By Michael McMullan
CONOR Woods and Emma Mulvaney were the senior winners at Tuesday night’s Ulster Poc Fada finals in Glenarm.
Down man Woods – in his first ever season – edged out runner-up Liam Watson by 42 yards after the duo each took 16 shots to complete the course.
Geralt Ó Mianáin of Na Magha was in third place, just ahead of Letterkenny Gaels’ Peter O’Donnell by 22 yards, both needing 17 shots to get around.
Woods and Watson will now take part in the All-Ireland finals in the Cooley mountains on Monday, August 7.
Still life in those wrists still ….@OfficialDownGAA and @bailecrann Conor Woods showing the same style and grace on the mountains of Glenarm as he does on the hurling pitch on his way to winning the Ulster poc fada this evening 👏👏👏🔴⚫🟡⚫ pic.twitter.com/PfrSIAsLz5
— Ronan Sheehan (@newryhurler1) June 20, 2023
The senior ladies’ competition was even closer with Castletara’s Mulvaney just four yards ahead of second placed Danielle McCourt, of Ballyholland, who also took 22 shots with Ballerin’s Orla Mullan in third place.
Sean Óg McLaren (St Paul’s Belfast) was the u-16s boys’ winner, with Ballinascreen’s Paul McNicholl and Oran McAnareney of Ballela locked in third with 19 shots and 61 yards.
There was a Ballinascreen winner in the u-16 girls’ category with reigning Tiarná Kelly (21 shots and seven yards) awinning out ahead of Eimear Ward (Camlough) and Scarlett Lennon of Armagh.
All winners, as well as senior men runner up Liam Watson, will compete against the other three provinces for the All-Ireland titles in August.
Donal McKernan (Antrim) with the u-16 title in 2014 and Graham Clarke’s (Down) senior title four years earlier are the only Ulster winners at All-Ireland level.
Former Tipperary goalkeeper Brendan Cummins holds nine titles across 12 seasons with former Cork ‘keeper Ger Cunningham holding seven titles in a row, a record shared with Waterford’s Patricia Jackman.