The final Horseshoe Pitching Competition of 2014, the National Ploughing Association’s All Ireland Horseshoe Pitching Pairs Competitions took place at the National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska recently.
Run in two divisions, there was a marvellous turn out of pitchers in both divisions.
In Division One last years winners Jimmy Mackey and Gerry Hyland (Kildare) were in great form and they won their first couple of rounds without too much effort,
That was, until they reached the semi final where they came up against John Giltrap and Tom Connors (Wexford). This was easily the best game of the Competition and as good a game as might be seen anywhere, with ace for ace all the way to the finish, the Wexford pair just stealing it in the end 21:20 to reach the final.
The other semi finalists were John Crossan (Donegal) and Sean Redmond (Wexford). They had a real tussle with another Wexford pair, John Doyle and Richard Collier before winning out 21:18.
The final was close up to the half way stage when Giltrap and Connors got a grip on the game and won out 21:12 to take the NPA Perpetual Cup and winners prizes, with John Crossan and Sean Redmond taking the runner up prizes.
The Second Division was close enough, with the winners, Donegal pair Dan Harkin and Martin Doherty having to pull out all the stops to get to the final where they met local lads, Pat Leigh and Willie Murtagh, who it must be said battled hard to get to the final.
Up to the three quarter stage of the final the pairs were well in touch with each other but then the Donegal lads, Harkin and Doherty, who were more consistent got the last five aces to win 21:16 and take the Larkin Perpetual Cup and prizes with Pat Leigh and Willie Murtagh taking the runner up prizes.
The Presentation of the Cups and Prizes was made by Michael Mahon, Executive Member of NPA assisted by Denis Ryan, Chairman of HPAI.
Canon Sweeney Pairs Competition
The Canon Sweeney Cup Pairs Competitionwas held recently in Tegral Sportsfield, Athy.
There was a very good attendance for this Competition and the pitching was first class. After some very close games the winners were Pat Leigh and Denis Ryan who just pipped Paddy Byrne and Willie Murtagh in the final.