Week 6 again produced a feast of exciting rugby in the Tag League, with a series of keenly fought games. A feature of the league is how well so many players, who previously had no rugby experience, have adapted to the game. The surprise of the evening was undoubtedly the defeat of The JOD Sharks, who had won all five previous league games, but they are still strongly in contention for a play-off slot. They have set the benchmark for everyone else to aspire to,despite having no experienced rugby players in their squad.
A welcome visitor on Thursday last was club Director of Rugby, Bernie Kelly. He was most impressed by the ‘buzz’ around the grounds and in the clubhouse, and by the very large crowd present. Bernie was delighted to see so many club players looking so fit and eager, even before pre-season training begins, and there can be no doubt, that the speed and free running of St. Farnan’s gaelic footballer, Declan Cawley caught his eye, as he looks to expand his playing squad for next season. Among the other newcomwers to impress were ex-Sligo Rovers player, David McDermott, former Sligo wing back, Ronan Keane, and former St. Mary’s defender, David Keane.
Coolera-Strandhill mid-fielder, Stephen Carty’s ball handling suggests that he could have had a fine rugby career as a No. 6 or No. 8. Former Georgian International, Hakaba, who played at out-half against Ireland in the 1999 World Cup, played a starring role on Thursday last.
Among the women players, Therese Cosgrove retains all the skills which earned her International selection, while Cliona O’Kelly, first cousin of Ireland’s all-time most capped player, Malcolm O’Kelly, consistently shines, and is also an excellent referee. One of the leading try scorers, and a very talented player, is Maria Devenney, a Co.Donegal Ladies gaelic player, and sister of Donegal star, Brendan Devenney. Elsewhere, Deirdre Heaslip has scored tries which her two International first cousins, Barry Murphy and Jamie Heaslip, would be proud of. Louise Dwyer, a neighbour of Ireland’s No. 8, Denis Leamy, in Cashel, Co.Tipperary, has performed impressively for the Sharks, while former juvenile coach, Jean McConnell, currently on the injured list, is also very consistent. Hockey star, Ceola McLynn is another who has given a series of outstandng displays.
Social Secretary, Billy Leahy, and Therese Cosgrove, are now planning a social function for Thursday July 19th, the final evening of the league, and details will be available on this Thursday.