The County Finals of the Under 16 and Senior Poc Fada took place on Saturday last June 8.
Six competitors assembled in Lisvernane and made the trek up the Galtee Mountains where the course was laid out on the foot of Galtee Mór.
Conditions were perfect for the event with no wind and beautiful sunshine for competitors and supporters to enjoy. The three Senior competitors were Gordon Peters, representing the host club Aherlow, Shane Hassett represented Drom and Inch and the eventual winner Darren Cuddihy representing Toomevara.
The Under 16 competitors were Ciaran Thorpe of Drom and Inch, Paul Carroll of Burgess and Shane Stapleton of Sean Treacys. The senior course was 3km long and from the start a keen contest ensued. The course demanded not only the ability to puck as long as possible but also the ability to plot a route and place the puck. Ravines, streams and dykes were dotted along the course and this mixed with the underfoot conditions made it a test of strength and endurance as well.
The senior competition became a two horse race between Darren and Shane after Gordon paid a couple of visits to the aforementioned ravines. Darren eventually got the better of Shane crossing the line with an impressive 29 pucks, one better then Shane. Darren had been very competitive throughout with his planning and decision making and was a worthy winner.
The Under 16 was also well contested with all three competitors in it to the last puck. Over a shortened course the players traded blow for blow with Shane Stapleton coming out on top with 25 pucks. Second went to Paul Carroll and Ciaran Thorpe came in third.
County Final medals were presented to the winners by John Smith, County Coaching Officer, while each contestant received a runners up prize. John congratulated all the contestants and thanked them for their efforts. He also expressed the hope of a better turn out of players for next year’s competition which will be held using the same format.
Finally, a special word of thanks is due to the Aherlow club for their assistance with the event and in particular, Pat and Michael Moroney, who were responsible for laying out the course. Signage was in place on roads leading to the event location, which proved very beneficial. Refreshments were also provided at the finish line for all involved. Photos of the event can be seen on the Tipperary GAA Facebook page.