Our Trip to Lansdowne Road

Another shot of the presentation of the fabulous Ford Transit to our school by Casey's of Castlebar and Ford Ireland.

Tag- Rugby in St. Pat's

Mr. Seamus Devaney

Pupils and teachers alike are still ecstatic about the school's great success in winning the Ford/ I.R.F.U. mini bus and in participating in one of the most significant Irish sporting achievements in recent years, when 10 boys from the school represented the best in tag rugby of over 250 schools all over Ireland at Landsdowne Rd last Saturday Being selected for both prizes however was both a surprise and a huge bonus.

The main thrust of tag-rugby in St.Patrick's , Castlebar was one of participation, enjoyment and fun! Once the Tag -Rugby gear came into the school it met with immediate success. The Boys instantly took to the game and the teachers of the senior classes were more than happy to incorporate tag-rugby into their P.E.schedules.

The next obvious step was to give the boys further practise and enjoyment and the "Nine Nations" league after school provided great fun and exercise for all involved. The standard of passing and general team play steadily grew, leading to participation in a Connacht Blitz in Galwegians ground in Galway, where out of a field of 23 teams our A and B teams finished 1st and 2nd.

We had happily resigned ourselves to hanging up our belts until next year until next season until the call bearing the news of our double success came, but when it did it sparked off a week of celebration with the culmination in a most wonderful day in Dublin at the Irish game. The amount of people who complimented the boys on their behaviour combined with the ability pride and skills of the St.Pat's boys was a joy to behold. To have mixed with such international figure as Keith Wood, Brian O'Driscoll, Jonny Wilkonson et al, on such a momentus day and to add to that in terms of ability and preparation was to add to the many proud days of our school's history.




7:15 Meet at train station
We were all very excited and tired. On the train we had a brilliant time. It took 3hours to get there but it was worth it.

11:15 Arrive at Houston Station
We waited for 10minutes while Mr. Devaney and Mr Armstrong got us a taxi that would take us to Lansdowne road.

11:50 Meet the players
We got two taxis from the station and the people in the first taxi got to meet Brian O Driscoll, Keith Wood, Peter Stringer, Ronan O Gara, Girvin Dempsey, Denis Hickey and Malcom O Kelly. The Players were trying to get inside but the door was locked. Malcolm O Kelly was looking over the wall to see if he could see anyone to open the door for them.

1:15 Getting inside Lansdowne
We had to wait for over an hour to get inside. We were waiting in a park and we met many people from all over the world. We met people from Australia and they took a picture of us. We also met a man who once played for the Lions and Ireland. We got changed in the facilities of Lansdowne.

2:00 Getting onto the pitch
After getting changed we walked from a back pitch onto the main one. When we got onto the pitch we saw Johnny Wilkinson practising his kicking. We walked around him to where we were sitting. They were great seats right on the touch line.

2:05 Starting the game
We practised holding the flag and then we started our match. We were playing a team from Down and we won about 15-6. We enjoyed playing the match and it was great to play on Lansdowne. Everybody scored at least one try.

2:20 We brought out the flag
Just before the game started the teams came out of the tunnel and there was a great roar from the crowd. While the national anthems were playing we were standing behind the English team with the flag. After, all the Irish fans and players sang Irelands call.

3:00 The big game started
There was great excitement down where we were sitting. Brian O Driscoll nearly fell out over on top of us, One of the first scrums of the match was over near us and we realised how dug up the ground looked after they left, Ronan O Gara ran past us as he was warming up to come on. When Ronan O Gara came on and his first touch was a penalty which he put over the bar. On the far side of the pitch we saw Keith Wood score the first try of the match and for Ireland.

9:17 Arrived home
We sneaked into first class on the way home and I got thrown out of the shop for saying they were to dear. We were all very disappointed that the day was over but glad that we had such a great day.