Hearty takes honours with 70-metre kick
Sizzling Saturday weather in Old Conna was matched only by a spectacular kick of 70 metres by Armagh goalkeeper Paul Hearty. With this he earned the MBNA Kick Fada title for 2008 in a nailbiting contest.
A large contingent was attracted to the Old Conna venue by the promise of county stars vying for the prestigious prize. RTÉ’s Mícheal O Muircheartaigh, who oversaw the day, was awarded with honorary membership of Bray Emmets GAA Club in a presentation after the MBNA Kick Fada had finished.
Paul Hearty’s effort was just two metres short of the record set by four-time winner Mark Herbert of Kildare in the 2001 competition.
The ninth staging of the event saw the Crossmaglen native Hearty beat off stiff opposition which included 2007 winner John Brennan of Carlow, Fermanagh All-Star Marty McGrath, Dublin star Mark Vaughan and Offaly goalkeeper Padraig Kelly, who took the title in 2004 and 2005.
With a top-class field, Hearty was pushed all the way in search of the crown.
Kelly finished in second spot, while 2006 winner Fintan Ruddy of Mayo claimed third.
Also amongst the competitors were Monaghan team-mates Dick Clerkin and JP Moone, Kildare goalkeeper Enda Murphy and his Westmeath counterpart Gary Connaughton. Bray representative Paul O’Keeffe kept the local flags flying as he narrowly missed out on the medals.
The Ladies Kick Fada event was won by Meath forward Mary Sheridan.
A sister of Meath Senior footballer Joe Sheridan, she registered a winning kick of 43 metres.
The Seneschalstown native was just ahead of Naomh Mearnog duo Cliodhna O’Connor and Emma Dunne, who secured second and third spot respectively.
Bray Emmets wish to thank all the hardworking club members who put their shoulders to the wheel in preparation for the 9th MBNA Kick Fada on Saturday last. It was a huge success.
An enormous amount of work went into having the grounds and pitches looking so well, organising the event on the day and in particular Anne Longemore and her team who fed the masses right throughout the day.
Gerry McGill, Finton Ruddy and John Brennan at the Kick Fada in Bray.
Grainne Murphy and Molly Ryan enjoying the Kick Fada in Bray.
Ladies’ winner Mary Sheridan in action.