Cummins eyes fifth Poc Fada crown

Long-time Tipperary goalkeeper Brendan Cummins will aim for his fifth M Donnelly All-Ireland Poc Fada title and fourth in succession when he takes to the Annaverna Mountain in Dundalk this Saturday.

Long-time Tipperary goalkeeper Brendan Cummins will aim for his fifth M Donnelly All-Ireland Poc Fada title and fourth in succession when he takes to the Annaverna Mountain in Dundalk this Saturday.

This weekend's event will be the 48th staging of the much-loved Poc Fada competition and with Cummins holding the record for the least amount of pocs taken on the course, he should be the man to beat once again.

However, Cummins will be under strong pressure from some of the top names in hurling, including last year's runner-up, Ruairi Convery of Derry.

Amongst the players also taking part are Munster winner Brendan McNamara of Clare, Connacht champion Kerrill Wade of Galway and Leinster winner Shane O'Connor of Offaly.

Former winner Albert Shanahan of Limerick, Roscommon hurler Gerry Fallon, Fintan O'Brien of Dublin and Down's Carl Keating are some of the other entrants.

Meanwhile, there will also a camogie competition, which commences at 12.30pm, with Wexford star Mags D'Arcy taking part alongside last year's runner-up Patricia Jackman of Waterford, Galway's Caitriona Daly and Laura McGuinness of Armagh.

Armagh's Nathan Green, Ronan Geoghegan of Louth, Roscommon's Noel Fallon and Liam O'Dea from Limerick will take part in the U-16 boys event.

GAA President Christy Cooney and Poc Fada Secretary Pat Hamilton are looking forward to the prestigious competiton.

"I was there last year and it was absolutely tremendous. The weather wasn't great but the were huge smiles on the competitors' faces," Cooney said.

"They all want to compete. They all enjoy it as a novel occasion on that weekend.

"And in fairness to Donie Nealon, the organising committee and the people of Louth and to sponsor Martin Donnelly especially, they put their shoulder to the wheel and we will continue to promote it and support it as long as competitors want to compete in it."

Hamilton added: "Brendan Cummins is going for his fourth title in-a-row and his fifth title overall. The record is held by Ger Cunningham of Cork who has six in-a-row.

"Brendan is a very, very positive supporter of the Poc Fada over the years and never lets us down.

"He makes every effort to be there on the day, and he'll be all out to defend his title."

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