Skerries rugby’s treble-makers

by Gazette Reporter

Skerries Rugby Club’s youth sides enjoyed a remarkable finals day last week as they landed Under-16 and 15 crowns, both securing trebles of Leinster Premier, Youth Cup and North East victories.

For the Under-15s, the trio of titles was made all the more impressive by the size of their squad.

The squad of 22 played their first final of the week against Barnhall, with the game moved at late notice from Donnybrook to Barnhall’s home ground.

Despite effectively playing the Leinster S/Y Premier League finale at their oppositions ground, the north county side won out by 33-21.

Their second final fell midweek, with the Leinster North East final also heading back to Skerries, with a comprehensive 45-7 victory over Navan.

The last leg was to prove the most challenging and the most intense for Skerries, as they faced Greystones at Donnybrook in the Leinster Cup Final.

Skerries scored first, but then fell 5-12 and 10-17 behind as Greystones piled the pressure on the tired team.

Skerries came back with two converted tries to lead 24-17, before a late Greystones try leveled up the tie and set up a tight finish.

In a strange quirk of Leinster Cup rules, Skerries scoring first gave them the victory in the event of the draw.

They controlled possession for much of the final nine minutes, but having been turned over, were forced to win a penalty in their own 22.

They kicked for touch in time added on to take the title on the ‘scored first’ rule, their players aware that the game-opening try had handed them the title.

There were plenty of heroes in the side, Skerries man Richie Joyce explained.

Full back Eoghan O’Connor Flanagan scored three tries in the Greystones final, with Ronan Winters adding the fourth.

Peter Groome, unknowingly playing with a broken hand from earlier in the week, was exceptional in the Skerries back.

“We’re a small club,” Joyce said, “but things are going really well at junior level.

“We’re developing a new pitch this summer, as their are a lot of players playing on just two pitches at the moment, so training is difficult.”

“The Under-15s and Under-16s both won the treble on the same weekend. We don’t even have an Under-17s side, because of numbers, so they play with the under-18s, playing up a year.

“Playing against sides the size of Barnhall, who have a lot of schools players to pick from, it’s really satisfying to get these kind of wins.

“The senior team have been relegated to division 2C this year, which is disappointing, but the young sides are really doing well.

“It’s been a great season for them, they did a fantastic job coming through a week of finals like that.”

The Under-16s matched their feats with a final win over Barnhall 22-19, completing a run of cup wins that saw them see off Ardee, Seapoint and Cill Dara – all away – amassing 162 points across their four games.

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