Wednesday 29 January 2020

Scrum expected as bidders battle for 1948 Grand Slam ball

Jason O'Brien

ONE of the balls reputedly used to secure Ireland's first rugby Grand Slam is to go under the hammer next week.

The ball "with original stitching and inside lining" has some "wear and fading", according to the auction guide, but then it would if it was kicked around Ravenhill by Jack Kyle and co way back in 1948.

The ball has a guide price of up to €450 and -- along with a medal commemorating "the first-ever GAA hurling match in America" and a programme for an international soccer match between Ireland and Nazi Germany -- is among the standout sporting memorabilia that will be auctioned in Kilkenny. The programme carries an estimate of €450 to €600.

Ireland beat Wales at Ravenhill to clinch their first Grand Slam in the Five Nations. The ball was "given to the present owner by a lady who attended the game", said a spokesman for Mealy's Auctioneers.

A medal from Kilkenny's first All-Ireland title is also up for grabs. Arguably of even greater international interest will be a medal awarded to 'the Invaders' -- 48 hurling players who travelled to New York in 1888 to promote the sport overseas. It has a pre-sale estimate of €2,000 to €3,000.

In addition to the Sporting and Collectors' Sale, next Thursday's auction will feature a number of literary items, with a highlight being a signed copy of James Joyce's 'Ulysses'.

Irish Independent

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