One hundred players and coaching staff from Sligo Juvenile Rugby made the relatively short journey to Carrick-on-Shannon Cineplex on Saturday to watch the RBS 6 Nations opening encounter between Ireland and Italy live on the big screen.
Originally, Sligo Juvenile Rugby had hoped to take their underage teams to watch the game in Croke Park. Due to the unavailability of tickets for this event, juvenile rugby coordinators â€“ David Murray, Ronnie Oâ€™Hara and John Pender â€“ plotted the next best alternative and, in collaboration with management at the Cineplex in Carrick-on-Shannon, put in place a most entertaining and enjoyable event.
Immediately after training of Saturday, buses ferried the large contingent of Sligo based Ireland rugby fans from the Institute of Technology, Sligo to Supermacs in Carrick-on-Shannon: â€˜the service and organisation provided by Supermacs was of the highest qualityâ€™ said Ronnie Oâ€™ Hara. Following lunch, the tour party made the short journey across the car park to the Cineplex facility.
An entire auditorium awaited the Eoin Reddan and Jamie Heaslip wannabes. Observing the playing of the national anthems with the utmost decorum and patriotism, the Sligo contingent created an electric atmosphere inside the theatre especially during Irelandâ€™s period of ascendancy in first half action.
Irelandâ€™s victory was met with jubilant rejoicing and, in some quarters, quiet relief!
The entire occasion proved to be an unparalleled success. Said John Pender: â€˜We are absolutely delighted to have organised such a novel event for Sligo juvenile rugby players. The players were looking forward to this event and they behaved in exemplarily fashion. It couldnâ€™t have gone any betterâ€™. David Murray was eager to thank the management of Carrick-on-Shannon Cineplex for staging the event so professionally and wished to express his gratitude to his fellow coaches â€“ Mike McGrath and Hugh Oâ€™ Hehir â€“ and also to a number of highly committed parents including Nora Pat Stewart, Michael Carty, Steven Taylor, Terrance Farragher and Ollie McNulty for ensuring that everything went so smoothly.
The spotlight will revert to our own emerging stars next weekend (Saturday 9th February) when Sligo juvenile rugby welcomes Ballina and Carrick-on-Shannon to their most enviable facilities at the Institute of Technology, Sligo. It would be a major boost to all our players if parents and family members could come along and provide the passionate and vocal support in evidence in Carrick-on-Shannon last weekend.
More photos from the event can be viewed here.