With the snow and cold weather now hopefully behind us we can look hopefully forward to warmer days and longer evenings. This transition to Spring is a real sign that we are in the home stretch to the end of the season.
To start I want to reflect in the glory the Irish team and their Grand Slam won so well last Saturday in Twickenham. Younger members of the club, who are used to seeing Ireland win more than they lose, will not be aware of the 1970s and 1980s when we turned up to play and won occasionally. In the 70s we never beat Wales and the 80s it was Scotland’s turn to keep us frustrated. As a relatively old lad it pleases me no end to see Ireland today compete with and beat the best teams in the world on a regular basis.
I would like to offer the congratulations on behalf of Seapoint to Joe Schmidt, who has been in in the club many times, his coaching team, including Richie Murphy who’s boys Ben and Jack are Seapoint MY graduates, and all the players and support staff for their fantastic Grand Slam this season. The achievements of the team inspire younger generations and will lead to many more young boys and girls picking up the game.
I would also like to congratulate Adam Griggs who coached the Irish ladies to 3rd place in the Women’s 6 Nations. Adam was our Community Rugby Office with Leinster Rugby and worked closely with Seapoint for many years on coaching initiatives and developing the game in our local schools. Adam has recently left Leinster Rugby to continue his role as Women’s Coach with the IRFU and we wish him all the best with this move.
The recent U20s 6 Nations saw two Seapoint MY graduates represent Ireland in the competition. Jack Dunne with 5 appearances and Eoghan Clarke with 3, demonstrated all the core skills that they learned when playing rugby as boys in Seapoint. In Jack’s case, a measure of his performance levels saw him play every minute of every game in the competition.
Moving back to the here and now. On Saturday there are two HUGE games in Kilbogget Park which will shape the outcome of the season for the firsts and thirds.
The firsts welcome league leaders Thomond on Saturday in our third last game of the season. At this point we are pushing for every point and still remain in the hunt for a promotion playoff place. Division 2C of the AIL is the tightest in the league with 20 points between first and last, and Seapoint 10 points of a playoff place.
The thirds welcome our good friends and neighbours Blackrock for their second last league game. As things stand the thirds are leading their league by two points but with two tough games remaining. From the start of the season the team under the leadership of Peter Cranny and Simon Chadwick have had big numbers out training each week. This group of lads have bonded very well on the pitch and even better off it.
On Saturday I am calling for a huge turnout to support Gavin, Bodzer, Simon and their team mates on the first and thirds in these two hugely important games for the club. We supported OUR COUNTRY last weekend in big numbers ~ this weekend I would like to see us support OUR CLUB in similarly big numbers.
On Friday night up in DLSP our under 18s play DLSP in a league semi-final. The fact that we are fielding a team this season is down in large part to the hard work of Peter Manning, Victor Brophy, David “Chippie” Chapman, and Glen Mulvaney. The bulk of this team is the U17s from last year that won their league so they have pedigree and also deserve our support.
To make a busy day even busier, this Saturday sees the Annual Ladies lunch take place in the club. For this event, and for one day only, the club is transformed from a dark testosterone filled Guinness smelling lair into a bright, flowery, and most importantly, nice smelling venue. I will be there to make sure things don’t get too out of hand, reliving my role from the 80s as bouncer for the discos.
I want to thank the team that worked so hard to get all the arrangements in place; Karen Kelly, Denise Manning, Marie Barrett, Mags Totterdell, Emer McKeever and Ciaran Freeney.
Next up in the calendar after Saturday is the legendary O’Toole pre-match BBQ lunch prior to the last AIL game of the season against Middleton on the 14th of April. This is a lunch that you do not want to miss so it is also a time to be nice to Mick O’Toole, Mr Shekels himself. More details on this shortly.
Sunday the 29th of April is the date for this season’s legendary Seapoint Blitz. This season under the watchful eyes of Tim Kelly and Barry Chadwick we are hoping to set new records with more than 100 teams participating.
We still have some sponsorship slots available for this. To whet your appetite, take a look at the video below to see the scale of last year’s event. If you are interested in supporting the event please contact me or Barry Chadwick directly.
The Annual Dinner for the club takes place on Friday the 18th of May. This is the traditional event to mark the end of season and a great opportunity for coaching teams to get together. Tickets for the 3-course dinner with wine are €50pp and available from me, Jim McKeever, Mick O’Toole, Barry Chadwick and Vinny Totterdell. The guest of honour for this year’s dinner will be Paul Kelly, aka PK, our longest serving player by some way.
To close, his month I am delighted to announce the volunteer of the month for February as Brian Murphy.
Brian has acted as video man for the 1st team for several seasons now. In this role Brian has attended every game the firsts have played north, south, east and west. The use of video analysis has become an integral part of the game today something that would not be possible without Brian’s dedication.
Over the years Brian has perched himself on some dodgy structures and some very fancy, has been exposed to beautiful and brutal weather, sometimes on the same day. It was thanks to Brian’s steady hand at the Tullamore game that Bain Champion’s wonderful try was captured, which was later recognised as December try of the month by the IRFU.
Brian, many thanks for your support for the first team squad, their coaches and more importantly your club.
Updated 10:32 - 19 Apr 2018 by Gerry Owens