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Westmeath Topic - 12 April 2018

44 SPORT TOPIC •

44 SPORT TOPIC • 12 April, 2018 Wheelers in Belgium, Scotland, Ballymena and Gorey LAKESIDE WHEELERS NOTES TOUR OF FLANDERS The months of March and April are renowned in cycling for some of the best races of the entire year. These are affectionately known as the Spring Classics or Monuments and are predominantly staged in Belgium. Chief amongst this series of races is the Tour of Flanders which is famous for, in no particular order of importance, cobbles, climbs and beer. The Ronde van Vlaanderen as it is called in Belgian is a beast of a race which starts in Antwerp and 275kms later finishes in Oudenarde. During this torturous distance it traverses some of the most feared sections of cobbles in bike racing and sees the peloton struggle with some of the steepest gradients in Europe. For the amateur riders there is a sportive version of the Ronde held on the Saturday preceding the professional race and this year Lakeside Wheelers was represented by five members, who all completed the 175km event. Jack Nugent, Robbie Kenny, Shay O’Toole, Charlie Sheridan and Graham Morgan had an early 7am start but thankfully the weather was dry as they and 16,000 other riders set off to ride some of the most Lakeside Wheelers’ Aaron Wade (centre) in his Cycling Leinster kit competing at the Tour of the North. John Boyne of Lakeside Wheelers leads the charge at the Gorey 3-Day event. famous roads in cycling. Over the weekend the lads were guests of De Trudy’s Cycling Club which is based in Gerrardsbergen, the town famous for the climb known as The Muur, or wall. This was only one of 19 climbs which they had to negotiate on the route but by all accounts it was a great day out for the lads. Thanks to our friends at De Trudy’s for some outstanding hospitality and hopefully we will see you again in 2019. Tour of the North On Friday and Saturday of last weekend, Aaron Wade was in Ballymena, Co. Antrim to participate in the Tour of North as a member of the Cycling Ireland Junior Cycling team. Aaron did extremely well to finish 32nd overall after the four stage race, an excellent performance considering he is still a first year junior and especially considering the competition contained some of the best A1 riders in the country. He held a higher position over the first three stages but unfortunately Aaron dropped a few positions on Stage 4 as one of his team mates had joined the race leaders group. This resulted in tactics coming into play and as a team member, Aaron could not pursue his teammate. Well done to Aaron and continued success to him in the coming months. GOREY 3-DAY Conor T Farrell and John Boyne headed south over the Easter weekend to take part in the Gorey 3-Day race. Like the Tour of the North, this was a three-day event with a road race on day one, a TT and road race on day two and another road race on day three. Both John and Conor acquitted themselves very well in Gorey. John had an excellent tour and achieved placings of 15th, 15th and 11th in each of the road races with an overall placing of 32nd. Conor on the other hand was unfortunate to come down in a crash on Stage 1 resulting in him losing nine minutes on this stage. However, he managed to continue in the race and limit his time loss to 3’ 11” over the next 3 stages. Conor climbed from 60th position overall on stage 1 to finish 51st after stage 4. Congratulations and well done to both lads who will surely show well again in races before the season is over. YOUTHS RACING Last Saturday, the Youths team were in action at the Corkagh Park series of races. In all Lakeside Wheelers had ten riders representing the club. Best finishers were Tommy Hogan who finished 1st unplaced U/15 and Aoife O’Brien who finished 1st girl U/14. Special mention to Nabil and Aquil Hamdan and Ethan Bosillet who were competing in Lakeside Wheelers colours for the very first time. TOUR OF SCOTLAND As reported in recent weeks, Caoimhe O’Brien has been selected to represent Ireland at the junior Tour of Scotland. Caoimhe departed for the Tour last Friday and there will be a detailed report from the girl of the moment in next week’s notes. SUMMERTIME CYCLING Although the weather of late has not been very friendly to cyclists, it is time to think of summer and our annual evening cycling schedule. As from next Wednesday, April 11th there will be an evening spin from the clubhouse at 6.30pm. For the first couple of weeks daylight hours will determine the duration of the spin but from then on it should be possible to get a good two hour ride in. This spin is designed to be a leisurely paced run to help members get a few more miles in to train for upcoming sportives or races and club kit is expected as on Sundays. CLUB EVENTS 2018 With the summer fast approaching, it is time to turn attention to the three big events which the club runs each year. For the diary, the Lakeside Wheelers Criterium will be staged on Friday, June 15th and it is expected to be announced in the coming weeks that this race will be the National Criterium Championships. This is a great honour for the club and follows on from our hosting of this prestigious race on two occasions in recent years. The Crit race commences a busy weekend for the club as it is Annual Bike Week so, as usual we will hold our Tour of the Lakes sportive on Sunday, June 17th. This will follow the same route as in 2017 and once again it is expected to draw a big number of cyclists to Mulllingar. Our final event is the Mullingar GP, which will be staged on Sunday, 15 July on the Multyfarnham, Crookedwood, Castlepollard, Multyfarnham circuit. Cycling Ireland have once again nominated this race as a round of the National Series, which is another great honour for the club and its ability to organise top class racing events. Members are asked to take note of these dates as volunteers will be needed to ensure the all three Lakeside Wheelers promotions run smoothly. INVACARE PARACYCLING TT The club will host a round of the Invacare Paracycling TT on Saturday, April 14th so if any members are available to assist with this, it would be appreciated. This competition is based out of the carpark of The Well music venue outside Moate and usually runs off very quickly. If you are available, can you please contact Henry Whitson on chairman@lakeside wheelers.ie or any member of the committee on pro@ lakesidewheelers.ie. Shay O'Toole, Graham Morgan, Robbie Kenny, Jack Nugent and Charlie Sheridan of Lakeside Wheelers pictured on the Muur de Gerrardsbergen in Flanders. NEW FOREST GOLF NOTES Martin Halferty wins ‘Race to Augusta ‘ The final of the Race to Augusta was won by Martin Halferty with a score of 45.5 points. John Paul Duffy came in second, one point behind on 44.5 and Tony Sheerin came 3rd on 39 points. David Masterson was the leading qualifier with 3 great scores of 42, totaling 126 points for the series. Next week is the beginning of the season competitions. John McCormack and Mary Fallon are having their Vice-Captains Prize over the weekend 9-Hole Qualifying Competitions New Forest Golf Club will be running a 9-hole semi-open stableford competition on our front nine off white tees every Wednesday from the 11th of April. The committee would like to encourage all members to take part. Open Week New Forest Golf Club's Open Week begins next Monday with an Open Ladies Day. The Seniors Open Day is on Wednesday and there are singles and team events on various days until the 22nd of April. Book a tee time online on golfnet or our website. New Forest Club Matchplay Our Club Match Play Competitions are all sponsored by Mullingar Electrical Wholesale Ltd. The draw has been made and can be seen on our notice board. The first round of the singles, foursomes and four ball are to be played before the 11th of May. Best of luck to all involved. Ladies Golf at New Forest New Forest Golf Club will be starting a ‘Get into Golf Programme’ for women. The programme starts next week and will be completed over an eight week period where there will be a mixture of coaching, play on the course and social events with the lady members here at the club. After a very successful information night last night we are hoping to have over 20 ladies participating. If you would like to join please contact the golf club. Junior Coaching Junior Coaching will begin on Monday, 23rd of April, and will continue on every Monday evening throughout the summer. All junior members are welcome. Open Scotch Foursomes Over the recent Easter bank holiday we held our annual open scotch foursomes. Once again this year we had the kind sponsorship from Lil, Olga and Nicola Gorman in memory of Bobby Gorman. Great crowds turned out on Friday and Saturday. We took a break on Sunday and resumed on Easter Monday to another decent crowd. Great credit is due to all who worked diligently on our course to have it in pristine condition. To our lady captain, Anne Feery and all who worked in the kitchen and to all who manned the scoreboard, a big thank you. The scoring was of a very high order and our club players had good success. Full results: Gents 36 Nett - Jimmy Revins and Michael Carton, (Kilbeggan). 36 gross - Larry Maher jnr and Larry Maher snr, (Erry). 36 KILBEGGAN PITCH & PUTT NOTES nett runner up - Jimmy Taylor and Martin Flanagan (Erry). 36 gross runner up - Aonghus Gents 36 nett winners Jimmy Revins and Michael Carton in a relaxed mood at Kilbeggan Pitch and Putt Club. Coughlan and William Kennedy (Erry). Mixed 36 Nett - Dean and Adeline Revins (Kilbeggan). 36 gross - Angela Owens and Peter O’ Toole (Trim). 36 nett runner up - Kevin and Maureen Clarke (Kilbeggan). 36 gross runner up - John and Kathleen Carton (Kilbeggan). Well done to all the winners and many thanks again to the Gorman family. Scratch Cup Our annual scratch cups competition will be held on Sunday, 22 April. The starting time is 8am with last card at 2pm. As is customary, Dina Carton and family will once again sponsor the scratch cups. There will as last year a final round in gents senior inter and junior grades. Help in the kitchen and board would be most welcome. Weekly Competitions On Wednesday of this week, 11 April, we will kick off our weekly competitions. All are welcome. Play starts at 6.30pm.

TOPIC • 12 April, 2018 PADDY Westmeath’s GAA memory man FLANAGAN NEWS 45 All-Ireland football title provided real boost There have been special days in the history of Westmeath GAA over the decades, but the recent All-Ireland victory by the junior footballers (under 16 and a half-year-olds) of Coláiste Mhuire, Mullingar, ranks highly when put into perspective. Their great victory over St Brendan’s College, Killarney at Bansha, Tipperary on 31 March provides real hope for the future and the fact that all players involved are from prominent Westmeath clubs gives us great hope going forward. Paddy Flanagan feels the potential is certainly there and now needs to be managed properly if these young stars are to emerge. “There are green shoots all over the place at colleges level and that’s great to see. Not only have Coláiste Mhuire won an All-Ireland football title, which is a fantastic achievement, but we have seen progress by the St Joseph’s, Rochfortbridge junior football side (who are in the Leinster ‘B’ final) and Athlone had their share of players involved with Marist at senior level,” he commented. It was Coláiste Mhuire’s finest ever achievement and their biggest result since the 1983 Leinster senior colleges title. Paddy Flanagan feels the secondary school has been a tremendous supporter of Gaelic games in the Lake County down through the years, with oodles of future county players coming through the college ranks. Producing successful teams gives players great WHEN ‘POLLARD WERE SH CHAMPIONS... This photo recalls the Castlepollard side that won the Westmeath Senior Hurling title in 1965, defeating Castletown Geoghegan. Back row, from left: Paddy McCabe, Pat Devine, Aidan Gilvarry, Mick kennedy, Johnny Keary, Eddie Thornton, Mick Murphy, Liam Davitt. Front row, from left: Frank Devine, Olly Walshe, Moss Finglas, Mickey Fagan, Paddy Fagan, Michael Kennedy and Brendan Burke. The Boher side which won the 1953 Junior Football Championship, their one and only success. Back row, from left: Eugene Lynam, Bill Fitzgibbons, Jack Duffy, Joe Montgomery, Seamus McLoughlin, Michael McCormack, Bryan Rabbitte, Mick Noonan, Paddy Keegan, Bill Kelly. Front row, from left: Peter Stokes, Paddy Conlon, Tom McCormack, Sean Stokes, Larry Conlon, Paddy Meehan, JJ Sheerin and Martin Craig. confidence and ensures there is a winning mentality in the county going forward, all of which will help Westmeath to make progress. There are exciting times ahead, it seems, at under 17 level in the county. Paddy is also full of praise for the camogie and ladies football in Westmeath, both of which have enjoyed some excellent results this year. Dublin way ahead in Leinster race Dublin are in line to win the Leinster senior football championship again, according to Paddy Flanagan, after the boys in blue swept to another National Football League Division 1 title at Croke Park on 1 April, defeating Galway. “Unless only half of the Dublin team turns up for some reason, they won’t be beaten in Leinster and in fact I doubt they’ll be beaten anywhere this season,” remarked Flanagan when reflecting on the Coláiste Mhuire captured a first All-Ireland title last Saturday week, but this photo recalls the St Mary’s CBS side that reached the senior colleges final in 1989/’90. Back row, from left: Mark Garry, Peter McCormack, Damien McCormack, James Reidy, Gerry Geraghty, Keith Gallagher, Kieran Ryan, Owen Traynor, Seamus Hynes. Front row, from left: Ken Lyons, Martin Scally, Eddie Casey (Capt.), Robbie Kenny, Joe Kelly and Derek Rowan. recent league success. While Galway played well in the final and have every reason to be positive ahead of their clash with Mayo in Connacht (already a sellout) Dublin are still the number one team in Ireland after their 0-18 to 0-14 victory. Flanagan feels Dublin’s fitness levels have continued to improve and their game is even more refined. He expects that they will raise the bar even further for the upcoming championship. Their use of the ball was so good at crucial times in the final and they always had a purpose going forward, using every inch of Croke Park at times. “Dublin at present have this great way about them - you name it and we’ll play it. They don’t mind what comes before them, they will adapt and handle it. Teams who think they can horse them out of it have another thing coming,” he said. Flanagan also suggested that the players are the big reason why Dublin have progressed. “Money or population won’t win matches, that’s down to the players,” he opined. Elsewhere, there was a positive result for Laois, who took the Division 4 title, defeating Carlow. Westmeath will most likely face Laois in the Leinster championship at the end of May and Flanagan suggests it’s a game that will provide a difficult test. Westmeath will be favourites to win, but it will take a good performance. Meanwhile, Roscommon had a good win in the Division 2 final and Flanagan was impressed with how well they have responded this season. However, the number of goals in that match (eight in all) will be a concern for both Roscommon and Cavan management teams. The Division 3 title went to Armagh, who defeated Fermanagh and when Westmeath reflect, they will take positives from some of their displays. “Yes it was disappointing to lose in Longford, but Westmeath did beat Fermanagh and were very close in that Longford game. Longford only just lost by a point to Fermanagh, who went on to give Armagh a good test. Overall, there wasn’t much between the teams,” opined Flanagan. FLASHBACK... When Boher were Westmeath Junior champions Boher beat Emper in the 1953 junior football semifinal, but an Emper objection was launched, alleging that Boher had included three Kilbeggan players on their side: Martin Craig, Tommy McCormack and William Fitzgibbon. The objection was ruled out on a technicality by the County Board Chairman, the late Charlie Fagan, Castlepollard, and Boher went on to face Ballycomoyle in the final. The semi-final against Emper was played in Tyrrell’s field, where the present day Loughnavalley GAA grounds are. The final took place on 18 October and Boher went on to win their only Junior title in a one-sided game, 3- 3 to 0-2. We are told their best players on the day were the Stokes brothers, Peter and Sean, Paddy Conlon, Bryan Rabbitte, Martin Craig and Paddy Meehan, whose display was “a revelation”. Bryan Rabbitte went on to play for Westmeath in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. The referee for the game was renowned Westmeath senior football defender Peter Woods of Athlone, who was a member of the 1949 Westmeath side that reached the Leinster final. DATES FOR YOUR DIARY... LEINSTER SFC 2018 Westmeath v Laois / Wexford - 26/27 May (venue t.b.c.) Joe McDonagh Cup Hurling Westmeath v Laois - 5 May (O’Moore Park, Portlaoise) Westmeath v Meath - 12 May (TEG Cusack Park) Westmeath v Kerry - 20 May (Kerry) Westmeath v Antrim - 3 June (TEG Cusack Park) Westmeath v Carlow - 9 June (Carlow) (Final: 1 July at Croke Park) U20 FOOTBALL R1: Westmeath v Wexford - 28 May R2: Dublin v Westmeath - 4 June R3: Longford v Westmeath - 16 June U21 HURLING Westmeath v winners of Ulster/Carlow/Laois/Dublin LEINSTER MINOR FOOT- BALL (U17) Westmeath v Meath - 7 May (TEG Cusack Park) Westmeath v Offaly - 23 May (Tullamore) Westmeath v Wicklow - 30 May (Wicklow) Westmeath v Louth - 27 June (TEG Cusack Park) Westmeath v Dublin - 3 July (TEG Cusack Park) LEINSTER MINOR HURL- ING (U17) Westmeath v Carlow - 12 May (TEG Cusack Park) Westmeath v Down - 19 May (TEG Cusack Park)

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