Tug-o-war competition 1929 -

St Patrick’s Day saw all roads leading to the Sports ground to witness the programme arranged by the local Hibernians. The main attraction was the tug-o-war. The interest was so universal that many were present because they were promised something out of the ordinary. They were not disappointed for the tug-o-war was worth going a long way to see.

The conditions were: 5 men a side, team weight limit, 62 stone (394kg), and pulls of 5 minutes duration, the team leading at the end of 5 minutes declared the winner; an interval of 45 minutes between pulls, the interval being filled in with other events.

Eight teams competed, and their weights (all weighed at the grounds) were as follows: Ayr Hibernians 61 stone 13 lb; Mill 61 stone 13 lb; Italian No 1 61 stone 7 lb; Italian No 2 60 stone 7lb; Shamrocks 60 stone; Footballers 58 stone 8 lb; Osborne 57 stone 9 lb., and Inkerman 56 stone.

The first heat: Italian No. 2 team v. Footballers: Italian No. 2 won by 3 inches (76mm). The Footballers secured the early lead, but their opponents never ceased in their efforts, and eventually wore the Footballers out.

Mill Team v Osborne. Though giving away over four stone, Osborne put up a plucky fight, but the Mill were too solid and won by 1 ½ inches (38mm). It was a great pull, but the Mill, after getting the upper hand, made no mistake.

Shamrocks v Italian No. 1. This was a great contest. The Shamrocks stood as winners of the two previous years and were, undoubtedly, a fine team. The Italians looked in splendid condition and determined. When the signal came, the Shamrocks, adept at the 'snatch', secured an advantage of about an inch, and it stayed for about three minutes. The Italians, all pulling desperately, tried hard to get it back, but at the five minutes they were still behind, but by no more than a quarter of an inch (6mm).

Ayr Hibernians, 61 stone 13 lb, faced Inkerman, 50 stone. The Ayr Hibernians were a fine hefty lot, but seemed unused to each other. Inkerman gained half-an-inch in the first snatch, and though the big fellows worked hard, Inkerman won by half-an-inch.

In the semi-final, the Mill defeated Inkerman by an inch and a half, and Shamrocks defeated Italian No. 2 by three-quarters of an inch.

For the final, the grounds were buzzing. Mill team and weights: R Davidson, 13.2; A Benton 14.11; R McIntosh 11.12, GC Hazard, 11.5, D O'Brien 10.11, total 6l stone 13lb. Shamrocks team and weights: J Herron 14.7; M Breen 12.2, J O'Connor, 11.13, J Finn 10.5, W Breen, 11.1; Total 60 stone.

At the signal, the Shamrocks, with their usual quickness, got the first ‘snatch’, resulting in advantage of two inches. The Mill team, though they fought hard, could make no impression for a couple of minutes, then gradually the rope began to come back, just the slightest fraction, but it brought forth yells from the large crowd. Each team was all out, and the watch kept ticking off the seconds. The mill team worked their opponents’ advantage back to an inch and a half, and that’s how it stood when time was called, the Shamrocks winning by that margin. It was a great day's tug-o-war.

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