The Gouleyduff Pairs Competition for the JR Perry Perpetual Cup and prizes took place in Tegral Sportsfield on Saturday 3rd May. This was the first Horseshoe Pitching Competition of the season within the Midland League area.
There was a marvellous turnout of pitchers for this event with a very strong contingent from Wexford taking part. The pitching was first class and it was easy to see that the Pitchers were putting in the practice. It was nice to welcome back Willie Murtha after a two year absence from the pitching scene.
There was nothing to be got easy with at least four of the games going down to the wire. One of those was the game between Pat Leigh and his partner PJ Delaney of the host club and two Wexford lads John Joe Byrne and Denis Larkin, the Wexford lads just pipping the Gouleyduff pair 21-20 to reach the semi-final.
Another Gouleyduff pair Jimmy Mackey and Pat Ward were edged out 21-19 by Wexford pair Paddy Connors and Phil Mahon in the semi-final. In the second semi-final Paddy Byrne and Denis Ryan Gouleyduff were finding the going tough enough against John Joe Byrne and Denis Larkin and after a struggle they overcame the Wexford pair 21-18.
The final btween Paddy Byrne and partner Denis Ryan and Paddy Connors and partner Phil Mahon was a real ding-dong affair with both pairs pitching great shoes and this one again went down to the wire but with Byrne and Ryan on home ground they just sneaked it 21-9 to take the JR Perry Cup. The Cup and prizes were presented by Jimmy Kelly representing JR Perry Machinery Ltd.
There was a touch of sadness on the evening because of the untimely passing the previous week of one of the great characters of the game namely Johnny Connors from Woodsmen Club Bunclody.
He was a good pitcher and travelled far and wide to games including places like the Isle of Man, Leeds (where he captained the National Team in an International event in 2011), Luton Donegal, Galway and many other places as well as his native Wexford. He was a hurler of great skill and represented his county on many occasions.
Besides his sporting achievements Johnny was a great entertainer and the accordion was never far from his side on the social side of any game to the delight of the audiences. Johnny Connors was a real gentleman always ready for a chat and all who met him enjoyed his company. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him. To his wife and family we extend our deepest sympathy. Lord rest his gentle soul.
Inter Schools Competition
The Inter Schools Competition Final between the holders Scoil Lorcain Castledermot and Ard Scoil na Trionoide Athy will be held on Thursday 15th May starting time 11.00 am in Scoil Lorcain Castledermot.
Midland Horseshoe League
Midland Horseshoe League takes place on Wednesday 14th May starting 7 o’clock in Tegral Sportsfield Athy