09 Aug 2022

Two gold medals for Offaly rowers at All-Ireland junior championships

Two gold medals for Offaly rowers at All-Ireland junior championships

Aidan Molloy recieving his medal from Olympic Gold medallist Fintan McCarthy. Picture: Shane McLachlan.

On Saturday 9th July Offaly Rowing Club sent eleven of its Junior athletes to compete at the All Ireland Junior Championships at the National Rowing Centre in Cork. 

The conditions were excellent, and the athletes gave it  their all, bringing home two championship gold medals.

The first Offayman to take to the water was sculler Shane McLachlan in the MJ15 1x, who came a credible 5th against very strong opposition. Next up was Finn Bagnall-Condron in the MJ15 1x, who was narrowly beaten into 3rd place. Finn was followed by sculler Ben Ward, also in the MJ15 1x, who was pipped at the post in a tightly contested final. However, Aidan Molloy stormed home in his Mj15 1x final to claim Offaly's first Championship win since 2019. Aidan was delighted to receive his medal from Ireland Olympic Gold medalist Fintan McCarthy.

It was then the turn of Offalys women, with the WJ14 4x+ of Anna Walsh (cox), Nicole Duke, Bláithín Clarke, Annie Pidgeon, and Ealga McAuliffe. The crew rowed valiantly, but were beaten in the last 200m by Sligo. A similar fate befell the MJ15 4x+ of Anna Walsh (cox), Aidan Molloy, Shane McLachlan,  Finn Bagnall-Condron and Ben Ward  who lost out to a very strong Enniskillen crew.

This was followed by the women's single scull event. Sadhbh Keohane, rowing at her first ever Championship took gold for Offaly in the WJ15 1x. final. 

Annie Pidgeon came 5th in her WJ15 1x against very tough opposition. Nicole Duke rowed very well against a particularly strong field. Katelyn Taylor pipped her clubmate Bláithín Clarke into 5th place in their WJ15 1x. In the final event of the day, Ealga McAuliffe was beaten by a narrow margin by Fermoy.

The next outing  is a return trip to the National Rowing Centre next weekend for  Rowing Ireland's Senior All Ireland Championship.

We have entered the WJ16 4x+ with a strong crew of Anna Walsh (cox), Roísín Byrne, Emily Byrne, Aisling Walsh and Isobel McAuliffe. These four athletes will also be competing in the WJ16 1x. Isobel and Roisin will be competing against Aisling and Emily in the WJ18 2x. We wish them all the best, and hope they can live up to the success of their junior clubmates this weekend.

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