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Club News: Leinster Round-Up

Club News: Leinster Round-Up

…Ryan Collects Navan Player Of The Year Award…Barnhall Youngsters Off To France…League And Cup Double For Portlaoise…UCD Make Good Progress At Kinsale Sevens…

RYAN COLLECTS NAVAN PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD: Ireland flanker Sinead Ryan was named as 2007 Player of the Year at Navan RFC’s annual awards night at Balreask Old last Saturday.

A special presentation was also made to Ryan by the Meath club in recognition of her selection for the Ireland team at last September’s Women’s World Cup in Canada and this year’s Women’s Six Nations championship. In return, Ryan presented the club with an Irish cap and jersey.

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Other big winners on the night included prop Eoin King who was named as Young Player of the Year, while outgoing secretary Francis Fullerton was selected as the Club Person of the Year. A special club blazer was awarded to John Baker to commemorate his 100 appearances for Navan’s first team.

All the awards were presented after a buffet meal which was organised by John Mallon and player-coach Brad Harris. Karl Manning, Bryan McKeever, Eamonn Sheridan and Bernard Smyth were also honoured for being capped as Leinster Youths this season.

Navan RFC had a season to remember, which included a Provincial Towns Cup win for the first team, while the second XV won the North-East Jenkinson Cup and the ladies side scooped the All-Ireland League Division Two North title. There were also wins aplenty at underage level. Well done to all involved.

BARNHALL YOUNGSTERS OFF TO FRANCE: Barnhall RFC have accepted an invitation from Rugby Viennois Rhodanien, a small union of French clubs, to compete at the 2007 A l’Ouverture tournament in Vienne next weekend (May 18-19).

This international tournament, backed by the French Rugby Federation, is being held at Stade Etcheberry in Vienne and to promote the upcoming Rugby World Cup in France.

Barnhall are competing in the Cadets Under-17 competition, with 23 players set to travel, along with four coaches (John Taylor, Keith Bewley, Kevin Sheil and John Bagnall. Ten European nations are competing and the standard is expected to be high – five counties are entering their full international U-17 sides, including Belgium, Romania and Estonia.

LEAGUE AND CUP DOUBLE FOR PORTLAOISE: Portlaoise completed a league and cup double last Saturday when they beat Wexford Wanderers 12-7 in a hard-fought final. Lock Donal Bigney was the star of the show, dominating on the Laois club’s lineout ball and proving a thorn in Wanderers’ side on their throw.

Tries from centre Billy Hennessy and out-half Kieran Merrigan with Bigney converting the latter’s effort, saw Portlaoise to victory in last weekend’s cup final. Congratulations to all involved at Togher.

BLITZ DOUBLE FOR GREYSTONES UNDER-11S: The Greystones RFC Under-11 squad completed a double for the second year running when they won the Wilmslow Blitz in Manchester and the Seapoint Blitz in Dublin recently.

The Wilmslow blitz is held each year in Manchester and includes many of the top teams from Northern England. The Wilmslow club and Greystones club have built a wonderful friendship over the years with Greystones sending three or four age-group squads each year to compete each April with return visits by Wilmslow in October.

The Seapoint Blitz took place on Sunday, April 29 and this year included over 24 teams from all over the Leinster province and from the Dublin area with guests from Wales and the Midlands as well.

After qualifying top of their group and unbeaten, the Greystones team had to overcome Buccaneers and Naas in two hard-fought games to claim the trophy.

The coaches give credit for the recent successes to the spirit within the squad with all members supporting each other throughout the year and to the great underage set-up at Dr. Hickey Park.

UCD MAKE GOOD PROGRESS AT KINSALE SEVENS: The UCD team had another good outing at the 2007 Kinsale Sevens competition, which was held at the Cork club over the May Bank Holiday weekend. The weekend saw some fantastic rugby being played with UCD being an integral part once again in the Men’s Senior competition.

The team, captained by Conor Geoghegan, progressed to the quarter-final stage where they were unfortunately beaten by the eventual winners of the competition, the Kooga Wailers. The tournament saw some fantastic performances from the students, not least from Gavin Murphy who scored the try of the weekend when he embarked on a memorable chip and chase run to score the try which sent UCD into the last-eight.