The penultimate national outdoor championship was hosted yesterday by Donoughmore in Grenagh, Co. Cork. The teams who attended were Ballinagh, Ballinastoe, Burren, Boley, Boyneside, Canavans, Donoughmore, Farrenreigh, Glenhill, Grove, Inchnapough, Kiltevna, Lakehill, Lough Arrow, Shop, Streamstown, Rockies & Valley.
Eleven teams competed in the senior 600kg competition which was run in two groups. Boley pulled well in group 1 and qualified for the semi finals along with Lakehill. The Burren and Donoughmore qualified from group 2. Boley progressed to the final with a reasonable comfortable victory over Donoughmore. The Burren put up a great fight in the other semi final as Lakehill had to dig very deep to join Boley in the final. The final was an entertaining contest with little between the teams. It was red over red after two minutes when Lakehill attacked winning over two meters of rope but a number of cracks began to appear in the Mayo team and Boley regrouped and went on to take the first end.
Boley went on the attack in the second end and fought well grinding every inch of rope and despite being on two cautions they managed to get it across the line to win the gold medal, the first national 600kg title for Boley in a long number of years. The Div 2 600kg final between Boyneside and Valley was a repeat of the 580kg final held in Geevagh. The Valley were hoping to turn the tides on this occasion but the Edenderry team were not to be denied as they ran out gold medals winners and remain on course to complete a clean sweep of national Div 2 titles.
Six team competed in the 560kg novice competition. The teams who qualified for the semi finals were Ballinagh, Farrenreigh, Shop & Streamstown. Once again the Shop were very impressive as they defeated Ballinagh in the first semi final. Farrenreigh from Co. Cork joined them in the final as they also enjoyed a straight end victory over Streamstown in the second semi final. The final was a close encounter with Farrenreigh battling hard but the impressive Shop coached by Anthony Pender were too strong and they went on to win the 560kg novice title. The Tipperary based outfit also remain on course to complete a clean sweep of national novice titles with only the 600kg championship remaining.
The third and concluding round of the youth league was an entertaining competition with Rathkeale starting the day 2 points behind leaders Lough Arrow at the top of the table. The Limerick based Rathkeale team were very impressive in this round as they topped the round robin to take the maximum 7 points. This left Lough Arrow needing a result against the Grove to finish second in this round and deny a tie at the end of the three rounds. The determined Sligo based outfit did just that as they pipped the Grove to second spot on the day and the valuable 6 points. This means that they just edged out Rathkeale by a single point to take the gold medal. The Grove won the bronze medal on a total of 13 points.
The final round of the ladies 405kg league was another enjoyable prospect with Ballinastoe and Kiltevna tied on 13 points each at the start of the day. Boyneside produced a fine display to top the round robin taking the maximum 7 points on the day leaving them with the bronze medal overall. This left Ballinastoe and Kiltevna to fight it out for the precious 6 points and the gold medal. The determined Kiltevna team who are based near Dunmore in Co. Galway showed their hunger as they did enough to take the 6 points and the overall gold medal, an excellent achievement in their very first season.
Ballinastoe began the day with the cushion of a 2 point advantage over rivals Boyneside in the ladies 435kg league. However, it was Boyneside who pulled the stronger in this round and they took the 7 points but Ballinastoe did enough to finish second taking the 6 points and won the overall gold medal by 1 point. This left Boyneside with the silver medal and Ballinastoe B won the bronze medal. Well done to the hosting Donoughmore club who fielded a ladies team in both weights and we hope to see all the ladies teams back in league action in 2014. Congratulations to Donoughmore for hosting a very well run championship at an excellent venue on the Farm in Grenagh.
See full results on our Results page.
See the final ladies and youth league tables on our League Tables page.
Click here to see photos from Grenagh. Thanks as always to Pat Lee for photos.