It feels like only last week that I wrote to you at the beginning of the season. Time has flown by and it’s been a roller coaster ride on the pitch and off it. On the pitch we did not have the best of starts in the AIL, and off it we sadly said goodbye to some dear friends; Past Presidents Eamonn Tobin and Alan Condell, and much-loved UL Bohs under 17 coach and President of Newport Declan Ryan. However, we’re finishing the year on a high with every reason to be optimistic going into the New Year!
Tommy’s Senior Men have recorded back-to-back AIL wins, with bonus points included, over Ballymena and Old Crescent to enter the five weeks break in a mid-table grouping and playing better every time out.
The Senior Women are tied at the top of D1 with Railway Union, the only side we’ve lost to in a game of incredibly high skill levels from each team in Dublin. Both sides have accumulated 39 points, but RU have a higher scoring differential. We recorded a 3 – 43 win over Suttonian’s last Saturday (December 11) and for certain Coach Briggsy will be working on continual improvement from her excellent squad.
The 2nds have been competitive and recorded a great win against local rivals Young Munsters in UL just after the AIL win over Rainey treating us to two stirring renditions of The Red Red Robin in the same day!
The 3rds XV, who have merged with Newport, have played five games at the time of writing this and have been very unfortunate not to record their 1st win. A penalty at the death in Listowel denied them down there but apparently the bus trip home was enjoyed by all! Well done to the management and coaching staff of Niall O’Sullivan, Dave Gallagher, John White and the inimitable Julian Greham who is returning to his spiritual homeland in Mayo. He will be sorely missed by all of us and we wish him and his family well!
Last but not least of the adult teams the u20s have been an inspiration since winning their 1st outing against Garryowen in the North Munster Cup. Going from having no team in this grade for a few years to this group of exciting young players providing expansive, open and competitive rugby is great to watch.
And so, on to the underage who have already captured silver for us by winning the u15 North Munster Cup against Garryowen and the u13s who were magnificent in winning our own Pat Lawler tournament. The u15 final was a highly exciting spectacle enjoyed by everyone who watched it. There are excellent coaches in every grade, and the players in every age grade are thriving. The enjoyment of and love for the game that is constantly beaming out of Annacotty on Sunday mornings is the ultimate testament of success for our Club.
As always, we acknowledge with gratitude the valuable contribution our sponsors make at every level in the Club. The NOVAS Toiletry appeal is facilitated by our caring kids and their parents, please give what you can to these charitable initiatives to our local community. Finally, our 400 CLUB draw provides the chance to get great prizes all year around not just at Christmas!
We have returned to rugby and stayed healthy thanks in large part to our hard working and vigilant volunteers. The only problem with our volunteers is we don’t have enough of them, and a small amount of people shoulder more of a load than is practical for enjoyable involvement. Watch for requests coming through the Membership messages for volunteer time, if you have a little of it we can find a valuable and satisfying use for it. As we come into the holiday period, we ask everyone to remain attentive and follow the health advice provided. Stay safe and be a good team mate!
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
UL Bohemian RFC #OnceARobinAlwaysARobin