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2013 Meath Road Hurling Championships

posted 24 Feb 2013, 14:28 by Boardsmill GAA
It’s said it’s not the winning that matters, but the taking part. That was all well and good as 147 competitors took to the starting line for Sunday’s Meath Road Hurling Championships along the Ballyconnell road until the competitive edge took over.

Hurlers and non-hurlers alike from all over the county gathered at Boardsmill hall from 11.00 on Sunday morning for the 11th Road Hurling championships and as the sight of Kiltale, Kildalkey, Kilmessan, Rathmolyon, Trim, Dunboyne and Boardsmill men donning their colours became clearer through the morning mist so to did the will to win.
All the friendly banter was left at the start line. There was no outward animosity, but it was clear throughout the one and half mile course that nobody wanted to be second best, especially to a near neighbouring club.
Ultimately the main prizes stayed local. Boardsmill’s Thomas Reilly claimed the Vincent Guy Perpetual trophy and crown as Meath Road Hurling Champion with a superb score of 94, two ahead of Dunderry’s Dylan Keenan.
Boardsmill legend Christine Fagan, who plays her camogie with Trim, led the way for the women with a mesmerising score of 54 points to ensure a clean sweep for the parish in the individual honours.
The team prizes had a bit more united colours of Benetton about them as the combination of Boardsmill’s Anton Hoey, Trim’s James Andrews and Keenan won the men’s team category with a combined score of 194 points, 18 clear of their nearest rivals..
The ladies team prize was also an exciting battle, but despite her outstanding score of 54 Fagan couldn’t inspire her Trim team of herself, Sharon Hilliard and Emma McNally as the combination of Trim’s Niamh Guy, Dunboyne’s Aoife Thompson and Boardsmill’s Laura Dempsey claimed the top spot with 114 points, four points clear of O’Brien’s team.
In an additional category Mark Hatton won the u-14 section with some superb shooting that pushed Reilly close for the overall prize.
The scoring was spectacularly high considering the poor weather conditions as the competitors tackled 27 stages with two points available for landing the ball on a narrow road 30 metres away from a starting point.
Four points were on offer for reaching over 45 metres, six points available for a puck of over 60 metres and eight points if anyone landed the sliotar beyond a 75 metre mark with their first bounce on a road that was no wider than 10 foot at any point.
With over hanging trees and deep ditches the road hurling is a game of remarkable skill, but there is also a huge enjoyment factor and that is testament to the fact that  49 teams defied the horrible weather to take part.
“It is great that we have had so many teams again this year. We weren’t sure what the turnout would be like because the weather isn’t great, but to have almost 150 competitors shows there is still great interest in this event,” said Boardsmill official and chief organiser Eric Cribben.
“As well as all those taking part we also have 25 markers and scores of local kids and family members of some of the competitors who come along and help find the balls in the ditches.
“It really has become a great family occasion, but there is also a strong competitive edge to it. None of the clubs coming here want to be beaten by the other, so while it is light-hearted fun there is also some great action.
“Great credit must go to everyone in Boardsmill club for the work put into running the event and as always the halfway house at Dixon’s for some of Peter’s Punch was once again hugely popular.
“I also want to thank our sponsors Frank Pratt for their valuable assistance and hopefully the event will continue to remain as popular as it currently is,” concluded Cribben before returning to a warm fire for some well deserved Peter’s Punch.