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Bann Rowing Club’s Championship success continues

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

Bann Rowing Club’s Championship success continues.

The September 2010 Irish Rowing National Championships saw Bann Rowing Club add a further three excellent medals to their July tally. This time the Bann ladies were leading the charge and seeking to win the club’s first Ladies medals since way back in 1984.

The Bann WJ 18 quad. led the Bann charge and this big, powerful crew raced a superb semi-final to finish second between Skibberean and Cork. The other semi-final was won by the much fancied, internationally coached Methody crew. An exciting final awaited, and the Bann crew of Lauren Taggert, Emily Hutchinson and her twin sister Rebecca, and Lori Shirlow knew they now had an excellent chance to medal. In a most exciting final, the Skib. and Cork girls opened a gap and left Methody and Bann scrapping for the bronze medal. The boats raced neck and neck for the finishing line and to the delight of Coach Geoff. Bones, and the numerous families and supporters who had travelled all the way down from Coleraine, Bann piped their great rivals and won a superb bronze.

Meantime a huge Bann talent in the form of Sarah Allen was making spectacular progress in the WJ16 single sculls. Sarah won her quarter final, beating Waterford into second place, and then had a tremendous win in her semi-final, beating the race favourite Litvack rowing for College RC. This set Sarah up for the race of her life in the final where Litvack won the event and Sarah finished an incredible forth.In this same WJ16 sculls final Emily Hutchinson showed great character after numerous heats in finishing a highly credible sixth in Ireland. Sarah can feel very proud being already the fourth best single sculler in her category, in Ireland and her result really augurs well for Bann in future years.

Some of the most exciting ladies racing was coming next. Bann’s two most senior girls, Lori and Lauren, had the opportunity, in their last races together for Bann at WJ18 level, to win another medal in the WJ18 double scull. They would really have to row brilliantly because in their semi final they had drawn the two favourites in Commercial and Skibbereen. Well, the Bann girls qualified in third after another neck and neck race, whilst in the other semi-final their great rivals Methody had an easy win. This set up a fabulous final, with Skib. winning from Commercial, and the Bann girls again defeating Methody  to win another bronze for Bann.

Bann’s head Coach Seamus Reynolds had selected two sixteen year olds to compete in the MJ18 double against all the hardest eighteen year olds in Irish rowing. In fact, nearly every Irish International sweep rower seemed to have entered this category, but in Joel Cassells and Chris Black Bann had entered two truly exceptional athletes. Still aged sixteen Joel was competing for his fifth Irish Championship medal, and Chris was only one behind. This is real record breaking territory and Joel and Chris had recently won both J18 gold and silver medals in the July championships.  The Bann pair won their semi-final against bitter rivals Lee RC and St. Josephs, and in a very fast final won their bronze medals, behind Pres. and Skib. to complete their set of gold silver and bronze from the 2010 Irish Rowing Championships.

Coach Geoff. Bones said that all his senior squad had raced very well and they should all be very proud of their medals. He also mentioned how pleased he was with the competitiveness of Sarah Allen, and that he was looking forward to more medals, and of different colours, from Bann next year. He again thanked all the parents, supporters and coaches who had made the long journey down to Cork.

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