Ladies night a huge success again

Ladies night a huge success again. By Fr. Liam Kelleher

The support for Cork Ladies Football was very much in evidence
at Curraheen Park on Thursday evening when another huge
crowd turned out for the 3rd Annual Benefit night for the
Cork Ladies Football Board. With close to €10,000 in
prize money on offer, a top class programme with quality
racing from quality dogs was the order of the night. While
there were some thrilling contents with close finishes the
bookmakers had the better of the punters and went home the
happier. One lucky one young punter though, scooped the
massive trio dividend, on the 4th race worth €972 for
a €1 investment .With 5 open races on the card, it
was obvious that some of the top dogs in the country would
be on view

Feature event. The feature event on the programme the Cashman
525 with a winners purse of €1,200. Track specialist
Mustang Buster, unlucky in the Laurels final the previous
Saturday night, shaded the market and went off at 9/4 with
Laurels consolation winner Confident Choice, well supported
at 3/1, with Droopys Hughes fractionally behind at 7/2.
But when it came to the real business end of affairs, it
was the Owen McKenna trained Droops Hughes, who was in front
when it mattered, on the line. He had just a length to spare
over Confident Choice and Mustang Buster clocking 28.57.

The opening race the Bowlers Rest Stakes saw the Macroom
owned Jokaje win for Kevin Lee Mullen. In the 2nd race the
Smitclinebeecham/ Tony McGrath Stakes, there was a terrific
run for the Jerome Crowley Blarney owned Aherla Fred who
came in as reserve he made every post a winner, in scoring
in a very fast 28.72, justifying his 1/2 favourites tag.
The Paul Hennessy stakes initiated the first leg of a double
for Liam Dowling Tralee he took the 525 event with Balymac
Lark and repeated the dose in the Open AIB Castltownrbere
Sprint with Balymac Minnie. Paul Hennessy himself brought
a strong bunch from his Black and Amber Kennels, in Kilkenny
and he scored a double with Guess whose Back in the Cork/Cloyne
clergy race and with Airforce Honcho in the Total Wear/
Village Inn Open 750 event. The wining time of 750 race
of 41.53 constitutes a track best and could very well become
a new official track record in time. This distance was introduced
in August and a certain number of races have to be run at
the distance before an official track record is set. So
it is the 3rd year in a row that new figures have been set
at the Ladies football benefit and that must be some record
in itself.

The 4th race for the Murray memorial trophy provided great
drama after Brendan Mooneys Jack the Rambler appeared to
have the race at his mercy, he tied up and complete outsider
at 10/1 Gentle Customer owned by Andy Kelleher, brother
of race organiser Fr. Liam, took the race on the line by
a short head. The final race for the Macroom Motor Services
stakes was won by Roseanne Lady at the generous odds of
5/1 owned by Ned O’Donnell and Sean Feehan this one is trained
by the former at Castownconyers in Limerick. After a tremendous
nights racing many stayed on to dance away the ever popular
Joe Mac and his band. This benefit night again highlight
the progressive development of Ladies football within the

Cork Interco teams were the most successful of all teams
from Cork at Inter-co level, winning the All-Ireland under
14 title as well as the All-Ireland blitz. The Minor team
also took the All-Ireland title, while the Seniors won Div
2 of the Suzuki National League and lost out by a point
to Kerry in the Munster Senior Semi Final. Cork clubs have
won all the Munster club titles available in recent weeks
and the hope that they can go on and capture All-Ireland
titles. Footnote The great pity is that the Ladies Board
does not receive, more support from the GAA in Cork, who
missed a glorious opportunity of showing goodwill, by not
coming on board to support the Ladies Benefit night.

One must not forget the great support there is among the
GAA clubs in Cork, who always provide their pitches for
the games. One must neither forget the role women play in
the GAA itself supporting the players attending the matches
and no doubt washing the gear etc, and of course contributing
to the Co Board Draw. This support is conveniently forgotten
by the powers that be when comes to the women’s events.
With the imminent integration of the Ladies games with the
GAA in the next 2 years, it would be a great pity if Cork
were found wanting and lagging behind in their support.

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