Sligo RFC annual dinner and awards night – Fri May 16th

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The Club annual dinner and awards night will be held in The Glasshouse Hotel on Fri May 16th.

Music by band Déjà Groove. Spot prizes. The guest speaker is Mr. Kingsley Aikins.

Tables of 10 can be booked.

Tickets are €35 each and are available from any of the following;
Brian Mullan (087) 220 9462
Michael Storey (086) 819 8540
Mary O’Hehir , (087) 2697083
Gerry O’Daly (087) 230 0725
Dominic Storey (086) 150 0198

Numbers are limited. Book early to avoid disappointment.

Good Luck Conan

Best of luck to Conan O’Donnell and the Irish Under 18 schools team who take on England in the Final of the European U18 Championships in Poland this afternoon. The match kicks off at 3.25 and can be seen live on 3E

Donal Parsons Trust – Cake Sale

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Donal Parsons is a six year old boy who lives in Strandhill, Country Sligo, Ireland with his big brother James, his mum Jane, his dad Andy and Nelly the Springer Spaniel.

Donal likes playing, dancing, talking, cooking and making things. Most of all he loves building Lego and he loves his dog.

In October 2013 Donal was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma, a very rare Children’s cancer. Donal is currently receiving 18 months of intensive treatment at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin.

The Donal Parsons Trust are holding a Cake sale for the Trust before and after both masses on Easter Sunday in Strandhill.

If you can do some baking text Ann on 087 8116163 to arrange collection. It will be greatly appreciated.

To find out more about the Donal Parsons Trust and the fundraising efforts please follow this link – Donal Parsons Trust

U18 Club’s – Ireland 30 England 22

Result just in from France – in the U18′s Clubs tournament Ireland 30 England 22

More to follow…..

Ireland U-18 Clubs Team Announced For England Encounter

Neill Reilly with Peter Claffey 30/12/2013

Report courtesy of the IRFU and photo by © www.Inpho.ie

Ardee’s Neil Reilly will captain the Ireland Under-18 Clubs team again as they wrap up the Three Nations tournament against England

The Ireland Under-18 Clubs team to play England in the Three Nations tournament on Wednesday afternoon shows one personnel change to the side that lost 7-3 to France.

Mullingar’s Conor O’Brien had to go off injured during the French game and has been ruled out of the clash with England at the French National Rugby Centre in Marcoussis, Paris.

Head coach Wayne Mitchell brings in Joe White from Clonakilty on the right wing with Josh Daly moving to outside centre alongside fellow Exiles player Kieran Joyce.

The rest of the starting line-up is unchanged with Randalstown hooker Adam McBurney featuring in the front row and Ardee’s Neil Reilly captaining the side again from number 8.

Wednesday’s opponents are a combined England U-18 Clubs and Schools team and this will be their first match of the tournament.

The sides met last year in Ashbourne where Ireland ran out 30-15 winners – O’Brien the only returning player from that squad.

Wayne Mitchell is joined in the management team by Jamie Turkington (backs coach), Brendan O’Connor (forwards coach), Seamus Twomey (scrum coach) and team manager Tom Nyhan.

Irenad U18 Youths 2014

IRELAND UNDER-18 CLUBS Team & Replacements (v England, Three Nations Tournament, Marcoussis, Paris, Wednesday, April 16, kick-off 3pm local time/2pm Irish time):
15. Ronan Wallace (Mullingar RFC/Leinster)
14. Joe White (Clonakilty RFC/Munster)
13. Josh Daly (Bristol RFC/Exile)
12. Kieran Joyce (Silhillians RFC/Exile)
11. Peter Howard (Cill Dara RFC/Leinster)
10. Brett Connon (Newcastle Falcon/Exile)
9. Andrew Feeney (Suttonians RFC/Leinster)
1. Philip Poillot (Clonakilty RFC/Munster)
2. Adam McBurney (Randalstown RFC/Ulster)
3. Ben Betts (Young Munster RFC/Munster)
4. Hugh Sloan (Bath RFC/Exile)
5. Sean O’Leary (Midleton RFC/Munster)
6. Matthew Cosgrove (Sligo RFC/Connacht)
7. Conor Farrell (Navan RFC/Leinster)
8. Neil Reilly (Ardee RFC/Leinster) (capt)

Replacements:
16. Tadgh McElroy (Dundalk RFC/Leinster)
17. Vakhtang Abdaladze (Coolmine RFC/Leinster)
18. Jake Byrne (Northampton Saints/Exile)
19. Josh Barnes (Tralee RFC/Munster)
20. Conor Hand (Navan RFC/Leinster)
21. Cameron Fulton (Coleraine RFC/Ulster)
22. Ciaran Frawley (Skerries RFC/Leinster)
23. Brian Fanning (Bruff RFC/Munster)

Management Team -
Wayne Mitchell – Head Coach
Tom Nyhan – Team Manager
Jamie Turkington – Backs Coach
Brendan O’Connor – Forwards Coach
Seamus Twomey – Scrum Coach
Adam Sheehan – Strength & Conditioning Coach
Damien Mordon – Physiotherapist
Padraig Sheeran – Team Doctor
Ross Martin – Video Analyst
Mo Dempsey – Baggage Master

U-18 THREE NATIONS TOURNAMENT FIXTURES:
France 7 IRELAND U-18 CLUBS XV 3
Saturday, April 12
Marcoussis

IRELAND U-18 CLUBS XV v England
Wednesday, April 16
Marcoussis, 3pm local time/2pm Irish time

Ireland U-18 Clubs Team Edged Out By France

Matthew Cosgrove Ireland Youths 2014

Match Report courtesy of the IRFU

France 7 Ireland 3

The Ireland Under-18 Clubs team were desperately unlucky to lose to tournament hosts France in 20-degree Paris sunshine, as they leaked the decisive try in the closing minutes.

It was the opening fixture of the Three Nations tournament at the French National Rugby Centre in Marcoussis, with Ireland taking on England at the same venue next Wednesday afternoon.
Wayne Mitchell’s youngsters led 3-0 for most of the game against France, and were the stronger attacking side in the opening 35 minutes.

France had an early opportunity when they gathered a loose ball inside their own 22 and moved it wide – gaining ground into the Irish 22 – but the visitors’ scramble defence covered well to ensure their line was not breached.

For the remaining of the first half Ireland profited from a strong set piece platform, with hooker Adam McBurney consistently hitting his lineout targets, Hugh Sloan and Sean O’Leary.

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Sligo’s Matthew Cosgrove who started in the back row for Ireland

They used set piece ball to launch Ireland’s attack deep into French territory and were unlucky not to cross the try-line on at least two occasions.

Andrew Feeney and Brett Connon exerted plenty of control at half-back, using possession intelligently as they probed for openings. However, the injury-enforced loss of centre Conor O’Brien was an early setback.

France gave away eight penalties in the first half through indiscipline. Out-half Connon failed to open the scoring on four minutes, but he successfully slotted over a 33rd minute penalty to give Ireland a 3-0 interval lead.

The Clubs side started strongly in the second period but had to defend for long spells without the ball. They did manage to steal some French possession through busy openside flanker Conor Farrell who was effective at the breakdown.

Showing a huge amount of focus and intensity, Ireland created more opportunities in the second half but failed to turn them into points as they held onto their three-point advantage.

Wingers Peter Howard and Josh Daly had two good line breaks that got the big Irish support on their feet. Disappointingly, on both occasions, they came up short of the French whitewash.

France then struck late on for the match-winning score after turning over possession on the halfway line. The ball was shifted wide to winger Martin Laveau who outflanked the defence and touched down against the run of play.

Following Romuald Seguy’s conversion, Ireland were determined to hit back over the remaining seven minutes.

Mitchell’s charges were camped on the French try-line but the home side held out to claim a narrow four-point victory.

Ireland Schools Side Through To European Final – Sat 19th

Ire V France U18 - Conan O'Donnell 3
No. 3 above is Sligo’s Conan O’Donnell

Match Report courtesy of the IRFU

France 11 Ireland 24

The Ireland Under-18 Schools team outscored France by three tries to one in wet conditions in Plewiska this afternoon as they qualified for the FIRA/AER Under-18 European Championship final.

Sean O’Connor’s fifth-minute try from a lineout maul set Ireland on their way to a well-deserved 24-11 win, which sets up an Easter Saturday showdown with England in Wronki (kick-off 4.30pm local time/3.30pm Irish time).
Noel McNamara’s young side mastered the Polish wind and rain to continue Ireland’s fine record of reaching European finals at this age-grade, with backs Jacob Stockdale and Matthew Gilsenan also touching down.

Irish teams have been runners-up on four occasions in the FIRA/AER U-18 European Championship (2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012), while the class of 2011, which included current senior internationals Robbie Henshaw and Stuart Olding, won the tournament in France three years ago.

McNamara’s charges were clinical in attack today, building a 17-11 lead while playing into a strong wind in the opening half.

Ire V France U18 - Conan O'Donnell

Gilsenan, who shifted to centre with Jimmy O’Brien starting in the number 10 jersey, had a fine game and kicked nine points in difficult conditions.

There were a number of heroes in the Irish pack, marshalled excellently again by lock James Ryan, and the back row of Will Connors, Johnny Guy and number 8 Max Deegan were particularly effective as a unit.

Ireland had to show huge grit in defence as the athletic French outfit forced the issue early in the second half.

But they managed to hold them scoreless and Gilsenan’s converted effort booked their place in the Championship decider against defending champions England, who beat Wales 11-9 in the other semi-final.

Ireland made early inroads in their game, carrying strongly around the fringes and kicking a close-in penalty to touch. Captain Ryan rose to claim the five-metre lineout and his second row partner O’Connor came up with the ball after the Irish forwards had driven over the try-line.

The vocal Irish support cheered a well-struck conversion from Gilsenan, but France were quick to respond through a penalty from their out-half and captain Anthony Belleau.

Ire V France U18 - Conan O'Donnell 2

Ireland showed further promise with a strong scrum and a half-break from Gilsenan, however they were caught napping at a short lineout as the French hooker Yohan Beheregaray took a return pass to gallop down the left touchline and crash over in the corner.

The conversion was missed by Belleau, leaving France with a 8-7 lead – but that was to be the only time that they were ahead in the match.

Ireland hit back straight from the restart as the impressive Deegan broke through and some clever offloading released Stockdale for his third try of the tournament, charging in from his left wing berth.

Gilsenan smacked over the 16th minute conversion for good measure, and Ireland’s confidence continued to grow as full-back Jack Power covered a dangerous attack, France missed a penalty and tighthead prop Conan O’Donnell enjoyed a ding-dong battle with his scrum opponent Quentin Walcker.

Ire V France U18 - Conan O'Donnell 4

Belleau closed the gap to 14-11 after Ireland were penalised for crossing in midfield, but Ryan and his team-mates stayed composed and focused on their individual roles.

A terrific man-and-ball tackle from loosehead Andrew Porter inspired Ireland for a strong finish to the first half, with Gilsenan slotting a three-pointer after good carries from Connors and Power.

Either side of the break, Ireland showed their ability to force turnovers with the choke tackle technique – no doubt sharpened up by forwards coach Brian Robinson – winning back possession on three occasions in quick succession.

There were turnovers and knock-ons from both sides in a scrappy period of play, but France were beginning to make more use of their territory as the rain came down.

Their winger Karim Qadiri had a try ruled out in the left corner for an earlier infringement. Ireland had to show immense resolve as they were pinned back in their 22, with a clearance kick charged down and the referee siding with France in a series of tightly-contested scrums.

Aggressive and tenacious defending from Ryan and his pack won a crucial turnover on the Irish line. The ball was cleared to touch and a subsequent scrum penalty helped the Irish youngsters lift the siege.

It was then Ireland’s turn to attack as Gilsenan dinked a kick to touch on the right with the resulting French lineout, in their 22, ruled crooked.

Scrum half Rowan Osborne used quick ruck ball astutely as Ireland probed for an opening and it almost came with direct running from excellent centre Colm Mulcahy and flanker Connors.

O’Brien did well to retrieve a loose ball and Ireland kicked a subsequent penalty to touch, chipping away at the French defence until right on the hour mark when Gilsenan spotted a gap to go over on the left.

The try scorer followed up with another pinpoint conversion – five metres in from the touchline – and the 13-point deficit, with time running out, looked too much for the French to overhaul.

Les Bleuets gave it their all as they tried to unlock Ireland’s disciplined defence, but McNamara’s side contained them in their own half for much of the closing stages.

The replacements also made their mark, Paul Kiernan getting over a ruck ball to force a penalty and hooker Hugo Kean adding to a reinforced scrum as Ireland saw out a deserved victory.

Referee: Fergus Kirby (England)

Cathal O'Donnell

Conan’s father Cathal O’Donnell watches on as Ireland beat France to secure a place in Sat’s Elite Countries Schools European Final

Two more Irish caps for Sligo’s Conan O’Donnell and Matthew Cosgrove

Last weekend saw Sligo’s youth players secure two additional Irish caps – Conan O’Donnell started at prop for the Irish Schoolboys in their tournament in Poland while Matthew Cosgrove started in the back row for the Irish Youths in their tournament in France.

Conan O'Donnell V Georgia

Conan O'Donnell and Andrew Davidson 30/3/2014 V Scotland

Conan O'Donnell No 3 V Georgia

Conan O’Donnell pictured above played at tighthead against Georgia for the Irish Schoolboys in their four try 20-nil victory. The full match report for that game can be found here.

Ireland who compete in the Elite Division started their campaign off against Georgia on Friday 11th April in Opalenica in Western Poland. The Irish win sets up a clash against France on Tuesday 15th April. Ireland’s final match of the championships will take place on Saturday 19th April.

The other competing nations in the Elite Division of the FIRA European Championships include England, Wales, France, Scotland, Italy, Georgia and Portugal.

Matthew Cosgrove Ireland Youths 2014

Irenad U18 Youths 2014

In France, the Ireland Youths were narrowly edged out by France by just four points. Sligo’s Matthew Cosgrove started in the back row for Ireland. The full match report can be found here.

The Ireland Under-18 Clubs squad will have a few days to recover from the France match before playing England in their final game of the tournament at Marcoussis.

Pictured below are members and friends of the Cosgrove family who travelled to support Matthew in France.

Cosgrove's friends and family in France

Pictured below are Conan and Matthew together with their Sligo RFC team mates playing for Connacht U18′s earlier this season.

Sligo 7 Connacht U18's 2014

Conan O’Donnell

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Matthew Cosgrove

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Official opening of refurbished Clubhouse

Sligo RFC Club Hall

Saturday April 12th was the occasion of Sligo RFC’s last UBL game of the season against Skerries RFC. The day doubled up with the official opening of the refurbished Clubhouse and end of season party.

Eighty guests sat for the pre-match meal in the Club hall with food provided by Club sponsors The Glasshouse Hotel. After the meal Deputy Tony McLoughlin together with Club President Brian Mullan cut the ribbon to officially re-open the Clubhouse following the ongoing works being carried out by Sligo RFC with the invaluable support of Sligo Leader Partnership and the Tus initiative under the auspices of the Department of Social Protection.

Official re-opening

After the game Club members, guests and the many members of the Skerries travelling support returned to the Clubhouse for the end of season party with music from the wonderful Rackhouse Pilfer and a Port & Cheese Reception generously sponsored by Jacqui Cunningham of Home Care Independent Living Sligo.

Rackhouse Pilfer

Jacqui Cunningham - Port & Cheese Reception

The day was a great success in what we hope will be the first of many celebrations at the newly refurbished Clubhouse.

Skerries run rampant in final game of the season

Senior team 2013/14

Sligo RFC 13
Skerries RFC 50

Having secured their position in the All Ireland League for another season with a fine win on the road against Instonians RFC three weeks ago, Sligo RFC faced third placed team in the league Skerries RFC in their last game of the season at Hamilton Park, Strandhill on Sat last.

Sligo started well into the breeze applying early pressure on the travelling side. The early pressure however yielded no return and Skerries showed some signs that their much fancied backline might present Sligo with some difficulties on the day. Skerries scored a well worked try on the 20 min mark to go 0-5 ahead. From the resulting re-start a defensive error by Sligo allowed Skerries in for an immediate second try 0-12.

Just before the half a well orchestrated Sligo move saw No. 8 Eoin Matthews touch down under the posts leaving the half time scoreline at 7-12 to Skerries.

Eoin Matthews try

The second half started much the same as the first half with Sligo applying early pressure and getting the better of the exchanges. Sligo kicked well using the breeze to their advantage, however Skerries broke from their own 22 scoring a very well worked try.

Sligo responded with two Mark Butler penalties to narrow the gap in the scoreline to 9 points.

The strength of the Skerries backline then proved to be Sligo’s undoing as they ran rampant scoring several tries to run out worthy winners with a scoreline of 13-50.

The wining margin was enough to secure Skerries second place in the league table giving them the second remaining automatic promotion spot, much to the delight of their large travelling support.

Sligo finished in 13th place in the league, however safe in the knowledge of another year in the All Ireland League this should allow the Club to recruit over the summer months and to start afresh in September again.

O’Donnell wins Irish cap!

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Congratulations and well done from all at Sligo RFC to Conan O’Donnell who started for the Irish Schools U18 team that took on Scotland Schools at Coolmine RFC this afternoon.

Tight head prop O’Donnell, who has played at Sligo RFC since he was six years, old played an important role anchoring the scrum in Ireland’s 26-6 victory.

Today’s cap is a testament to the dedication and hard work that Conan puts into his rugby and is surely the start of many more representative honours for the Summerhill College student.

Minister Phil Hogan visits Sligo RFC

Visit to Sligo RFC of Minister Phil Hogan

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan while in Sligo today visited Hamilton Park this morning to see for himself the ongoing works being carried out by Sligo Leader Partnership and the Tús initiative in conjunction with Sligo RFC.

The project involves labourers provided by Sligo Leader Partnership under the Tús initiative. Sligo RFC provide all of the materials and the labour is carried out by the Tús initiative workers.

Club President Brian Mullan, Treasurer Treveor Sweeney and Deputy Tony McLoughlin

The Minister was accompanied by Deputy Tony McLoughlin who is a regular supporter of Sligo RFC for the AIL games. Also in attendance were Councillor Hubert Keaney and many members of Sligo Leader Partnership and Tús including Chairman of the Sligo Leader Board Tom McGetrick, CEO Chris Gonley, Paul Tolan, Tús Project Leader for the Sligo RFC works Mark Burns, Tús workers, Club President Brian Mullan, Club Chairman Rory Raftery, many members and invited guests.

The Minister was given a guided tour of the building by Club Chairman Rory Raftery where he witnessed first hand the quality of the work that has been carried out to date on the project. He was shown photos of the building as it stood before the works commenced.

Presentation by Club Chairman Rory Raftery

After some time speaking with the members the visiting party were given a short presentation on the project by Club Chairman Rory Raftery. Rory thanked The Minister and Deputy McLoughlin for their support to the Club, he also thanked Sligo Leader, Project Leader Mark Burns and the workers on the Tús project for their hard work over the last six months at the Club. Rory explained how the support that the Club has received has given the Club members a renewed sense of pride in the Clubhouse and grounds and the the project has encouraged the Club to find the funds to keep the project going and to undertake further works. Rory mentioned that this project is part of a six phase plan for the overall re-development of the facilities at Strandhill, the next phase of which is the development of a 3,750 square metre all-weather training facility on the centre ground between the two playing fields at Hamilton Park. The all-weather facility is central to the Club’s plans to bring its circa 400 juvenile and youth players back to Strandhill as they are currently renting facilities for training elsewhere. The all-weather facility is the subject of a current Sports Capital funding application, word on which is expected in September.

Minister Phil Hogan spoke to the gathering and said how glad he was to see how well the project has worked by bringing Sligo Leader, Tús and Sligo Rugby Club together to improve the building for the Club and the wider community.

Sligo RFC

Sligo Leader CEO Chris Gonley spoke and praised the manner in which Sligo Rugby Club had embraced both the project itself and the workers on the project. He spoke about the importance of the continuance of such projects for the local community.

Just before the Minister departed he was given a brief tour of the Club grounds by Chairman Rory Raftery and shown the site for the much needed all-weather training facility.

The Club would like to extend its sincere thanks to Michael and Mary O’Hehir (O’Hehir’s Bakery) for providing support on the day with tea, coffee and canapés.

Talent Search – April 26th

Sligo RFC Talent Search

Sligo RFC ladies will be hosting a talent competition on the 26th of April at the club house in Strandhill.

Three acts will display their talents per quarter, with twelve acts in total. Each act will depend on their supporters to get them through by donating to their kitty.

One act per quarter will be chosen to perform in the semi final after which the kitty collectors will take donations for their performing act.

To last two acts will be selected to perform the finale where the winner will be chosen on overall donations to their kitty.

The night promises to be packed with entertainment and lots of spot prizes, so if you, a friend or family member has a hidden talent you would like the world to know about contact Grainne McGuire at grainne.mcguire@yahoo.ie or on 086 3915833 or Sligo Rugby Club at secretary@sligorfc.ie.

Closing date for entries is April 10th.

Just what we’ve been waiting for….

David Heath secures Sligo lineout

Instonians RFC 5
Sligo RFC 16

Sligo all but secured their Ulster Bank League status with a well deserved victory over Belfast side Instonians at Shaws Bridge on Saturday. Sligo now hold 13th place in the sixteen team league, 2 places clear of the relegation play off position, with one game remaining.

Sligo front row - Wesley Maxwell, Tadhg Power and Adrian McHale

Sligo kicked off playing into the stiff breeze and quickly got into their stride. A barnstorming run from Wesley Maxwell signalled the early intent and his forward colleagues took up the mantle and responded well. Sligo’s scrum was strong with Adrian McHale and Tadgh Power ably assisting Mawell. James Wilson and David Heath were secure on their own lineout and were causing problems on the Instonians throw. Rory Kerins and Jamie Bowes were carrying well and Eoin Matthews was working well at number 8.

Stefan Moir

A heavy hail shower after 15 minutes made life difficult for both teams and it was the 38th minute before the scorekeeper was troubled. A well struck Stefan Moir penalty gave Sligo an interval lead of 3 points to nil.

Mark Butler scores Sligo's try

Following the resumption Sligo upped the tempo and began to make inroads into Instonians territory. Centres Gavin Foley and Chris Nairn were driving forward with intent and wingers Aaron Spring and Colin Keane were effective when called into play. 10 minutes into the half Sligo picked up the match defining score. A scrum on the left side of the Instonians 22 was moved right. Full back Mark Butler took an excellent line through the middle, handed off the cover tackle and raced away to touch down under the posts. Moir converted and Sligo were in the ascendancy.

Enda Gavin carries

Moir added another penalty on 65 minutes to further increase the advantage following some great work by replacement prop forward Conor Mitchell.
With 5 minutes remaining Sligo put the game beyond reach. A well worked attack positioned Sligo in the Instonians 22. Scrum half Enda Gavin fed Moir and the outhalf cleverly popped over a drop goal to move his teams lead to 16.

Rory Kerins carries

Instonians responded and picked up a consolation try at the death but when the long whistle was sounded it was the Sligo faithful who were celebrating. Sligo last league game of the season takes place on 12th April at Hamilton Park against 3rd placed Skerries. Sligo have shown all season that they are capable of matching any team in the division and will be looking to finish the season with a victory. The match kicks off at 2.30

Sligo Captain celebrates Sligo's victory

Sligo:
Mark Butler, Colin Keane, Chris Nairn, Gavin Foley, Aaron Spring, Stefan Moir, Enda Gavin, Wesley Maxwell, Tadgh Power, Adrian McHale, Jamie Bowes, James Wilson, David Heath, Rory Kerins, Eoin Matthews. Reps Conor Mitchell, Ross Mannion, Michael McMorrow, David Cawley, David Green, Craig Adams.

Sligo relief at the end of the game

Sligo Ladies to face Queens University RFC

Sligo RFC ladies team are playing Queens University ladies at 1pm on Sunday at Hamilton Park, Strandhill.

Best of luck to the ladies players and management team of John Davey, Warner Wilders and Marian Rolf.

The game will be followed by a post match meal for players, officials, friends and family – please contact Marian Rolf (087) 218 8663 to book your spot.

Please come along on Sunday to support the ladies – 1pm.