NADD road bowler Seamus Sexton has followed in the footsteps of his late father by winning the European road bowling title in a keenly contested championship played on a German road at the weekend.
Seamus returned to a hero’s welcome in Banteer on Tuesday night where, sporting his European medal and holding aloft the trophy he won in Meldorf, he was feted by his family, friends and neighbours on his triumphant return.
From a family synonymous with the sport of road bowling, Sexton’s performance was special and his own community acknowledged this in style. Banteer took time out to salute its latest sporting star after delivering on his promise on the international stage.
It was a case of rolling back the years for a family deeply rooted in bowling as the new European champion delivered spectacularly on the challenging road in Meldorf.
The win prompted emotional scenes for the champion as a dream became a reality, Seamus savouring glory emulating his late father, also named Seamus.
“He had won two European gold medals, unfortunately he died during the Covid-19 lockdown.
“To follow in his footsteps is special, I never thought that I could bring an European Gold medal to Nadd and Banteer,”said a delighted Seamus.
On doing so, the sheer quality of Sexton’s performance produced a devastating attacking display, good enough to garner an impressive win over Europe’s best.
“Seamus has made it to the top of the European stage, hitting form on the day he set the challenge for his opponents.
“That’s a massive achievement to reach the top in his sport, he is a role model for young people to become involved in sport”, said Master of Ceremonies at the Banteer celebrations, Denis Withers.
A parade led by Millstreet Pipers added to the atmosphere,
The occasion also acknowledged the talents of Conor Lucey from Béal na Morrive and Jamie Kelleher of Kilcorney in helping Ireland to land gold in the u18 team event.
Bol Chumann na hÉireann had sent a thirty strong panel to Meldorf for the 16th European Championships. For many, Sexton’s performance emerged as the highlight of the weekend’s sport.
Speakers at the Banteer celebrations included Fr. William Winter, Willie Murphy, Vice Chairman, Bol Chumann; Vincent Kiely, Chairman, North Cork Region; Billy McAulliffe, team trainer and Cllr. Bernard Moynihan.
They all commended those represented Ireland in Germany and lauded in particular Seamus Sexton on ensuring the Irish Tricolour was flying highest at the podium presentations.