Model stalwarts shine at annual fundraiser
Hurling for cancer
The annual Hurling for Cancer Research fundraiser organised by racing stars, Wexford trainer Jim Bolger and champion jumps jockey from Cork, Davy Russell, was a tremendous success with a record crowd estimated at 5,500 in attendance at St. Conleth's Park in Newbridge last Tuesday night.
Started in 2012, the event is a star studded occasion and it has been growing in popularity every year. Over €700,000 had been raised prior to last week and the latest edition could push that figure close to €1 million.
The teams were filled with familiar faces from horse racing, hurling, gaelic football, camogie, rugby and soccer, and many personalities from the entertainment world. Cyril Farrell was referee and Micheal O Muirecheartaigh, Niall Quinn, Paul McGrath, Olympic gold medallist Ronnie Delany and trainer Willie Mullins offered advice from the sidelines.
Bolger's side, managed by Liam Griffin and Davy Fitzgerald, with help from Bolger himself, was well ahead at half time, by 6-8 to 2-10, with a special goal being scored by Martin Storey and a big contribution from veterans such as Charlie Carter and Michael Duignan.
They ran out of steam and were overhauled in the second half and Russell's team, managed by Brian Cody, won by 5-21 to 6-13.
The event was more about the entertainment and fun than the result. Damian Fitzhenry, former Wexford star goalie, was accused of being in deep conversation with umpires Tadgh Furlong, Wexford rugby star, and football pundit Colm O'Rourke, when Conor McDonald goaled for Russell's side, but he did pull off a few great saves later on to redeem himself!
Along with MacDonald, Larry O'Gorman and Lee Chin were others to inspire the Russell comeback in their Cork jerseys, despite the best efforts of Kilkenny's JJ Delaney and Richie Hogan who looked very well in the Wexford colours.
Camogie stars Anna Geary and Ursula Jacob were also in the thick of the action.
The final score did not matter on a night like this, though competitive Davy Russell was delighted to receive the trophy and get one over on Bolger. The real winner was the fund for cancer research and the huge crowd thoroughly enjoyed the occasion.