time and effort put into preparing the squad for this competition.
Click here to see photos from Wales.