Que Bonita Es Barcelona!

What would you give to spend a few glorious days and sleepless nights with over sixty tweeners in beautiful Barcelona?  Well, the St. Conleth’s staff have a rigorous testing and competition regime in place to select the right teachers for the privilege of chaperoning on school trips and those who ‘win’ are always the object of much jealousy…. and a considerable amount of PTSD therapy upon their return.  This time, intrepid adventurer Gav Maguire led a decidedly sporty team, made up of Ms. deBhal, Ms. Speller, Ms. Wafer, Mr. Magee and Mr. Robertson.  As soon as they are out of quarantine and the debriefing process, we will ask for their impressions, but in the meantime, see what First Year Colman Hegarty and Second Year Joymarita Rajinikanth thought of it all: 

During late March, 1st and 2nd year went on a weekend trip to Barcelona. After a smooth trip across the sea, we hopped on a bus for a great trip around the city, stopping at the 1992 Olympic
stadium, the Sagrada Família and la playa. We went to the hostel for dinner and the
next day we were off to Porta Ventura. We tried all the rides and got the coach back to
the hostel. On Saturday the weather was not cooperative but we had a great rugby
masterclass as the girls went shopping.  Sadly we ended up playing much older players
in our match but we still played a great game. The next day we played our second match and once again were outclassed but the girls had a fun masterclass. We made to the airport and on our flight in no time. Gavin, Louis, Ms Speller, Lydia and Shane all were amazing at organizing and keeping everyone in check.

Colman

 

 

I don’t think any of us expected there to be a time in our lives where we’d wake up at 3am on a cold Thursday morning to put on our school tracksuits, without complaint, and be excited about it.  None-the-less, that’s exactly what we ended up doing, to our surprise and that of our parents.  Between the buzz of being with our friends and the coffee which many of us had downed on the way to the airport, it was safe to say that the teachers didn’t have a fun time getting us through security. I think the only time the teachers where able to get us all to shut up was when we were finally on the plane and the lack of sleep finally hit us!  But, unfortunately for them, it was back to chaos again once we hit Spanish soil. The warmth only seemed to amplify our babble, if anything. How the teachers were able to get through the trip without going bonkers, is beyond me. (Ed.’s note: statement yet to be verified.)

I’m pretty sure the tour guides – who, despite all the mindless chatter, managed to drill a bit of history and culture into our heads – were counting the seconds till they could depart all the noise. But, though they might not admit it, I could have sworn they were hesitant to leave the company of us, Conlethians, in all our friendly glory. The rest of that day consisted of thrilled remarks as we toured Newcamp Stadium – most of them coming from the boys -, messy unpacking, groans at the thought of dinner and victory dances at bowling alleys. 

It was an experience none of us will ever forget, to say the least 🙂

Joymarita

 

Champions! SCT Win the McMullen Cup, 41-0, with Style and Substance

Tweet it. Snapchat it. Instagram it.  Go ahead.  But it really isn’t necessary.  This day, this match was not one of those all too common moments of interest which are instantly captured, ridiculously magnified and granted a spectacular but ephemeral glory- forgotten when someone posts an animal doing something cute or a person doing something stupid.  This day, for Gav Maguire and his SCT, and for the whole St. Conleth’s community, past and present, will take a proud and pre-eminent place in the memory, impervious to the vagaries of our contemporary, attention deficit culture.

We will do our best, but there were just too many memorable moments to capture or mention:  The calm but determined visages of the boys as they prepared for the biggest battle of their lives….  Gav and Michael Hassett, hovering on the sidelines like Mercedes engineers at the assembly plant, fine-tuning their rugby-playing machines…  Brendan Connor, Sean Bortolozzo, Finn Mulcahy and Colin Duffy scoring scintillating tries… The incredible support of students, staff, parents and alumni- taking Donnybrook Stadium away from the big boys of rugby, for at least one day… Ben Doggett kicking conversions from angles which even Paddy and Simon could not measure with their ever-present Maths Sets… And perhaps most tellingly in regards to the care and concern with which Gav has moulded both the skills and the morals of these young men, Captain Kevin Dolan repeatedly and flawlessly leading his team like a mobile colossus up and down the pitch, but straying several yards offside in the waning moments to to help up a fallen opponent, overcome by the enormity of his defeat.  We will let the pictures tell a bit more of the story, but if you were there you don’t really need them to remember one of the proudest days in St. Conleth’s history.

Time To Get Your Green (and Black) On!

The rugby world has taken notice: Gav Maguire’s  SCT are a force with which to be reckoned as the pitches of Leinster are littered with the spent hulks of supposed rugby powers which have been left by the wayside on this glorious and historic march to the McMullen Cup Final.  The Leinster Illuminati will be there (Read their preview official preview here).  Mr. Kelleher will be there, taking attendance.  You need to be there, too!  3:00 kick-off at Donnybrook Stadium, this Tuesday, the 23rd.  All the current Conlethians will be out in force, and we are calling on parents and alumni to join us.

 

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It was 1986 when St. Conleeth’s last won this cup.  It was not a great year for music, with Chris de Burgh ruling the Irish charts and ‘Mr. Mister’ placing three songs in the year-end American top ten.  But there was some inspiration deeper in the charts that year, as St. Conleth’s SCT hit their opponents like a ‘sledgehammer’ and the team’s movement on the pitch was ‘like a chain reaction’, leaving their fans on ‘the edge of heaven’ and ‘taking their breath away’.   The 2016 version will have their own chosen tunes pumping through their Beats as they get psyched for the biggest match of their lives.  Do not be mistaken.  This is it.  ‘The Final Countdown’ starts now!

SCT Leading the Way for St. Conleth’s Rugby

Somewhere back in the mists of time, Mr. Kelleher hopped on his bike in Drumcondra and, dodging trams, trollies and traps, crossed the Liffey in record time.  He arrived at 28 Clyde Road with quite a sporting pedigree in his back pocket, with both the oblong and the round ball, and he quickly set about transforming the rugby fortunes of St. Coneth’s. The cricket and rather polite tug-of-war (it was more of a firm pull than a tug) in the garden stayed around for a while, but Mr. K charted and supervised a course of progress which mirrored his own meteoric ascent in both playing and administering for Lansdowne RFC.  Some 70 years later, Mr. K can now look on proudly as Head of Sport Gavin Maguire takes the field with his SCT, and teams from Glendalough to Skerries know that the team to beat in Leinster A (and even B!) is St. Conleth’s.  There have been both bright and dark days in between, with Coach Emeritus Shay Keenan somehow keeping the programme rucking forward, and now Conlethians routinely take the pitch with silverware on the line.  Gav’s boys made it to the League Final last year in Donnybrook, and though they lost, a young SCT was battle-hardened by the experience and their unbeaten start to this season reflects a both a maturity which is both physical and mental and bodes well for the more meaningful matches ahead.  Our JCT  and First and Second year teams have had a tougher time of late, but coaches Bolger and Lonergan can point to Dolan, Doggett, Ghose et al and the youngsters can take heart, knowing they, too, will soon be playing for plates, shields and cups!