Despite a gallant effort on home turf, Taughmaconnell Tug of War club lost out at the final hurdle in a keenly contested All-Ireland 680kg Novice competition on Sunday last.
The event, attracting almost 20 tug of war teams from all over the country, and a large crowd of spectators to the Skyvalley FC grounds in the village, is thought to the first time an All-Ireland tug of war contest was ever held in county Roscommon.
In all, twelve teams fought it out in the 680kg category, with most local interest focused on the Brideswell group, Taughmaconnell and Stapleton's from Clontuskert in nearby Ballinasloe.
In the 680 kg class, the eight member team had to equal or come under the designated weight to compete. They were then divided into two groups of six who each pulled against the other teams on a round-robin basis to decide who made it to the semi-finals.
After several testing encounters, Boynesiders from Carbury in Kildare and home favourites, Taughmaconnell emerged from one side of the draw, with a team entitled The Shop from Tipperary and Streamstown from Westmeath coming out of the other half of the draw.
Afterwards, the Boynesiders group triumphed in the first semi-final contest pipping Streamstown to make it the final encounter with Taughmaconnell giving the local crowd plenty to cheer for as they also made it to the All Ireland Final, beating The Shop team from Tipperary.
However, despite giving their all in the final pull for the coveted All-Ireland title, the eight-member team from Taughmaconnell club, which is only in existence for the last four years, were pipped at the post by their Kildare rivals for the top medal position. In the third-place contest Steamstown emerged victorious.
Great praise must go to Danny Bruce, Keith Costello, John Costello, Joseph Keyes, Ollie Moore, Donal Moore, Peter Galvin, Sean McDonnell, sub Gerry Carthy and coach Joe Burke for their fantastic effort on the day and most present agreed that major honours are not faraway for the South Roscommon team.
There was a great spectator turnout who also enjoyed a number of other competitions, including a two ladies classes, an under-23 contest and youth competition.
The Taughmaconnell Tug of War club have extended their thanks to all the clubs who travelled from as faraway as Cavan, Tipperary and Wicklow for the competitions, along with the local clubs and all those who supported the event in any way.
New members are always welcome for what is a growing sport in the South Roscommon area. Next on the agenda for the club is a 640kg competition in New Ross, Co Wexford.
For regular updates on Taughmaconnell Tug of War activities check the club's Facebook page.