Twenty-eight oarsmen from St Josephs Rowing Club competed against the elite of English rowing in the British Schools Championships in Nottingham recently.
The Bish was just one of the 153 competing schools and 3,973 rowers at the three-day event that began with the Junior 15 4x. The Bish crew, not long in this combination, rowed a terrific race to qualify for the semi-finals, but drawn in a tough group, they failed to advance.
Two eights crews were in action on Saturday, the Junior 15 8+ and also a Junior 18 8+.
Both had to row a qualifying time trail race to cut the field down with the Junior 15 8+ just missed out by a mere five seconds. The Junior18 8+ had 20 crews in their time trial and needed to be faster then eight of the top British schools. This powered down the course to qualify for the semi final in whichhey struggled initially. In fifth place after 500m, they surged ahead at the 1,000m mark to come from fifth into fourth, snatchting the last qualifying place by half a canvas.
Twenty years since the Bish won this same event and brought the Child Beale trophy back to Galway, the class of 2009 did their best to emulate this achievement. Again they found themselves in fifth position before pushing themselves into bronze medal position. However in the end they lost out on a podium finish, crossed in fifth place. This crew has six oarsmen who eligible to compete in this event next year.
On Sunday the Bish had representations in the Junior 18 Championship 4+, the Junior 16 4+, and the Junior 16 2-. All of the crews rowed admirably, with the Junior16 4 + qualifying for the last eight.
The Bish will now contest events in Athlone, Galway, and Cork before the Irish Championships in July.
Competing Crews: Junior 18 8+ Cox Michael Fleming, Stroke Robert O Callaghan, Richie Bennett, Eoghan Murphy, Andrew Kemple, Ellery Smith, Oisin Hennigan, Conor Egan, Fionnan Tolan McQuillan.
Junior 18 4+ Cox Michael Fleming, Stroke Robert O Callaghan, Andrew Kemple, Eoghan Murphy, Luis Simo
Junior 15 8+ Cox Gavin Clarke, Stroke Dara McKee, Conor Breen, Conor Egan, Aron Kelly, Stephen Clifford, Joey Irwin, Gary Higgins, Evan Lydon.
Junior 16 4+ Cox Gavin Clarke, Stroke Emmet Long, Aron Kilroy, Daniel Hindle, Gavin McGuigan
Junior 16 2- Stroke Dean Madden, Aron Kelly
Junior 14 4x Cox Michael Flaherty, Stroke James Egan, John Flynn, Eric McEvoy, Ross Maxwell.