Sunday 21 January 2018

Hardly a level playing field as old meets young

Aideen Sheehan

Aideen Sheehan

THERE'S not many sports where there would be 66 years between the oldest and youngest competitor.

However, veteran ploughman Edward Dowse yesterday lined up in the furrows against a competitor who was just a fraction of his age.

Mr Dowse is nearing 80, but the years haven't taken away any of his competitive spirit as he took part in the horse ploughing contest against young Derry rival Declan Ferris, aged just 14.

Mr Dowse, from Carnew in Co Wicklow, was cheered on and coached by his twin brother Henry and another brother, Joe.

He took part in his first All-Ireland ploughing match in Bandon in 1950, and is proud of his record as the only man to have won two national under-21 titles and been runner-up once.

He moved to tractor ploughing in the 1950s, but staged a comeback in the horsedrawn classes in 2008.

"Any fool can get up on a tractor, it takes real skill to manage a pair of horses," he declared.

Unfortunately, neither Mr Dowse nor Mr Ferris made it on to the winners' podium yesterday.

Irish Independent

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