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The tweet that gave birth to Cribby Cup

BIRTH OF AN IDEA: Gerard Mulhern (Punter’s Guide) first mooted the idea of a tournament last year BIRTH OF AN IDEA: Gerard Mulhern (Punter’s Guide) first mooted the idea of a tournament last year
By Ciara Quinn

IT all started as a Tweet on social media from the Andersonstown News’ very own Punter’s Guide after our photographer Jim Corr snapped an a summer cribby game in the Rock Streets.

Fast forward a year and training is under way across the community as teams sign up for the inaugural Féile and Phobail cribby tournament – an event that has gripped the imagination of the public across the city.

A debate erupted across social media in the wake of the tournament announcement – and interest was so intense that the baton was taken up by the mainstream media with both the local television channel running features on the subject.

The debate centred around the name of the game. We here in West Belfast know it’s simply Cribby, and so that’s the name of the sport in the Féile competition. But heated claims came from all corners of Belfast and further beyond variously giving the name of Kerby, Kerbsie, Padsy. The conversation then moved on to the different regional rules of the game observed in different areas. Interest in the competition is expected to soar as a result of the huge response.

Competition heats are to be divided into districts from the Falls, Shankill, Upper Springfield, Andersonstown and Lenadoon and Colin. There will be four categories divided by age that will play off one another in each sub-area. The grand final is to take place during the annual August Féile.

Féile an Phobail Director Kevin Gamble modestly told the Andersonstown News of his own Cribby credentials.

“I was the cribby champion of Rosgoill and Shaws Road in my youth,” he laughed.

“West Belfast is the home of Cribby with the most talented Cribby players coming from this area.

“Young and old can enjoy this competition and take part and the personal and area rivalries will be intense.

“Most importantly it will be great fun for everyone and there will be legend status for whoever becomes the champion.

“Féile an Phobail is the highlight of the West Belfast calender each year and the Cribby championship will be a fantastic new addition to the Féile calender.”

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