640kgs Open Clubs City of Belfast Championship
Frank Powell Memorial Trophy
During the recent indoor championships held in the Ozone Centre in Ormeau Park, Belfast, teams competed for the 640 Championship which would eventually decide the winner of the Frank Powell memorial trophy. Teams from Scotland, England, Republic of Ireland and our home teams, competed in a very strong category during 28 gruelling matches each with two ends apiece, with those in first and second place competing for the Gold and Silver medals whilst third and fourth place would be decided between the two teams finishing the round robin in third and fourth.
Sheen Farmers had proved to be very strong all day and were closely followed by Mountain View and Clonmany B from Southern Ireland and the strong team from Tinto in Scotland. The bronze medal was decided in short time with Clonmany B beating Tinto in 1.08 and .58 minutes.
The emerging team from Mountain View with their ever eager coach Martin Egan, took to the mats against a very determined team from Sheen Farmers. Try as they might, it was to no avail as Sheen Farmers took both ends in 1.51 and 1.08 minutes to win another Gold medal. Unfortunately Clonmany and Mountain View were not staying for the presentation dinner and their medals were presented immediately after the close of the competition.
At the presentation dinner in the Ramada Hotel, the proud team from Sheen farmers came forward to accept the Frank Powell Trophy which was presented by the ever young, old man of tug of war, Leo Collins a close friend of the late Frank Powell and a member of the Benburb team Leos Boys.
Frank was known by many of us older hands over many years. He was in own right a very quiet man who had many interests. He was a keen member of his local GAA club at Tullysaran, having held positions on the committee on occasions. He was also a keen enthusiast of road bowls, famous in few counties throughout Ireland. He was a National and International Tug of War judge of long standing. He was a quiet, unassuming person with a kind nature, disposition and thoughtfulness for others.
Franks weekends were spent doing many things from doorkeeper at a local hotel, finance keeper and the usual visit to his local, Mary Anne’s. I like many others had a number of trips together to World and European Competitions which usually ended up with stories galore being told and craic amongst tug of war family members.
In 2003 when I had been in hospital, I had three visitors one night. Cathal, Hugh and Frank. Stories had been told that night and Frank was sitting in the arm chair beside the bed. A young nurse came across and asked if I wanted tea whilst at the same time passing some pleasantries with the visitors. She smiled and looked meaningfully into Franks face and politely asked, “Are you David’s father?” Frank broke into a wry smile, nearly fell off his chair before making a very quick quip which cannot be repeated here.
He was in raptures of laughter at the very thought.
Frank passed away on the 20th March 2010.
The Memorial trophy was presented by Patsy Powell to the UK commission for indoor competition. Won during the first year by Tinto (Scotland) presented by Patrick Kernan, 2nd year by Sheen farmers (England) presented by Jim Burns and this year again by Sheen Farmers (England) presented by Leo Collins.
It is good to look back and remember those who have over many years contributed to the sport of Tug of War. Frank was one of those who gave quietly and efficiently.