This Tournament is open to champions of all the clubs in Southern Ireland. Since this tournament began in the 1960’s Railway have only ever won it once when Brian Carpenter lifted the cup in 1972. This year Billy Stirling was our champion.
Last Sunday he fought his way through 3 rounds of competition beating the champions of ICICYMA (21 – 9), Greystones (21-14) and Bray (21 – 14) This Sunday he was drawn against the Crumlin champion in his Semi Final match. Billy was in irresistible form and won easily 21 – 9 to the surprise of most of the spectators who expected the Crumlin division one player to easily beat a Railway member . In the final he was against Paul Smith of Leinster. A multiple past winner of this tournament. Paul was a hot favorite to win especially as the surface they were playing on was artificial, the same as Leinster’s home green. Billy struggled at the start and was 5 – 12 down. This got worse as 7 – 17 changed to 7 – 20. But Billy doesn’t give up and he won the next 5 ends to bring the score back to 15 – 20. Just when the pressure seemed to be getting to Mr Smith he bowled a brilliant wood to gain the 1 point he needed to win the cup again.
Very disappointing for Billy but over the last 2 Sundays he has been superb with none of his first 4 opponents being able to compete with him. If the final was on a grass surface I am sure it would have been a lot closer. Hard luck Billy and congratulations on a great tournament. You did Railway proud. No doubt you have already had approaches from some of the big clubs looking for you to join them.