There were smiles all-round at Dooradoyle this week as Garryowen’s players, coaches and committee members celebrated the club’s historic quadruple-winning season by posing for some commemorative photographs.
The above photograph shows members of Garryowen’s senior and junior teams posing with the Limerick club’s stunning haul of trophies from this season, including the AIB League Division One and AIB Cup trophies, the Munster Senior Cup and Munster Junior Cup and the Munster Rugby Club of the year award.
The Garryowen seniors gave coach Paul Cunningham and his assistant Killian Keane a winning send-off last Saturday by beating Cork Constitution 16-15 in an exciting Division One decider at Musgrave Park.
The Dooradoyle residents proved to be the form team over the last three months of the domestic season. Indeed, they went unbeaten in any senior competition from January 27 right up to last weekend, having won the AIB Cup – beating Belfast Harlequins in the final – and also squeezed into the league play-offs with a late run.
Garryowen’s unique AIB League and Cup double was just reward for Cunningham’s charges, who have been so near and yet so far in recent seasons. Two years ago, they lost in the Division One semi-finals to Harlequins and last year they suffered a double disappointment when they lost to St. Mary’s College in the AIB Cup’s last-four and were pipped by neighbours Shannon in a dramatic Division One semi-final.
Voted Club of the Year at the recent Munster Rugby Awards, Garryowen have had a season to remember and IrishRugby.ie salutes the light Blues for their excellent performances at underage, junior and senior level in 2007/08 – no doubt attentions are already turning to September when Garryowen, as league champions, will represent Ireland at the Languedoc-Roussillon tournament in France.
Set up to celebrate France’s hosting of the Rugby World Cup, the tournament will run from September 3 to 15 and will include amateur representative club sides from the Languedoc-Roussillon region itself, Ireland, Tucuman (Argentina), Romania, Catalonia (Spain) and England’s Cambridge University.
Garryowen will wear special AIB jerseys which will feature their own club crest in an agreed position, and all travel and participation costs for the tournament will be covered by the IRFU and AIB.
The tournament will have four days of competition on September 4, 7, 11 and 14, with the final day of games taking place in Montpellier. Fingers crossed that Garryowen’s winning run can extend to the autumn!