After last weeks highly successful Inter-school Tag-Rugby Blitz between St Nicholas PS Carrickfergus and Acorn Integrated PS Carrickfergus, it was the turn this week of four other local schools to show off their skills
The venue was Carrickfergus Rugby Football Club Woodlawn Grounds and the participants were Carrickfergus Model PS, Greenisland PS, Woodburn PS and Victoria PS. A beautiful sunny February morning played its part in the event with the CRFC grounds in fine condition. As with all of the events organised under the umbrella of the (IRFU) Ulster Branch Youth Development projects, locally based YDO Jimmy McTeggart shifted the focus from competition based to “Fun, Fairplay & Participation” centred. With games being played simultaneously on two pitches, match officials were kept busy and thanks are due to Ross Hunter, Martin Lusty & Michael Dickson for their valued input. CRFC Youth Cordinator Mark Kidd supplied marshalls from the U16 XV and their help was greatfully appreciated.
The rugby matched the bright warm weather and was fast and free flowing. Victoria PS quickly moved from being an unknown quantity and showed themselves to be right on top of their game scoring freely in all of their games. A young and small Greenisland PS took a little time to get going but were always sporting in their approach and impeccably turned out. The other two heavyweights were Woodburn PS and Model PS who after tentative starts soon hit their stride in what was the most evenly matched pairing of the event. With a stipulation that the teams were of mixed gender the girls were touching down with frequency with Victoria PS twin female strike partnership proving too fast for some of their male opponents.
The second and third series of games saw teams playing with more confidence with evasive running and passing skills in great evidence. Victoria PS continued to impress but Model PS & Woodburn PS were growing into their game and providing sterner opposition. Greenisland also continued to impress with their ‘never say die’ attitude continuing to score into the closing seconds of their games. With all teams having completed their programme of games, the presentations followed.
Plaques and certificates were presented to all participating teams and other awards were made on the recommendation of the officals. Greenisland PS received the “Fairplay Team” award for their sporting attitude to their games and towards their opponents. They also scored a double, picking up the award for “Fairplay Female Player”. A Victoria PS team member scooped up the “Fairplay Male Player” accolade.
Carrickfergus Model PS, Woodburn PS and Victoria PS will now go forward as area representatives to a Belfast Region Tag-Rugby Extravaganza in late March. Most sporting events nowadays require sponsorship and this Tag-Rugby Blitz was no exception. Coca Cola very kindly provided much needed refreshments in the shape of “Powerade” and “Deep River Rock” and the local Carrickfergus “Brewers Fayre” showed their valued support by providing the excellent commerative plaques. Thanks also are due to the management of Carrickfergus RFC for the use of their facilities and grounds where no doubt some of these young players of today will appear as stars of the future.