Westport Rugby Football Club

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17 Year old Dylan Prendergast from Louisburgh, Co. Mayo, a student in Sancta Maria College,

will this Saturday line out for Ireland Schoolboys against France. This is an enormous

achievement as Schools Caps are rare enough for players who have come through the

Youths system but extremely rare if you are from and play your rugby in Connacht.

Westport RFC are tremendously proud of Dylan and wish him the very best on Saturday

and also for the easter tour to Wales. Dylan started playing for Westport at mini level more

than 10 years ago and his talents were obvious from an early age. His kicking skills

from the hand and tee have to be seen to be believed. Dylan plays his rugby at Outhalf and

was the Connacht U18 Outhalf at the age of only 16years. We will watch his undoubted

progress over the next few interest.


 Connacht League Final

Westport Bulls RFC U19s Report Season 2011/12


In August 2011 if we were told that we would compete in the U19s Connacht League Final and win the U19s Connacht Cup Final, have players capped for Ireland at both U19 age grade, (Jamie Dever) and U18 age grade, (Ruben Pepperhobbs) and five players capped for both Connacht Schools and Club we would think the fortune teller had indeed lost his senses.

In a nut shell, that is how the season panned out.

Initially, we had negotiations with Connemara RFC to see if would enter a joint team in the U19s league but it soon became clear that the logistics of travelling to either Westport or Clifden for training would not be palatable for either Club.

Eddie Walsh and Pat McCormack were charged with the duty of harnessing a group of genuine U19 players and players who were making the transition from the previous season’s U17’s team that had progressed to the semi-finals of both the league and cup campaigns. Tom Browne stepped in as Manager to bolster the coaching management set up.

There was a lot of debate during the early youth co-ordinator branch meetings at the Sportsground but eventually it was decided to run a 10 a side blitz on successive Sundays during September to establish the standard of each Club participating in the proposed A & B leagues. It was a novel approach and one that encouraged guys back from the summer holidays. We were lucky in Westport that so many players accepted the challenge and we went through that campaign unbeaten securing a position to play in the A grade league.


Before the league proper commenced, training improved in both numbers and participation and Eddie and Pat promised the guys that if they put in the work and training that they would earn a right to play at the business end of all competitions after Christmas.

The league was a tough arduous campaign with many ups and downs. We beat Buccaneers at home 21-20 but when Buccs were successful in an appeal we were forced to play them again at home. We were leading 11-7 with five minutes to go when we took the foot off the gas and Buccs rumbled up the pitch to score a converted try leaving the final score 11-14.  The flip side of that was our game against Sligo straight after Christmas. We were losing 14-8 and had lost Andrew McAleer to a bad shoulder injury. We never gave up and forced Sligo back onto their goal line and during the last play of the game Dwayne Corcoran intercepted a pass to score under the posts. We converted and won the game. Kevin Gill still has teeth marks in his knees from that days encounter!


We won all our other games, beating Monivea 30-0 along the way, but because of our loss to Buccaneers we had to play Monivea in a Play-Off decider as they had also lost only one game, to us!  With all our preparation for the play-off we still underestimated the tenacity of the Monivea team and though we could have won the game when we were lined up for a drop goal attempt that never materialised a draw in that game was probably a fair result. The replay was another tight affair when we were beaten by the narrowest of margins to a score line of 12 – 11.

It was particularly difficult for a lot of the players as in the middle of all of this they had also represented Rice College in the Schools Senior Cup semi final losing out in a replay to eventual winners, Marist College, Athlone.

Revenge was sweet though, when we beat Athlone’s Buccaneers in the Cup semi final which set up another meeting, on Easter Sunday, with Monivea on the Sportsground’s hallowed main pitch. We won this game comprehensively 12-5 with our forwards dominating collisions and the back line making plenty of yardage. Andrew McAleer and Kevin Hastings scored our tries.

Looking back, it was an extremely enjoyable season and just rewards were delivered to a group of lads who never quit when the going got tough and they backed each other up right through the season. They are indeed a credit to the Club and to themselves and we look forward to seeing them represent the Club at senior level in the coming years.

Many thanks to the Club’s Main Sponsors and also to T. Bourke’s Bar, Martin McNally, Sue O’Toole and the guys from the U17 squad who contributed hugely to our squad during both competitions.

We can only wonder, when August comes around this year what will the fortune teller predict for next season?


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