Pitchers’ season is up and running

Goulyduff Tournament

Goulyduff Tournament

The first Horseshoe Pitching Competition of 2013 took place in Tegral Sportsfield Athy on Saturday 20th April.

This Doubles Competition is run by the Goulyduff Club for the J R Perry Perpetual Cup and prizes. It was started in 1980, when the club was formed. The late JR Perry sponsored the event until his passing a number of years ago, and his son Stephen has kindly continued in his father’s footsteps.

This year’s competition, as in previous years, was very well attended. The Wexford boys turned out in strength and meant business. Three of their pairs reached the semi-finals – two from the Woodsmen Club Bunclody and one from Dorans Bridge Club Ferns, with the fourth pair from host club Goulyduff.

There was fantastic pitching between the four pairs, with only a couple of aces separating them at the finish.

The finalists were the host pairing of Pat Ward and Paddy Byrne and Dorans Bridge pair Denis Fitzgerald and Richard Collier. This game see- sawed all the way to the finish, with the Goulyduff pair taking the lead then being pegged back by the Dorans Bridge pair.

The Goulyduff pair just sneaked it at the end 21-19 to take the cup.

The JR Perry Cup and prizes were presented by Leonard Hovenden on behalf of JR Perry Machinery Ltd.

Ballycoolan Tournament

The Ballycoolan Horseshoe Pitching Club Annual Doubles Competition for the Ramsbottom Perpetual Cup and Gordon Bradley Trophy was held in Tegral Sportsfield, Athy on 27th April.

There was a marvellous turnout, and again there was a large contingent from Wexford, looking to get revenge for their defeat to Goulyduff the previous week.

The pitching was of the highest standard, with similar pairings to last week reaching the semi-finals – three from Wexford, one from Kildare.

In the first semi-final, last week’s winners Paddy Byrne and Pat Ward (Goulyduff) met Paddy Connors and Phil Mahon (Woodsmen), who were in devastating form.

The Goulyduff pair just about held their own up to the three-quarter stage, at which point the Wexford lads pulled away to win 21-16. The second semi-final was also a tight affair between two Woodsmen pairs of Michael Redmond and Chris McDonald and Tom Connors and John Giltrap.

This one was ace for ace all the way, with Connors and Giltrap just getting through by the skin of their teeth 21-20. In the final, Paddy Connors and Phil Mahon continued where they left off and gave Tom Connors and John Giltrap no chance, winning 21-11 to take the Ramsbottom Cup, the runners-up taking the Gordon Bradley Perpetual Trophy.

The presentation was made by Willie Wright chairman Midland League in the absence of Paddy Laffan (who was indisposed). He was assisted by Michael Redmond, Assistant Sec HPAI.