Friendly competition with roots in Ireland: Irish road bowling comes to Black River

Friendly competition with roots in Ireland: Irish road bowling comes to Black River

BLACK RIVER, N.Y. (WWNY) -All it takes is a palm-sized cannon ball and some pavement to play a game of Irish Road Bowling.

Anthony Filippelli played Irish Road Bowling for the first time last year and has been hooked ever since.

“It’s just a wonderful day to get out with the family, and have some fun, and get some really good exercise,” said Filippelli.

But what exactly is Irish Road Bowling?

“You take a 28-ounce cannonball, and chuck it as hard as you can. And the fewest throws in a half-mile course, wins the match. Very simple,” said Sean Hennessey, co-founder of the North Country Irish Road Bowling League.

Hennessey helped form the group four years ago - something that was inspired by his trips to Ireland.

“My mother is from Ireland. We go back and forth and saw them play over in Ireland, thought it was a fun sport. Over the years thought about bringing it to the north country, and we were lucky enough to have a lot of success,” said Hennessey.

“People are having fun with it. It’s a great way to get your friends and family out of the house, check out the north country, and play a little history, too.”

Anthony, along with his son Ian, took home the prize on Sunday afternoon: first place and homemade bagels from Black River Baking Company.

“You know, it’s real fun out here. You vault the ball, try to keep it in, it’s very fun,” said Ian.

But for the father and son duo, the best prize is sharing their newfound hobby together.

“Best feeling in the world, playing with your children. It’s a warm feeling inside, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world,” said Filippelli.

For more information on the North Country Irish Bowling League email nnyirish@gmail.com.

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