The All Ireland Horseshoe Pitching Singles and Ringers Competitions were held in Tegral Sportsfield. Athy on Saturday, July 23.
There was a marvellous turn out of pitchers from around the country taking part on a beautiful summers day. The pitching was of the highest standard throughout the day in both Competitions.
In Division One there were some great tussles with a number of games finishing up 21-20. Noel Redmond of Dorans Bridge, Wexford was in sparkling form throughout and pitching brilliant shoes he overcame pitcher after pitcher to make his way to the final, apart from the semi final when he had to pull out all the stops to beat fellow clubman Richard Collier 21-19. On the other side of the draw last years singles winner Denis Ryan (Gouleyduff) was struggling a bit and just got through some of the games by one ace. In his semi-final he had a great game against John Joe Byrne (Woodsmen) with ace for ace all the way level at 19-19, Ryan got a break and took the game 21-19.
The final betwen Noel Redmond and Denis Ryan was a real humdinger with ace for ace throughout, Ryan taking the lead and Redmond pegging him back. The game was level at 20 all when Redmond left his shoes a bit short giving Ryan enough room to finish the game and claim the title for the second year in a row.
In Division 2 of the Ringers, for the first time ever we had a winner from another country – Inge Byrkjeland from Norway who won on 16 Ringers. Inge spent a month in Ireland and during that time he visited most of the Clubs in the Midlands and Wexford. He is also a frequent visitor to the USA and has played in the World Championship over there. We in the Association were delighted to have him as a guest at our training sessions and also taking part in some of our Competitions. The runner up in Division Two was Dan Harkin from Innishowen Donegal on 14 Ringers.