Two Mayo men were celebrating All-Ireland success in Thurles last week when Dave Hughes and Peter Gibbons won the inaugural Michael Cusack Cup in Road Bowling.
The two Aughagower men were representing Mayo at the Thurles Sarsfield International Hurling Festival when they beat the best road bowlers in the country to take home the prestigious prize. The Michael Cusack Cup was named after the founding member of the GAA who was a big supporter of the game.
Teams representing the four provinces were taking part in the competition and the duo won the hard way by beating the best teams from the road bowling stronghold of Cork and Armagh.
In the final they comfortably beat the Ulster representatives, Seamus Conlon and John Grimley from Armagh by a bowl. Speaking to The Mayo News David Hughes said they were delighted to bring the trophy to Mayo having been the rank outsiders to win the tournament.
“It is a great honour for us that the first two names on the cup will be from Aughagower,” he said. “We were the complete underdogs going into the competition and to win the final was totally unexpected. We were up against the best in Cork which has 100 bowling clubs and Armagh which has 30 clubs. In road bowling circles it was a surprise but myself an Peter were the strongest on the day and we were delighted.”
To put the victory in perspective, Aughagower is not only the only road bowling club in Mayo but is also the only club in Connacht. The tiny west Mayo village on the outskirts of Westport has been a stronghold of the sport and has hosted All Ireland tournaments in the recent past.
This year marks 100 years of road bowling in Aughagower and the centenary celebrations are due to take place in October. The victory in Thurles according to Dave is a huge boost for the club’s celebrations and hopes it will lead to more people taking up the sport.
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