The sun shone all weekend for our Tour to the West in late April. First-up, our 2 squads played vs. Galwegians & Corinthians midday on Saturday. The grass may have been long but we managed to hold our own throughout. The hallmark of our play all year has been to pass & outrun the opposition, when this was exhibited our boys did great. Still not sure what Eric Elwood is feeding those Galway boys, but their rucking is always impressive. After a welcome reception In the Galwegians clubhouse, we did a quick turnaround at the Connacht Hotel and headed for the Sportsground.
Central to our Tour was Connacht v Leinster in the Pro14. This was no dead rubber as Johnny Muldoon was playing his last game for the home side. Leinster were in the game for 20mins, and then they were simply blown-away. Muldoon capped off a great send off with a conversion!
Next up was a visit to the Blackrock Diving Board at Salthill. With the tide in and the sun out it was ideal. While I was alone in my wetsuit, I was not without hardy company. Several kids & Dads took the plunge. Pizzas were the next order of the day and finally we got to relax in the hotel, kids in the “cinema”, Dads in the bar.
Breakfast and a morning swim prepared us for our last game of the season; we were off to Buccaneers in Dubarry Park. They had beaten us in January at HQ. I had one simple question for our players – “do you want to win or lose your last game of the season?” It was also Buccs last day, the setting ideal on the main pitch. We tore into them, each team playing two matches, Lansdowne FC coming out on top. As head coach, I could not have been more proud. Passion was on show, skill was on show – these guys have a real opportunity at U13 to play some great rugby.
Thanks to the kids, parents & those that helped organise for a great weekend and a very successful year – let us not forget we won two trophies, the Blackrock Festival in Sept. & the Heriots Challenge in April.
Match Report Paul Nagle
Photography Vincent Byrne