Men plough home with medals from championship

IRISH ploughmen won overall silver and bronze medals in their respective events at the world ploughing championships in Toplice, Slovenia, at the weekend.

John Tracey, Bagenalstown, Co Carlow, and Liam O’Driscoll, Bandon, Co Cork, were hailed last night by the National Ploughing Association as being among the best ploughmen in the world.

A mere three marks separated Tracey, a veteran competitor, from the conventional competition’s overall winner, Werner Eder, Austria.

Ploughmen from 28 countries took part.

It was another superb achievement by the Carlow man who was presented with the silver medal and rose bowl.

He also won a gold medal for finishing first in the grassland ploughing section and a bronze medal for his third place in the stubble competition.

But he must be wondering what he has to do to win the overall world conventional title as it was his sixth time being runner-up.

The first was in 1973.

Liam O’Driscoll, his teammate from west Cork, won an overall bronze medal for finishing third in the reversible category.

He finished behind the winner, Roel Cuyver from Belgium, and the second placed, Andrew Mitchell, Senior, from Scotland.

The 27-year-old Bandon man also won a silver medal by finishing second in the grassland section of the reversible competition.

He was placed fifth in the stubble category.

There were competitors from 31 countries in his reversible category.

National Ploughing Association (NPA) Anna May McHugh congratulated the two-man Irish team on winning the silver rose bowl plus a gold, two silver and two bronze medals.

“We are all absolutely delighted with their achievements against world-class competitors. It is a wonderful honour for John and Liam and for the NPA,” she said.

The medal winning ploughmen are due to return home tonight in time for the formal onsite launch of this year’s national ploughing championships.

The championships will be held Cardenton, Athy, Co Kildare, on September 22, 23, and 24.

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