The finals of the Tag League were held on Thursday last and despite the appalling weather attracted a bumper attendance. In all, four finals were played, and the conditions notwithstanding, spectators were treated to a feast of exciting rugby.
The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the Cup final, which featured the Brat Pack, captained by Billy Leahy and the Untagables, captained by Simon Galvan. Both sides included a number of 1st XV players in the club, with the Brat Pack featuring Billly Leahy, Jamie Livingstone, Ross Mannion, David Gerrity and Trevor Sweeney, as well as UCD U-20 outhalf, Simon Gillespie, so they certainly were not short in experience. The Untagables had in their ranks, captain Simon Galvan, fellow Kiwi, Cameron Giles, Gavin Foley, Julian Rippon, Martin Feeney and Joe Sweeney, so there was plenty of intense, albeit friendly, rivalry in an excellent game, won by the Brat Pack.
The losers’ star woman player, Maria Devenney had a great duel with her opposite number, Amy Gerrity, and for the first time was held scoreless, while her Donegal gaelic team colleague, Donna Kavanagh, was also impressive. Emma McGee, Laura Robinson, as well as Sarah Melvin and Siobhan Melvin also played starring roles.
The winners will now represent the club in the national finals at St. Mary’s RFC in Dublin in August. The winning squad was: Billy Leahy [Capt.], Jamie Livingstone, Laura Robinson, Simon Gillespie, Amy Gerrity, David Gerrity, Ross Mannion, Sarah Melvin, Trevor Sweeney, Siobhan Melvin, Laura Spellman and Emma McGee.
Following the finals, the presentations were made in the clubhouse. Among the other winners were Roger Burrows, who captained his side to victory in the Super Bowl, and Cliona O’Kelly, who captained her side, the Monsters, to win the Plate. Included on the Monsters team was Jean McConnell, and former Georgian International, Kakaber Machitidze, who in 1999 played against Ireland in the World Cup. One of Ireland’s stars then was Cliona’s first cousin, Malcolm O’Kelly. The special ‘Spirit of Tag Award’ was won by the Fairly Lively team, captained by Mairead Clancy.
One of the unluckiest teams was the JOD Sharks who looked odds on to make the final, after winning their first seven games. My previous observations that this side had no experienced rugby player was incorrect, as two of their men had played elsewhere at a high level, a fact some of their women members, especially Louise O’Dwyer and Teresa, were very keen to point out.
Following the presentations, a barbecue and disco was held, which were greatly enjoyed by all. The President, Tom Gilligan, wishes to thank everyone who participated for ensuring that the league was so successful, both in a sporting and in a social context, and to especially thank the Bar Chairman, Mick Lucey and his helpers, and the Event Organiser, Rachel Harte for her efficiency. Tag Rugby looks destined to become firmly established in Sligo RFC’s annual calendar of events.
Many thanks to all tag teams, their friends and supporters, who contributed so generously to the clubhouse raffle, the proceeds of which go to the two charities which also benefited from Friday’s disco.