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National Championships, 1966

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National Championships, 1966 ~ On the 16th July 1966, our senior and junior crews lined up against Trinity, Old Collegians and Fermoy to race for the Irish Senior Championship on the Marina at Cork Regatta. Trinity were the outright favourites having beaten us at every opportunity during the year. In a straight final it was the Garda senior crew, who took an early lead which they held to win the Senior Championship and the Leander Grand Challenge Cup by a distance of two lengths from Trinity and remarkably, our junior crew racing in a clinker boat were half a length further back in third. Club captain John O’Neill had succeeded in retaining the Senior Championship for a second year in a row. The Cork Examiner (18/7/66) reported:

Garda’s top rowing eight cashed in on Trinity’s ill-luck and decisively beat them on the Lee on Saturday to retain their Senior Eight Championship of Ireland. They won a fine race without much trouble and the real battle was for the minor placings. It was Garda’s first win in the five outings against Trinity this season, and it gave them the grand slam of Irish rowing. Despite the record, bookmakers quoted the two crews at even money before the race, but once it was learned that the Varsity’s regular stroke, Bruce H. Rodgers, had been forced out of the race by appendicitis the Garda hardened to 2/1 on. It was a hammer blow to Trinity’s hopes, and with the two police crews in the race they were up against it. Garda ‘B’ took the lead from the start when their ‘A’ crew were left a little at the start, but at the two minute mark Garda ‘A’ had joined their second string and Trinity, and it was even then clearly a race between the three of them. Garda ‘A’, rowing powerfully at this stage, were a little over a length clear at Tivoli Bridge and surged the final quarter mile to the line to a two length win. Trinity and Garda ‘B’ duelled mightily for second and third places, but the varsity crew got it by just half a length. Old Collegians were fourth in a most exciting race.

Irish Senior VIII Champions, 1966

Bow     Bill Quane                                (5)        Fred Healy

(2)        Pat Duffy                                  (6)        Brendan Duane

(3)        Tom Lynch                               (7)        Mick Drew

(4)        Gay McCarthy                         Str.      Brendan Woods

Cox                 Connie Byrne

Coach             Micheal Johnston


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