Last year a competition held in Kilkeel was described as being in the shadows of the Mourne Mountains. Today it was the turn of the Bancran club to host a competition in the shadow of the Sperrins. Two great venues with fantastic views.
Teams arrived for the twelve o’clock weigh in at the facilities on the Cahore Road, just above Draperstown. Weights being challenged were 620, 660 and Catchweight.
Gortletteragh had taken the long journey from Galway to be with the Bancran team, who are eternally grateful for their efforts. With all the weighing and stamping done it was out to the ropes. The sun was shining with a light breeze coming across the mountains as the teams from Deryogue, Gortletteragh and the A and B teams from Bancran took on each other in the lightest weight.
After the first round robin and semi finals, which were all strongly contested with several draws, it was the Mourne men from Derryogue and the men from the Sperrins, Bancran that were set to contest the final. No corner was given or expected as the two evenly matched teams took each other on. After the final whistle was blown, the hosts had taken the gold medals by two pulls to one, in a very strong final. This augers well for the up and coming season and especially for the Championships.
On to the 660 event the other local team from Garvagh took to the field along side Gortletteragh, Derryogue and the hosts Bancran. Once again in the round robin nothing was given away and all of the teams performed extremely well. With the round robin finished it was again to the semi finals between Gortletteragh and Derryogue whilst Garvagh would take on Bancran.
Gortletteragh and Bancran finished up in the final and after a short rest, both took to the rope again. On this occasion the Galway men took the gold medal beating Bancran by two straight pulls to nil.
The finale of the day was a Catchweight competition with the same teams once again on the rope. Derryogue finished in top spot having been unbeaten with Gortletteragh in second and the teams from Garvagh and Bancran finishing on equal 3rd place.
Presentations were made at the conclusion of the competition by two stalwarts from Bancran who have travelled many miles and seen a great deal of Tug of War, namely Gerry Donnelly and Hugh Heron.
Everyone was reminded of the next competition at Armagh show on the 9th June 2012.