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National Championships, 1974

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National Championships, 1974 ~ On 13th July 1974, the scene was set for an epic Irish Senior VIII Championship at Metropolitan Regatta, Blessington. UCD who had the distinction of winning the Ladies Plate at Henley, the first Irish winners since 1903 were the bookies favourites. However, Club Captain Brian Lynch and our senior crew had other ideas. In a pulsating race over 1,700 metres, Garda beat UCD by two lengths to win the title. Our maiden VIII beat Carrick-on-Shannon by a third of a length to win their event. We also beat UCD by one and three quarter lengths to win the Blue Riband and added the Pembroke VIII trophy for good measure. Bob Messenger (14/7/74) reported:

A powerful Garda eight upset the odds by easily beating the UCD crew in the Irish Senior Championship at Metropolitan Regatta on Blessington Lake. UCD were generally rated favourites by virtue of their win in the Ladies Plate at Henley last Sunday. But Garda, coached by Pat Grace, who said after his crew’s win that it merely confirmed that the competition in the Thames Cup is higher than the Ladies Plate…Garda got away to a bad start and UCD led them by half a length after 300 metres. But at the bridge, with about 1,000 metres to row, the Garda oarsmen forged ahead, and with a powerful and determined effort, went further away from UCD as the race progressed. “If it had been a bigger course we would have won by more” said Grace after the race.

Irish Senior VIII Champions, 1974

Bow     John Fahy                                 (5)        Willie Ryan

(2)        Larry Barron                            (6)        Christy O’Brien

(3)        Frank Moore                            (7)        Jim Muldoon

(4)        Andy McDonough                    Str.      Joe McCartney

Cox                 Liam Redmond

Coaches          Brendan Duane and Pat Grace

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