H&W U15 bandits take Galway
By Nathan O Reilly
nice way to cap off a very successful season
The U15s, masquerading as Mexican bandits, some quite lame, stormed west for our end of season tour. The 0245 departure from the club made for a quiet trip to the airport but things livened up quickly on arrival in Dublin. We even managed to lose the Beebee’s between the terminal and the coach, despite that being less than a pitch length.
Our first fixture was a 3 way at Oughterard with Portlaoise also visiting. With fresh and sunny conditions the Hurricanes got off to a flying start. The Portlaoise team, visiting from Leinster, were tough opposition and the Heathfield injury count started to mount. Ollie got the prize for the most visually impressive injury with a black eye and decent forehead gash. The score line kept ticking over for the Hurricanes, with Portlaoise managing to force their way in for 1 try in the final minutes.
The second game was against our hosts and this was a much tighter contest. A combination of early start, tired legs and injuries took its toll. Heathfield were a little slow out of the blocks and chasing the game. It was an excellent contest and finished with the hosts clinching it by 2 points. We did leave quite a few points unclaimed on the field due to some very peculiar ball dropping incidents for no apparent reason.
The post match hospitality was excellent and enjoyed by boys and parents alike. AfTer some much needed refreshment and an exchange of club colours, we headed back to the hotel and a relatively quite evening ( for most)
Saturday was a chance to explore Galway and then a short stroll to the rugby ground in an artic gale, to see Connaught beat Cardiff to secure European championship rugby for next season. The sports ground is an intimate setting and the boys felt like they were actually on the pitch. In fact they were so close that one of the Connaught balls made it back as tour booty.
Saturday evening was dedicated to further exploration of Galway and the very lively social scene. That was off course after we held court. The right hon. judge Marshall was very fair, tending toward generous some said. Chief defence Renmant did a wonderful job and got no one off, chief prosecution Strevens had many crimes to chose from and pushed for harsh sentencing. Eating raw leeks has done nothing to further the welsh to me! One fine that will be carried over to next year is for the flagrant display of "dad dancing" by one of our coaches which was a risk to himself and all the other young things around him - you know who you are!
Sunday morning and back on the coach for our next fixture against Balinasloe. It was cold, wet and rainy, with water pools on the pitch but this did not hold the boys back. Using a nice wide pitch the boys opened up and used their pace to good effect. Some clever kicking, using the wind, gave us a strong performance and convincing win. Lack of sleep and over excitement did cause the game to get a little feisty at times but all ended well with a convincing win and a nice way to sign off the tour. The post match hospitality was again excellent and thankfully the bar was closed.
On the coach and back to Dublin. Then the crash! Our “not hard to spot “ 50 seater bus was driving along the dual carriage way when a car decided to bash into us and bounce right through the central reservation to the opposite side of the road, amazingly missing the oncoming traffic. We stopped, as you do. We then waited there as most of the Irish emergency services seemed to converge on the incident. Thankfully we got on our way eventually and back to club without further incident.
This was another hugely successful tour for our squad and enjoyed by everyone and a very nice way to cap off a very successful season. A huge thank you to the tour committee, all our sponsors and all those that helped with fund raising. And to the boys of course for all the very entertaining rugby:)
Many thanks to our resident photographers for the below ( and all the others during the season)
Please use this link to download the match photos from tour:
After severe editing I could still only get down to 400 pics of the tour.
Perhaps one or two you may find your cherub on.