On Wednesday 1st February the year 9/10’s Boys’ Rugby squad along with Mr McLernon and Mr Mac Artain travelled to Lurgan Rugby Football Club for the 2012 Under 14’s High Schools’ Competition. They were an inexperienced squad, having only had a couple of training sessions, so expectations were quite low and the ultimate goal was to go to Lurgan and have some fun.

We found ourselves in a group with Abbey C.B.S and Lurgan Junior High School– the former being a relatively inexperienced but organised team and the latter a well-drilled fearsome outfit, playing on their home soil. The winners from each of the three groups would ultimately go through to the finals stage, along with the top two runners-up.

First up for the “Aquinas Assassins” was Lurgan Junior High. The boys took a while to find their feet, with many of the team never having played a rugby match before, but by the end of the first half were starting to pull themselves together into a team. Unfortunately by this stage we had already conceded a few tries. The second half was more even with the Aquinas boys really stepping up to the plate but by this stage the damage was done – the win going

to Lurgan.

After a break and a bite to eat the team faced off against Abbey C.B.S. They went into the match hoping to come home happy with at least a try – the lads exceeded all expectations. Captained by the cool-headed Ruairi Shirlow the boys got stuck in right from the whistle and had soon scored their first try with Bradley Mallon crashing over the line. With the inspirational Michael Browne in out-half, the boys were soon once again in Abbey’s half, this time Ben McMeekin going over for the score. Every second of the clock saw the boys’ confidence build further. By the final whistle Aquinas had scored two more tries – one from the rampaging Peter Norney and the last from captain Ruairi Shirlow (this try was the culmination of 5 minutes of superb rugby from the lads) – finishing 24 – 10 victors! The coaches were blown away by this and the lads were ecstatic to pick up a win – as can be seen in the photo.

Aquinas hadn’t done enough to make it through to the finals but every member of the squad can hold their heads high – they did themselves proud.

An impromptu friendly was played against an intimidating Forthill side. This was a much more even affair with both teams giving their all right from the whistle. Ben McMeekin and Peter Norney scored a try apiece but unfortunately this wasn’t enough to beat Forthill who scored 3 tries.

All in all this was a great day out for the lads and should prove to be a big confidence booster for them – the future looks bright – well done lads!