A mixed Senior/2nds/Junior girls’ hockey squad, accompanied by Mrs Johnson and Mrs Fair, has just had an extremely demanding but worthwhile two days in Glasgow, playing in a tournament alongside 15 other sides.

They started slowly against George Watson’s College at Hutcheson’s, losing 1-4 with a goal from Kitty Morris. They also lost next time up, against Kelvinside 2-4 (goals Blanca Segui and Kitty Morris), with Anna Laurenceau, normally a hard-working midfielder, making an effective transition to the goalkeeping position. They then drew 2-2 against Regent House from Northern Ireland (who we beat 1-0 in 1985 to win the Kate Russell All-Ireland championship in Cork), with Kitty Morris scoring twice. A long hard day was followed by relaxation and time in the pool.

On Monday three more matches followed. In the morning, a goal conceded in the final minute meant a loss to King Edward’s, with Anna Laurenceau outstanding in goal and a really fine performance by the team A match against another Dublin side, Mount Sackville, provided the first win, 3-1, with two goals from Helen Crampton and one from Blanca Segui. Finally, they signed off by beating Kelso High School from Borders 2-1, with Helen and Blanca again scoring.

So six matches were played, with the record: won 2, lost 3, drawn 1. There was much excellent team and individual play, and Mrs Johnson feels the season ahead for the teams is looking very positive.

Many thanks go to Mrs Johnson and Mrs Fair for taking this trip at the start of the half-term holiday.

Friday 27th October:
10am: Parents’ Association AGM, Lower Argyle.
10.45am: All classes end, following which pupils may leave for half-term.
11am to 1pm: Parent-Teacher meeting, Sports Hall.

Sunday 5th November:
6.30pm: Boarders return from this time on, by 8.30pm when there is roll-call in House.

Monday 6th November:
8.10am: Day boys and girls report to House.
8.15am: First Chapel bell.
Start of Winter Timetable (afternoon classes start at 4.15pm. Details on page 43 of the Green Book).

It’s been a positive start to the season for our girls’ hockey teams, although there have also been some poor results. On Wednesday last the senior girls in a dramatic match came back from 1-4 down against Our Lady’s Terenure by scoring 3 goals in 5 minutes to end 4-4. Our squad travels to Glasgow this weekend to compete in a tournament against schools from across the UK and Ireland: you can follow their fortunes on Twitter.

The Senior boys’ hockey team were disappointed with their performance in the All-Ireland qualifiers, hosted in the College earlier this month. They lost to both Newpark and Kilkenny College and failed to advance to the tournament proper. See some photos from those matches here. They have since kicked off their league campaign winning one (against St. Kilian’s), losing one (against Newpark) and drawing against Mount Temple, but still remain in the hunt.

The basketball teams have enjoyed great success over the past month. The senior boys are unbeaten in their league encounters, securing wins over De la Salle, Colaiste Rathlin, Wesley College and Templecarraig. Our senior girls are progressing well in the league and secured a decisive win over Holy Family Rathcoole leaving them 1-2 as we head into the half-term break. The Cadette girls also boast a 3-0 winning streak in the competitive East Region league with wins over Alexandra College, Holy Family Rathcoole and  St. Andrew’s. Ms. Hennessey also led the under-15 East Region Provincial team to success last weekend in the All-Ireland’s, with a 2 point victory over the West Region, the first all-Ireland title in 4 years for the East Region.

The Senior XV have been in excellent form recently and look to be building towards a strong season. With the cup campaign approaching confidence is high after excellent victories over St. Conleth’s, Sandford Park (7’s) and Templeogue.

St. Columba’s ran in six tries against St. Conleth’s on their return to Old Belevedere after their Shield success six months previously. Max Hopkins grabbed a brace while Kosi Anyim, Adam Murphy, Hector Wright and Thady McKeever also dotted down – Thady added two conversions. St. Conleth’s would cross the whitewash just the once and SCC won 34-5 after a commanding performance. They then took on Sandford in a 7’s fixture, fielding two teams and winning both games. The first game was won 19-12, with tries from Max Hopkins (2) and George Guinness. Conversions were added by Alex Russell and Max Hopkins. The second team secured victory by 24-10 with tries from Sean Cooper, Adam Murphy, James Wilkinson and Ivan Moffitt, who also added two conversions. More recently the Senior XV travelled to Templeogue in a league fixture and won impressively. They scored five excellent tries, through Sean Cooper (2), Max Hopkins, George Guinness, Hector Wright, on their way to a 31-7 win. Their cup opponents will be known soon so watch this space.

The Junior XV are going well also but, unlike the seniors, have tasted defeat since exodus. They also took on St. Conleth’s in the league at Old Belevedere at the beginning of October and also recorded an impressive win. Some excellent work by the forwards allowed the backs to shine in open space. Eight tries in total were scored, two from Harry Petch and the elusive Clement Jacquot and one each from powerful No.8 Thomas Somerville, Ollie Townshend, Mikail Sukhachev and substitute Luis Malaga. The J’s trip to Templeogue ended in defeat, sadly, but there is a lot of potential in this group. With a little more focus and intelligence in defence they could have a very successful season and have the potential to cause any team difficulties. They know how to score tries, which is encouraging, but need to prevent their opponents from doing the same. The game ended 28-17 to the hosts with SCC’s scores coming from Ben Sigurvinsson and Matthew Russell (2), who also added one conversion.

The Leps won their first win of the season against Blackrock U14 D’s last week. It was a chance to blood some of the less experienced JCT squad members and these players proved the difference really. Luis Malaga, in his first season of rugby, revealed his potential with four excellent tries (Luis is a powerful and pacy ball carrier and could yet force his way onto the J’s starting 15 ) while Boris Schavlov added another. They won the game 33-22.

The Ducks have been playing a series of 10 a-side fixtures recently, against De la Salle and Newpark. The promising squad were divided in two even teams for the fixtures against rivals Newpark and both teams beat the Blackrock school by 5 tries to 2. Their first 15 a-side game came against Templeogue last Monday (they had to wait was Storm Ophelia caused the original fixture to be postponed) and their winning run has continued. Three excellent tries from Caleb Owen and another (from an interception) from Tom Larke, saw the home team edge the fixture 24-10, after trailing 0-5 at half time.

Our Librarian, Ms Kent-Sutton, has created an excellent list of recently-published books which may be of interest to pupils (and their parents for Christmas presents….).  The document can be seen and downloaded here.

 

The first round of the Joutes Oratoires, the national French debating competition organised by the Alliance Française, took place on Monday evening and saw the St. Columba’s team of Nyla Jamieson (captain), Georg Müller-Methling, James Park and Sophie Wainwright propose the motion Il faudrait interdire les zoos (Zoos should be forbidden) against a team from Sandford Park School. The debate was heated with some very well-researched and well-constructed speeches delivered by both sides, along with some sharp rebuttals and counter-rebuttals, all through French. However, the impressive level of teamwork and comprehensive consideration of the motion saw St. Columba’s emerge victorious and proceed to the second round in November.

There was similar success in round one of the inter-schools Spanish debating competition, held is Castleknock College last week. The team was made up of Grace Goulding, Lucia Masding, Anna Laurenceau, Suji Franckel and Alexandra Murray Donaldson. The motion for their debate was “This house does not support independence for Cataluña” and they successfully supported the motion against a strong team from Mac Dara’s of Templeogue and they now move onto the next round after half term. A particular well done to Anna Laurenceau who won the award for best speaker.

Form V pupil Harry Oke writes this update on Senior Debating in the College

It is great to know debating and public speaking has become something greatly valued in St Columba’s. So far this term we have been involved in our own in-house Debating Competition, the Oxford Schools Debating Competition, the European Youth Parliament and the Concern Debates.  The first round of the Senior House Debating Competition began September 30th with the motion, “This house would ban users of performance enhancing drugs for life”. The line-up was Glen against Hollypark, Tibradden & Beresford against Stackallan and Iona versus Gwynn. Glen, Stackallan and Iona were victorious but who knows what the future will holds for all houses in round two of the debates in the second half of the Michaelmas term.

The 2017-18 Concern Debates have also begun and St Columba’s put forward a team led by Jack Stokes. Unfortunately, we were not able to carry the motion “To end hunger, the world must embrace GMOs” against a formidable team from Tallaght Community School. The most important thing from all these debates irrespective of winning or losing is what you learn and gain from the experience. Debating informs us about things that are happening in our world. It affirms or challenges our original beliefs and encourages us to question everything. Debating makes us use what makes us different from all other animals, our minds. I deeply encourage anyone to give debating and public speaking a try because it is worth it. It makes us act instead of being observers and it makes us assertive. It makes us independent and there is nothing better than being your own person!

We are delighted to launch five new short films about life at the College, made by Finn Richards (who also took many of the photographs used on this site, and in our new prospectus).

Five pupils chose a particular area of interest in their experience of the school, wrote scripts and then were filmed over three days in June, when they also recorded their voiceovers.

Ross, Harry, Anna, Donald and Isabelle talk about drama, music, performance, the sense of community, academic achievement, the College campus, rugby and art: a rich portrait of the experience St Columba’s offers its pupils.

The videos are now available in our Media Gallery, and as a playlist on our YouTube channel.

Public speaking and debating are important part of the College’s extracurricular programme. Below, Form III pupil Phoebe Grennell gives an account of the progress of our Junior Debating Team over the past month.

Last month the Junior Debating Team attended a debating workshop in Belvedere College. The pupils who took part were Emma Hinde, Raphaella Ihuma, Charlotte Moffitt, Maybelle Rainey, Ailbhe Matthews, Éile Ní Chíchnáin and myself, Phoebe Grennell.

When we arrived at Belvedere College, we were warmly welcomed and were taken to a large lecture hall where we met up with some debating teams from other schools. Many of us, myself included, had never debated before. The aim of the workshop was to introduce us to debating and to give us some introductory skills and tips.

A kind lady introduced herself and confidently started speaking to us about debating. She gave us some good tips and advice on how to write speeches and to deliver them. We learned that the objective of a debate is to prove how the principles and practicalities of your side of the motion is true. We were given some tips.

  1. Keep speeches to a minimum, no more than four minutes long.
  2. Never read your speech, engage with your audience with eye contact.
  3. The speech should present a cohesive case containing three main points of information (POIs).
  4. Each POI needs the same amount of time.
  5. Analyse and research each POI before the debate. This will involve asking why the points are relevant and then answering this question. This will help address counter arguments.
  6. Use persuasive language.
  7. Give lots of examples but no personal antidotes.
  8. Use structure when flagging points (a) say what you are going to say (2) say it (3) say what you’ve said.
  9. Use structure when flagging points – say what you are going to say, say it and then say what you’ve said.
  10. Remain objective and calm

This workshop was interesting and we learned a lot. For anyone getting involved for the first time, debating helps improve confidence in public speaking as well as being a good way to keep us up to date with current events and form opinions about them. Our first debate followed two weeks later in UCD where we were able to show what we learnt from the workshop and were able to use these tips in our debates. The topic for our next debate is ‘Why there should be a sugar tax’. It has been a good experience so far and I look forward to using these skills in the future.

This week in the College pupils and staff are participating in our annual Bullying Awareness Week with this year’s theme being “All Different, All Equal“. The series of events celebrating our differences kicked off on Wednesday morning with an assembly led by the pupils. Some staff shared why they are different – Mr. Finn revealing that he cannot burp and Ms Maybury finally admitting in public that she cannot drink tea from a cup without a white centre!

Other events planned over the next week include:

  • A library display of books on bullying and diversity (shown above)
  • A poetry competition is being held (winners are now published on our English Department website)
  • There are a series of talks for all pupils – from Mark Robinson (TCD) & Monica Rowe (ISPCC)
  • There are a series of short films with discussion around the topic of bullying
  • An art project.
  • A special SPHE programme.
  • A special chapel programme.
  • A music concert from Simon James (postponed due to the recent storm).

Stayed tuned to Twitter, Facebook and the news page for updates on our Bullying Awareness Week events.

Eliza Somerville from Fourth Form reviews the recent TY House Speech evening:

An evening full of captivating speeches began with a talk about concussion from Thady McKeever. He spoke about the dangers of contact sports, and the effects of repeated concussion on the brain. He ended his speech with a thought-provoking anecdote about an American football player, who ultimately died as a result of his eighteen-year career in professional sports.

I thought that this speech was very engaging. It began with a strong metaphor of your worst enemy hitting you with a bowling ball, and it was shocking to learn that this is equivalent to the force of a boxer’s fist. I also thought that the story about Mike Webster at the end of the speech was very powerful, as it showed the real-life effects of contact sports on the brain and body.

Next, Frances Wilkinson told us about the Butterfly Effect. She explained how small events can have huge, unforeseen consequences. For example, a butterfly flapping its wings could eventually create a tornado. She used an example of a man who spared the life of a soldier in World War I. This soldier turned out to be Adolf Hitler, who was responsible for millions of deaths in World War II.

I found this speech very interesting, as I was curious about how large an effect a small change could truly have. From the examples Frances used, I realised that even the smallest of actions can change the course of history.

Alexis Haarmann then told us about the controversy surrounding the death penalty. He explained that five per cent of people who are sentenced to death turn out to be innocent, and pointed out that waiting for the death penalty to be carried out is mental torture even for rightfully convicted criminals. I thought that this speech gave me a good background to the death penalty, and it made me more convinced that it should be abolished everywhere.

Ben Upton then outlined each side of the argument on whether marijuana should be legal or not. He explored both the recreational and the medicinal side of marijuana, explaining how the legalisation of marijuana would benefit the economy, and how people who experience seizures can benefit greatly from the use of medicinal marijuana. He eventually came to the conclusion that marijuana should not be legalised, as it just causes people to drift further and further away from reality. This speech was well-researched and it was an interesting view on the controversial topic of marijuana’s legalisation.

This was followed by an impressive speech from Tania Stokes on climate change. She first acknowledged that thinking of global issues can be daunting, and then emphasised that even one person changing their behaviour can have an effect on global issues. She then told us some simple tips on how we can reduce our own carbon emissions and waste. Tania ended her speech by telling us to imagine the most beautiful place we’d ever been to, destroyed forever because of climate change.

Tania’s speech stood out to me as she clearly knew her topic very well, and she was truly passionate about environmental issues. I thought that her ending, where she told people to visualise an amazing place, gone forever, was very strong, as it emphasised the shocking influence climate change could have on our world over the next hundred years.

Next, Andrew Kim gave a speech about transport. He pointed out that, four hundred years ago, people had to walk everywhere, or if they were lucky they had a horse. He described the efficiency of the transport system in South Korea, where they have a single card for all modes of transport. Andrew then went on to talk about the various improvements in transport in recent years, such as self-driving cars and the Hyperloop.

Andrew presented what could have been a dull topic in an engaging way, showing how our lives would be drastically altered if modern transport did not exist. I also found the modern advancements in transport fascinating.

Sam Lawrence then gave an absorbing speech about conservation. He informed us about the issues caused by our over-consumption of products such as palm oil. Deforestation of palm trees is occurring at an alarming rate, as fifty per cent of all products in an average supermarket contain palm oil. Sam covered many important issues in his speech, and showed how vital it is to conserve our planet’s resources.

Afterwards, Sophia Cabo spoke about divorce. In her speech, she drew from personal experience to paint a stirring picture of what it is like to go through the divorce of your parents at a young age. Sophia said that there are three stages to divorce: sadness, anger and happiness, and revealed that she was finally in the happy stage.

In her speech, Sophia showed a side of divorce that many people do not get to see. I thought that she described her journey through a difficult time very effectively.

Killian Morrell then talked about the Beatles. He said that his dad was a fan of the band, so Killian had grown up listening to their music. He added that now, when he listens to their music, he instantly gets nostalgic because it reminds him of his childhood in Dubai. Killian’s speech was unusual, and it gave an interesting picture of the different musical influences in his life.

Finally, Sophia Cole talked about women in sport. She said that recently, people have begun to see that women should not work solely in the home, as they have a lot more to offer. However, she explained that there is still huge inequality between men and women’s sport. For example, men get paid a lot more money for playing the same sport as women, and often get to play in drastically better venues than women.

Sophia raised some interesting points, and her speech was both clear and coherent. It was shameful to hear some of the inequality women still experience in the world of sport today.

At the end of the evening, I thought that the joint winners, Thady McKeever and Tania Stokes, were well-deserving of the prize as their speeches were both compelling and thought-provoking, and they each approached their topics with striking originality.

 

Many congratulations to Tania Stokes, who has been awarded second place in the junior section of National Poetry competition from PDST/WellRead for her poem ‘Resonance’. The awards ceremony is on November 7th at the CityWest Hotel.

‘Resonance’

I balanced on the strings.
Light as a tightrope walk:
Tentative, timid.
The first sound crept
At the draw of the bow
Like some small creature
From the dark.

I missed my mark.
The tone not true,
My arrow flew into
Nothing. The music played
Itself in my head. Pure,
Featherweight. Nimble.
Lacking.

I composed myself;
I could see it, crystalline,
The filigree lines.
I fixed my aim.
No stray note would escape.
I would catch it
And carve it to perfection.

But I was mistaken
In my reflection.
A cello’s purpose
Is not to take away –
Music grows. Its source?
A spark. Music throws flames
To the dark, illuminates hearts.

I reached deep, my arrow
Steeped in power. The melody,
I let it fly and it soared high –
It felt alive. I dived
Into the rising tide, and once inside,
I let it carry me to shore.
Music is more than perfection.

Caoimhe Cleary reports on a recent art history expedition:

“Recently Ms. Cullen took the Fifth Form Art History group to the famous sites of Newgrange, and Knowth situated in Brú Na Bóinne. The purposes of this was to better show and teach our class about Neolithic art, as currently in the syllabus we are covering the various carvings that are featured at this site. Everyone had packed their backpacks, and at 9 o’clock sharp we rushed off towards the school bus, snatching one of the school lunches along the way. Roughly an hour later we arrived, and our learning experience began.

We first got on one of the buses of the sites, and headed off to the main site of Newgrange. Here our textbooks came to life, as we saw that giant mound studded with white quartz that caught the sunlight surrounded by massive stones full of those inexplicable carvings, and, most beautifully of all, the ornately carved entrance stone which was draped in so much legend and soaked in the whispered rumours of magic. It was truly breathtaking, and the countless hours we had spent writing essays and beating our heads on our desks seemed a little less pointless. We then entered and got to experience a pale recreation of what would happen during the winter solstice, and we filled out about a hundred submissions to get to see it during the actual winter solstice. This time when Ms. Cullen babbled on about the actual mechanics of the Light box, we really listened.

We then raced off to Knowth, and got to see even more of these beautiful carvings that posed as a testament to the ingeniousness of our ancestors. We further learned about the various creations and art works of the Neolithic people, not to mention the history of the sites.

Finally we returned to the interpretive centre, where Ms. Cullen helped us fill out the worksheets we had created in preparation for the mock exam question we would later do.

All in all, his trip to Newgrange really served to show to our class the various art works that denoted an era, and truly brought to life what we had been studying all this time. This trip was truly memorable and even people like myself whom had already been,  got something new out of it.”

Last week I was at the annual conference of HMC, the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, attended by the heads of all the top private schools in the UK and many from elsewhere too. UK schools are dominated by the necessity to ‘perform’ in the league tables and the pursuit of those higher places, based entirely on public exam results. While here at St. Columba’s we get frustrated by the league tables being based on entry to Irish universities, it is at least a relief not to be in thrall to the exam tables. Here are some thoughts on diversity and intelligence and league tables, perhaps more relevant to the UK than Ireland:

Diversity is the latest buzzword. Schools are keen to use it in their vision statements and make it clear that their doors are open for everyone, whatever their gender, race, religion or orientation. And that of course is entirely right and proper, because young people are diverse. Schools are much more accepting places than they used to be. Can you imagine nowadays a school refusing to allow a child into the senior school just because they are black? Or telling a Muslim pupil that they cannot continue with their chosen subjects half way through the course because they are Muslim? It simply wouldn’t happen and we would be horrified if it did.

I presume we all agree on that. All schools agree with that don’t they?

Well yes, unless of course the child in question isn’t quite so academic and might affect that school’s exam performance and league table position. Then schools that like to tell us how diverse they are decide that they only believe in diversity when the pupils concerned are intelligent.

When a weaker child slips through the net (oh, those troublesome siblings) there are schools that bar them from certain subjects or from continuing with a subject without an A pass, or create excessively high tariffs for entry into the upper school that were invented after the pupil enrolled; that enter them as private candidates so as not to damage the school exam performance…they can sit in the same exam hall but they will essentially be external candidates; that create fictitious new schools through which to enter weaker candidates (yes, really), and therefore their results don’t count in the real school’s results.

In other words schools believe very strongly in diversity until it affects their results, because diversity of intelligence is really very inconvenient. Diversity is great when they all have an IQ of 150 but woe betide the less academic pupils who might not get a string of top grades and places at one of the best universities. Let’s block them, kick them out or make them feel like they don’t belong by not allowing them to represent the school.

I am not really talking about selection of pupils entering a school…of course every school wants to have the brighter pupils coming to the school (UK private schools can be selective as they are not government funded at all) and it would be disingenuous to pretend otherwise. What I am saying is that once a child is in a school, he or she should not be humiliated by being made to feel stupid or unwanted. Is that a lot to ask?

Perhaps I am deliberately being provocative, but I do think that exam league tables, while they may have driven up standards in some respects, indirectly have a lot to answer for in creating mental health issues among young people…and many schools are unfortunately complicit.

 

 

 

The first four full weeks of term have zipped by and every member of the school community, teachers and pupils, have been extremely busy, on all matters. On the sports field this has been particularly evident with pupils participating in six days of compulsory sports each week. The College sports programme is second to none, with pupils participating in a wide range of competitive and non-competitive sports. The main College sports for the first two terms are rugby, hockey (boys & girls) and basketball (boys and girls) although pupils are also actively involved in polocrosse, archery, AGC and, more recently, sailing.

Hockey is a very popular sport in the College and we have seen a lot of success, at both Junior and Senior, for the boys’ and girls’ teams. However, the boys Senior XI team have had mixed success this season, with a good win against a Wesley B side (2-0, goals from Marc Philipp Eichhorn and Ivan Moffitt) after a tough loss away to St. Andrew’s A/B side (3-0). However, the most disappointing results so far were on Thursday last, when the boys hosted the All Ireland Qualifiers against Newpark Comprehensive & Kilkenny College. The first game was tight with Newpark winning 1-0, despite a lot of chances from the home side. However, SCC lost their shape in the second game losing to Kilkenny 3-0. Sadly they won’t be travelling to the All Ireland competition this year.

The girls Senior XI have had a solid start to the season, winning one game and losing one game. The win came against Mount Temple, winning on a scoreline of 4-2, with Kitty Morris scoring twice and Abigail O’Brien & Ella Noeldeke adding the others. The loss came against Loreto Bray, on a scoreline of 1-2 (Ella Noeldeke getting the SCC goal). It was a whitewash that day, with the 2nd XI and 3rd XI also losing to Loreto Bray. The girls Junior A side have played two games so far this, winning 2-1 against near neighbours Wesley College (Eile Ni Chianain & Aurora Higgins-Jennings with the goals) but sadly losing 0-5 against Mount Anville.

The rugby season is already in full swing and our teams are showing great promise. The Senior Cup Team (SCT) and Junior Cup Team (JCT) have begun their league campaigns, while the Ducks (1st year boys) have been involved in a round robin tournament with near neighbours De la Salle Churchtown.

The Senior squad got their season off to a promising fashion, although their game against a Wesley Development XV did end in defeat (21-20). Max Hopkins and Hector Wright both scored powerful tries in the first five minutes but both conversions were missed – both relatively straightforward. Their coach, Mr. Mitchell, made a lot of changes to the side, ensuring all members of the squad got a run out. This did mean the team lost a bit of shape and structure and Wesley came back into well. Hector and Max both crossed for late tries but further missed kicks proved the difference. They received a walk-over in their first league fixture, scheduled for last week, but got to stretch their legs in a friendly game against De la Salle Churchtown on Thursday last winning by a scoreline of 26-14, with tries from Max Hopkins, Ferdinand Kuenhe, Tobias Onyeka-Patrick and Hector Wright. Thady McKeever added three conversions. It was a fantastic game, with excellent attacking rugby on show from both teams including a stunning individual try at the death from the De la Salle out-half.

The Junior squad played their first game of the season away to Terenure College, playing their Junior 3 team. It was a comfortable win for the visiting team with six tries in total scored by the Columbans (Scorers: Mikael Sukhachev, Clement Jacquot, Ben Sigurvinsson, Leo Moreau, Harry Petch & Henry Johnson, conversions by Matthew Russell 3 & Ollie Townshend). The game ended 38-0 and it was very encouraging to see the boys keep a clean sheet. Confidence was high heading into their first league fixture, again against near neighbours De la Salle Churchtown. Columba’s started really well and were in full control of the game in the first half. With 20 minutes remaining they led 20-10, after tries from Thomas Somerville and Matthew Russell, both converted by Russell and an additional two penalties (also by Russell). However, the referee handed Columba’s two yellow cards in quick succession, both for high tackles, and the game swung to the visiting side. They scored two tries and won the game 20-27.  A harsh lesson for the boys.

The Ducks also played their first few games of the season, this time away to De la Salle Churchtown.  As there were only 6 training sessions since the start of term, the boys played small sided games on a half pitch as they hadn’t practised the technicalities of rucking and mauling or the set-pieces of scrums and line outs. In the bright warm September sun the boys were divided up into two squads (the Lions and the Barbarians). They both played two matches and won one each. This was a good start to the season with many work-ons noted by the coaches. The Leps will play their first match after exodus – a lot of new pupils skill finding their feet there.

In basketball, it’s been a fairly solid start for our Senior Boys and Cadette girls, with a tight win over Wesley for the boys 49-48 and the girls kicked off their league campaign with a 21-18 win over St. Andrews. As reported last week, the College sailing team did the school proud at the All Ireland Inter-Schools Sailing Event. Click here to find out more.