The ALSAA Complex may have been more akin to Glastonbury last weekend, but the festival weather failed to dampen spirits at Swords Rugby Club’s first festival of rugby.
The three-day event was a huge success for Swords RFC, as rugby captured the imagination of the Fingal capital once more, with the coveted Heineken Cup making its way to four different destinations.
Friday night saw Swords’ second side face Ardee in what kind only be described as hurricane-like conditions, though the match did not fail to entertain despite the rain.
After a rumble in the muck, it was the visitors who managed to scrape home, three penalties giving them a 9-8 win.
The mud was barely washed from the kneecaps before the Greens were in action again, as a mixed Swords side – devoid of half their first team – took on their counterparts Balbriggan on the back pitch in ALSAA on Saturday afternoon.
Rain ensured another wet affair, but again the tempo was free-flowing and both sides were fully committed in every facet of the game. In the end it was the visitors who took the win, though on another day and on another pitch, it might have been a different story.
Earlier in the day, youngsters from the Swords area took part in a number of fun games and Tag rugby, while taking turns to pose with the Heineken Cup.
The action was all caught on camera by the team from local station, Fingal Community TV, who interviewed several of the players and officials.
The weather played havoc with Swords Under-19s’ fixture away to Suttonians, which was cancelled, while the inaugural Under-13s training session on Friday night also fell foul to the rain, despite good numbers showing interest.
Meanwhile, the Heineken Cup was on show at ALSAA on Friday and Saturday, at Swords minis pitch in Brackenstown on Sunday morning, Lifestyle Sports in the Pavilions Shopping Centre on Sunday afternoon and Wright’s Café Bar, Swords’ official sponsors, on Sunday night.
All in all, it was a successful three days for the club, which has helped further strengthen its links in the community.
Swords RFC President Alan Butler said: “We were delighted at how the weekend panned out, despite the poor weather.
“We had to rejig our organisation somewhat, but thanks to the actions of our members, all in attendance were able to enjoy the festival.
“It is an event we hope to stage on an annual basis and I’d like to thank all those who supported it.”