Tag Archive for: Rugby

It’s been another busy term of sport, briefly disrupted by some recent heavy rain. In rugby, the Senior XV have started their league campaign reasonably well with comfortable victories over De la Salle Churchtown and St. Conleth’s but they’ll rue missed opportunities in their narrow loss to a strong Newpark side at home. The JCT XV have struggled with injuries and a lack of depth, sadly losing their three league games to date. Their captain David Cron has been their star player and he donned the Leinster colours recently for the Metro Under-16s. Our youngest pupils in Form I had a great victory on Wednesday over Mount Temple.

In basketball, the Senior girls have made a strong start to their season with three impressive league and Cup wins. Yesterday, they hosted Naas Community School in the All-Ireland Cup quarter-finals, sadly losing narrowly. The Cadette girls and Seniors boys are mid-table; the Cadettes had impressive wins over Luttrellstown and Loreto Beaufort while the boys’ most recent successes were wins over St. Mary’s College and Terenure College.

Our boys’ hockey teams have started the season really strongly, with some very impressive wins for our Under-13s and Under-14s in recent weeks. The Junior XI have been going exceptionally well, winning all their matches so far except for a narrow defeat to St. Andrew’s. Jan Dijkstra is a goal-scoring machine! Our Senior XI were unlucky to miss out on All-Ireland qualification but have had some good wins since, most notably a 8-0 win over St Kilian’s. A busy programme of girls’ hockey continued; the Minor and Junior Girls’ teams had some good performances while the Senior XI’s best win (4-0) came against East Glendalough.

The College’s annual Sports Day always brings colour, energetic competition, a whole lot of fun and, occasionally, even sunshine. This year’s event was no different, with almost every pupil competing across a range of sports and games. There was a competitive edge of course, with the four teams hoping that they will come out on top. In the end, it was the red team that took the glory (and the ice-creams) but sport and fun were the real winners. Many thanks to all the staff who took part and helped with the event but a particular mention must go to the team captains and Mr Havenga, for his organisation of the day. Some of the notable wins at this year’s Sports Day were:

Cloister Dash – Boys: Tom Larke, Girls: Felicitas Boecking

Mountain Run – Boys: Hughie Casey, Girls: Hannah Bergmann

Later that evening, the annual Sports Dinner took part. This event celebrates the achievements of individual pupils but also the College teams. After a tremendously successful season across all codes, it was brilliant to sit down and reflect on such a great year of sport. We were deloghted to welcome Bernard Jackman, former Ireland, Leinster and Connacht rugby player and former coach to Grenoble and the Dragons. Bernard spoke about sport to the assembled pupils and coaching staff before presenting awards and colour to pupils. Some notable awards presented on the evening include:

Girls Hockey Club Person of the Year: Ayodeji Ediale.

Basketball Club Person of the Year: Dishuo Chen

Tennis: Boys’ Singles – August Schoen, Girls’ Singles- Sarah Cron

The highlight of the Sports Dinner is the awarding of ‘colours’ – an honour which acknowledges the exceptional contribution pupils have made to College sports. And, finally, the Sports Person of the Year, for both boys and girls, was annouced. Colours were awarded to the following pupils for 2022/2023:

Colours

Boys’ Basketball: George King and Stephen Kou

Cricket: Carl Kerenski, Caleb Owen, Marco Trolese

Boys’ Hockey: Johannes Pabsch, Tyrone Shi, Marco Trolese, Cristoph Geyer

Girls’ Hockey: Elys Walker

Rugby: Solomon Babajide, Tommy Casado, Kieran Ovenden, Caleb Owen, Ben Patterson, Marco Trolese.

Sports Persons of the Year

Boys: Caleb Owens and Marco Trolese, ex aequo
Girls: Abbie Murray

Team of the Year

Senior Boys Rugby

Below is a selection of photos from both the Sports Day and Sports Dinner.

The Senior Rugby Team have won the inaugural Ian McKinley Cup, presented to the winners of the reestablished Metro Senior League (Section A). Ian McKinley, one of the College’s greatest ever sportsmen, presented the team with their trophy – fitting for both Ian and the College.

League or cup finals can often be anticlimactic, nervous affairs with low scores. All the signs pointed to the opposite as the weather was fine, the pitch was firm and the referee was clear that he was looking for a free-flowing game. St. Columba’s didn’t disappoint, producing a scintillating 35 minutes of rugby in the opening half.

As the referee’s whistle signalled the start of the game, there didn’t seem to be any nerves on show as St Columba’s came out firing. After a solid scrum, Nikolai Foster fed Tommy Casado and he set the backs away as he has done all season with a well timed skip pass to Marco Trolese who drew his man and used soft hands to send Kieran Ovenden sprinting through the Newpark defence and under the posts. Kieran then added the extras for a 7-0 lead after just two minutes.

Newpark looked to build into the game from the kick off but they gave away a couple of penalties which Kieran Ovenden expertly placed into touch. The second of which set up a great opportunity just 6 metres outs. Some deception at the lineout with a dummy jump by Aaron Murray and a perfectly placed throw from Ben Patterson into Caleb Owen set the foundation for a maul which drove towards the line for Ned Chambre to touch down for a 12-0 lead.

From the kick off, Columba’s uncharacteristically attacked from deep against coaches orders. It proved to be the right decision as Aubrey Gardner who was destructive all day, carried hard and through the Newpark defence; he appeared in open country and beat another defender and sprinted into the Newpark half, before drawing the full back and setting Thomas Dwyer free with a 40 metre race to the line which he won with metres to spare for a 17-0 lead after just 10 minutes.

Newpark finally got the ball in their hands following the kick off and started to put some pressure on. Some indiscipline from Columba’s gifted them a number of opportunities and despite some very good defence from Cameron McKinley, Noah Kutner and Bene Huessen in particular, Newpark managed to scramble over from close range. They added the conversion to cut the lead to 10.  Some words of encouragement from coaches Alex Lee and Conor Anderson under the posts seemed to remind the team about the game plan. From the kick off the game calmed a little and we settled well into our system with some big carries from captain Solomon Babajide and Ben Patterson. Another solid maul was set up after Aaron Murray soared to claim yet another lineout and Newpark could do nothing but illegally pull it down to stop an almost certain try, The resulting tap penalty saw Caleb Owen carry well into three Newpark defenders. This meant there was space out wide which the backs identified and slick hands saw Marco Trolese crash over for our 4th try wide on the left. Kieran added the conversion for a 24-7 lead.

The resulting kick off saw one of the most amazing pieces of individual skill, power and determination many have seen in a green and white shirt. Caleb Owen recieved what looked like a simple crash ball, but he refused to be stopped by the two Newpark defenders and barged through the defensive line. He continued past another defender, before being tripped by a committed tackle, only to bounce back to his feet and beat another would be tacker, before eventually being dragged down 70 metres from where he received the initial pass. This set us up with a great opportunity, one which the backs spotted and Aaron Murray‘s well timed pass set Marco Trolese up; but he still had work to do to outpace the last defender as he dived in near the right touchline. Kieran Ovenden used the post and crossbar to get the ball over and add the extra 2 points for a 31-7 lead just before the end of the first half.

Despite playing with the wind in the second half, we couldnt add to our half time score, Newpark came with some skill and powerful carries and added a try after 15 minutes, to keep it interesting. Monty Walsh, Georg Wachs, Pablo Shavlov were brought on and added speed and power. Gavin O’Dowd‘s passing was accurate and allowed Aubrey Gardner to once again break free, his offload, unfortunately, didn’t stick for Camilo Nordmann for what would have been a try to remember. Newpark came firing again late on to add another try, but it was too little too late and as the final whistle went the party began!

It was a fantastic achievement to win the first ever  Ian McKinley Cup, made all the more special having Ian’s nephew Cameron on the winning team! They were cheered on the majority of the pupils and staff in the school and by Tom Larke, who represented Ireland U19’s last week against Japan but was unavailable for the league decider. Congratulations to Solomon and his team, the coaching team of Hein Havenga, Alex Lee, Conor Anderson, Will Gibbs, Ian O’Herlihy and team logistics manager Charlie Poole.

Below is a photo album from the game, courtesy of Rev Owen.

During the February midterm break, a group of St. Columba’s College junior and senior rugby players travelled to Naples to play a series of games against Amatori Napoli Rugby Club. The group arrived in Rome on the morning of Friday 17th and then travelled south to Naples by bus, where they were based during their trip, and were straight into action the following day. With a playing squad of 43, they played their first two matches against Amatori Napoli Rugby Club with the Junior team winning 40-29 and the SCT winning 29-19. After the games, Amatori Napoli hosted a spread of Italian food and the boys socialised and watched Ireland’s Six Nations match against France at the clubhouse.

The next day, the group climbed Mt. Vesuvius, had pizza for lunch, and explored historic Pompeii. They also had downtime before dinner at the hotel. On Monday, they had a walking tour of Naples with lunch at a local restaurant before heading back to Amatori Napoli for the second round of matches. They were two more competitive games but the hosts atoned for their losses in the first matches. This time, the Juniors lost narrowly 28-29 and the SCT lost 21-5, but everyone had a good time and friendships were made.

Amatori Napoli was very hospitable and the boys enjoyed the food and gifts they received. On Tuesday morning, the group packed up and travelled back to the airport to return home. Overall, it was a pleasant and memorable experience for the St. Columba’s rugby players. We’d like to thank Mr Cron for his efforts in organising the trip, Mr Havenga for his work on the ground and to all the staff that travelled with the pupils. Below is an album of photos from the trip, courtesy of Rev Owen.

The fine weather meant few interruptions and a packed schedule of fixtures in all sports. In rugby, the Juniors have continued their fantastic form in the league beating Sandford Park and St. Benildus in the last couple of weeks setting a big game against Templeogue after half-term, which will likely decide who wins the League. The Seniors also have some big games coming after the break with a semi-final of the McMullen Cup and also a semi-final of the new Ian McKinley League. They found the step up to the Vinnie Murray Cup to be a step too far when they met St. Andrew’s in Donnybrook in mid-January. It was great to have over half of the College in attendance in Donnybrook supporting the lads on such a big occasion and they did themselves proud. Our Junior and Senior squads leave for Italy this morning for a rugby tour, playing a couple of matches and visiting Naples, Pompeii and climbing Mount Vesuvius. Our Tibradden rugby players are continuing to develop and build their skills. They have had four very competitive matches including welcoming Elstree School for a very entertaining friendly just before the break.

The best of luck to the College’s equestrian team competing in the Inter-Schools Show Jumping League’s first event at Coilog Equestrian Centre in Kildare this weekend, a competition run by Newbridge College. Patrick Moran, one of the team of parents coordinating, will act as Chef d’Equipe for the team. Our competing individuals are: Oleana Cowan (Form IV), Daniel Moran (Form II) and Carolyn Curry (Form I).

In basketball, our Junior A and Minor A girls teams have been performing very well in the league, Both teams have had comprehensive wins recently, with only one loss to strong Kings Hospital teams. The Junior and Minor B teams have competed well is their games and are improving with every game. Many congratulations to basketball co-ordinator Ms Hennessey, who this year will be inducted into the Basketball Ireland Hall of Fame for her many achievements as a player in the past.

In hockey, our girls’ teams have been competing well in recent weeks and are all in with a chance to progress to the league playoffs, depending on other results.  It has been a busy half-term for the hockey boys, particularly for the Senior and Junior A teams. The seniors won both their league matches against Sandford Park and a strong Wesley second team. They are playing some excellent hockey and seem to be finding the back of the net a bit more regularly than they did last term. They also easily won their trophy quarter-final against Drogheda 8-0. They are due to play Mt Temple in the trophy quarter-final which will be a sterner test. The Junior A team have had a very successful term having qualified for the cup semi-finals with an excellent 3-1 win against Temple Carrig. Their semi-final clash is against Sutton Park after the mid-term break. The minor A’s had a tough cup draw against High School but they put up a great fight in going down 2-1. The u13 A’s have also been handed a very difficult task in their next round of the cup having to take on a very strong St Andrews team. They have been progressing well in their league and played an excellent match against Newpark winning the match in a shootout after a 2-2 draw.

Sport plays such an important part in the lives of Columbans, with six days of organised games each week. The traditional College winter sports, rugby and hockey, are complimented by a vibrant basketball programme, a growing archery tradition, the thrills of polocrosse (think lacrosse on horseback) and, this year, a brilliant golf academy.

The Golf Academy, eight weeks in, is already an undoubted success. Twelve young golfers, pictured above, have been given the opportunity to practice or play golf every day. A new driving and pitching range is planned (this term, the cricket pitch has been transformed) and a new indoor golf studio will begin construction soon. Of course, all our pupils have access to the College golf course, which provides a tricky challenge for any golfer. The young golfers are showing amazing progress already, under the watchful eye of our new golf professional Josh Adams PGA. For more information on the Golf Academy click here or follow their progress on Instagram.

Archery has been a sport which attracts those with a keen eye and a competitive edge. These past few weeks have been fantastic in terms of weather, making for great practice sessions. The team has welcomed new archers, and all are progressing very well. Senior archers have worked especially on their posture by shooting blindfolded, which they enjoyed very much indeed! We look forward to honing their skills further, with the help of Madame de Fréin.

Rugby is off to a good start this year with the Seniors competing for the newly established Ian McKinley Cup, in a new format which brings together 7 of our traditional rival schools to compete in a league format. We have played 4 league games and have taken maximum points with good wins over Templeogue, Newpark, De la Salle and, this week, St. Benildus. The Juniors have also got off to a very good start to their league campaign with four wins from five games, including a thrilling 31-30 victory over Sandford Park having come back from 20-5 down at halftime.
It’s been a great term so far for girls’ basketball with some excellent performances from the Senior A and Cadette A teams against Kings Hospital, High School, Sancta Maria and Beaufort. The Senior Girls now qualify for the regional playoffs while the Cadette narrowly lost out on a spot. The Senior B girls’ team played four very competitive games and have shown great improvement over the past few weeks. The Senior Boys’ squads have trained consistently and produced excellent performances recently against Woodbrook College and St. Killian’s, CS. Unfortunately, they did not qualify for the playoffs but will compete in the Plate Competitions after the half-term.

The Senior Rugby team have had a couple of very strong performances since the Christmas break, narrowly defeating a spirited St Mary’s side in a tight contest in the Forster League and beating De La Salle by 40 points in the Plate competition. It has been great to see what this group are capable of when they have their full squad available. The Juniors have continued to impress despite a string of injuries and illness, causing them to play with a much-changed side in a thrilling 26-26 draw against High School. They also ran out comfortable victors over De La Salle in their second league game which was marked by try-scoring debuts for Form I pupils David Cron and Gonzalo Gutierrez. We also had a very strong performance for a mixed Form I and II team against Templeogue, losing narrowly in a great display of running rugby. We will have a very busy few weeks after half-term with the Juniors and Seniors both well placed in their leagues and shield competitions.

In Girls’ Hockey, the 1st year league will begin after half-term; prospects of a successful campaign are high as Form I have been working hard since September. The Junior As will continue their plate campaign after half-term, playing the semi-final against Temple Carrig on Wednesday, March 2nd in Columba’s; support would be most welcome. It’s been a mixed term for boys’ hockey although there are good signs in our under-13s and Minor teams that the future is looking bright.

In Basketball, the Junior A girls are currently top of their pool while our Minor girls are very competitive with two games left before the play-offs. Our plucky, young Senior boys team are improving their skills all the time.

On an individual level, congratulations to Kjell Laudon (pictured) on his achievements in the Leinster Schools’ Swimming Championships recently: he won bronze in the 100m Back Stroke with a new personal best time, and also came 4th in the 400m Free-Style, also with a new personal best.

Despite the difficulties, the sports programme in the College continues at full pace, with additional coaching and measures in place to ensure safe participation. The school timetable is adjusted over the winter months to maximise the opportunity for afternoon sport. There have been plenty of rugby, hockey and basketball fixtures over the past few weeks while pupils were also able to play golf, tennis, cross-country running, archery and attend the gym in the afternoons.

Form V pupil Tom Larke returned from representing the Irish under-18 Clubs Rugby squad in an international fixture against Italy, over half-term, to help the Senior boys continue their solid season to date. While unfortunately they were eliminated from the cup by a strong Gorey side, the Seniors are now building for their league campaign in the new year. It has been great to see 35 players representing the 1st XV this term, showing the depth they are building. The Juniors were very unlucky in the quarterfinal of the Duff Cup losing a very tight game against St. Conleth’s (their first loss of the season). They will now concentrate on their league quarter-final after Christmas. The Form I boys have continued to grow in confidence and have had some great performances and results including beating De La Salle and Newpark in a blitz just before the end of term. They’re pictured above after defeating their “arch-rivals” Headfort School. Many thanks to Mr. O’Herlihy, the Head of Rugby, and all the teachers and coaches who help ensure our teams are enjoying the sport while also being competitive in their respective leagues.

The hockey seasons continues at an extraordinary pace, with weekly fixtures for both boys and girls, across the age range. The girls’ squads have had great success with notable wins for Senior XI against Kilkenny College and the Minor A’s against Mount Sackville, courtesy of a goal from Clara Seeling. The boys’ squads have also been playing well. The Minor XI had some great performances of late, including a great win against Wesley Bs. The Junior boys’ had some tight matches, unfortunately finishing on the losing side in recent matches. The Senior XI secured second place in their league after two excellent play-off wins against Mount Temple (1-0, goal by Andrew Maguire) and Wesley B (2-1, goals from Antonius Kruse, Johannes Pabsch).

In basketball, the Senior boys continued their league campaign with matches against Blackrock, Temple Carrig, Woodlands College and Avondale, with mixed fortunes. They are a young team and improving all the time. The girls’ squads have been playing well in their respective leagues. The Cadettes (under-16) had good wins over Loreto Dalkey, Coláiste Ráithín and Temple Carrig in recent weeks while the Seniors fell to the same opposition in tight matches.

Congratulations to Form V pupil Tom Larke who has been selected as part of the IRFU U18s Clubs rugby squad for the upcoming international match against Italy U18s on 30th October in Treviso. Tom will train with his squad during the half term break before travelling to Italy.

Tom’s success emanates from his recent involvement with the Leinster Rugby U18 Club side, where he twice started at out-half for Leinster in the interprovincial series against Munster, Connacht and Ulster. He is a key player for the Senior squad and plays his club rugby with Old Wesley RFC.

The whole school is extremely proud of his achievement.

 

The Senior Rugby Team took a break from non-contact training last week to take on the ‘Jerusalema Dance Challenge’, made famous recently by the Springboks. They were choreographed by Mr. Havenga. Great work boys #StaySafe

Basketball

In basketball, the Senior and Gadette Girls have reached the quarterfinal stages of the league while the Junior and Minor Girls have had great success in all their friendly games this term which is setting them up nicely for their leagues which will start in January. This term traditionally ends with the annual Christmas blitz; there was an abundance of colour, energy and sporting endeavour (oh, and silly hats and tinsel).

Hockey

The boys’ senior team have had a difficult season with a dismal return of only two draws in their 6 league matches.  They have played some good hockey at times but find it difficult to exert enough pressure on opposition defences. There have been some good individual performances along the way but perhaps not enough gelling as a team.

The Junior teams have shown some promise thus far this term. The Junior A team are on track for a playoff match in their league but they will need to win some crucial games against St Kilians and Sutton Park after Christmas. The Junior B team is effectively a Form III team and they are being primed for future success.  They have played five matches only losing one against a strong Newpark team.

The minor team have a lot of potential and they have played some excellent hockey at times. They are in a very tough pool in their league having to play against perennial winners of the league Wesley and St Andrew’s College.  As they continue to improve it will be interesting to see them challenge for the u14 cup.

The U13 team is possibly one of the stronger Form I teams we have had for a while. They had a narrow defeat against St Andrew’s College losing 1-2 in a match that could have gone either way. Their remaining matches are against teams sitting at the bottom of the table and wins over them would boost them into a playoff position. Special mention must go to Harry St Leger who has been playing some fantastic hockey. He also sets a good example in his attitude towards training. Most importantly he is eager to learn from his coaches in order to improve.

Rugby

The rugby teams have been training hard this term.  Even though we lost many sessions to the wettest November in recent history we still managed to play SCT and JCT cup games v Enniscorthy and Skerries respectively. We also played friendlies against Wilsons Hospital, Blackrock, Kings Hospital, Clongowes and Headfort.  Whilst we have struggled against the bigger schools we have performed well in all matches. We look forward to Shield competitions and league knockouts next term.

Judo

Well done to Kate Dementyeva and Georgy Dementiev who competed in the All Ireland Schools Judo Championship and had some good success. Kate won a Silver medal in the Junior Girls <52kg division, and Georgy got a win out of 4 tough matches in Junior Boys <50kg.

Golf

Once our Senior pupils play one of our ‘traditional team’ sports they can choose an additional sport or activity. This year a new initiative was introduced which is proving very popular. Hopefully, it will lead to more of our pupils taking up and playing golf on our nine-hole golf course in their free time. Nine pupils, five senior boys and four girls, are taking weekly golf lessons with Josh Adams a PGA professional in Stackstown golf club. When the weather is too poor be played outside they use an indoor facility featuring a Trackman golf simulator. Our Junior pupils were offered the same optional opportunity on Sundays but there was very little take-up. Perhaps there will be more interest when the weather improves and the days get longer.

Archery

Form IV pupil Avi Johnson reports on archery this term:

On Saturday mornings, we have five academic classes. After that most of us break off to play our respective sports and get some exercise. One sport that is more hidden than the mainstream is archery. Archery is a non-reflexive sport that is as skilled as it is difficult. At 3:30 pm after the mixed basketball is finished, the archery team flock into the Sportshall.

Our coach Pat McLoughlin is always there to greet us. We set up the stands and string up our bows and begin our training. Normally we have target faces to shoot at but this term we have refrained from using them. We do this so that we are not thinking about which coloured ring we are going to hit, but rather how our shooting feels. Without the distraction of the target, we can feel how good or bad our shots are. Our coach Pat will go even further and ask us to close our eyes ‘Star Wars’ style and really ‘feel’ the firing and ‘force’ of the arrow when shooting.

Our team, consisting of Iona Chavasse, Gioia Doenhoff, Zian Wang, Avi Johnston and the new recruits Tessa Pullman and Iris Foster have really improved. The training with no target faces means that we now know how to self improve our shots and fix small mistakes without guidance. Thanks to Pat’s training we are ready for the inter-school competitions coming in the new year.

We aim to repeat and improve on our successes from last year. Team Captain Avi Johnston is confident that her team will be ready when the competitive season hits.

Sports Photos

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On Saturday last the annual Sports Day took place. The College was awash with colour and, thankfully, sunshine as the boys and girls competed in a range of events from traditional track and field to tug of war (and everything in between). In the end, it was the Blue Team that triumphed!

That evening our annual Sports Dinner took place in the Dining Hall, celebrating the sporting achievements of individual pupils and their collective teams. The assembled pupils, staff and coaches were treated to an extraordinary speech from our guest Old Columban Alex Panayotou; Alex is an ultra-endurance athlete whose story is awe-inspiring.

College ‘Colours’ are awarded to those who are deemed exceptional in every way in their sport: ability, attitude, commitment on and off the playing field, consistency, reliability, character and courage. This year ‘Colours’ were awarded to Avouka Assebian (Athletics), Georg Mueller-Methling (Hockey) and Orla Conlon Batey, Helen Crampton, Anna Laurenceau and Valeria McQuillen (all Hockey). Congratulations to them.

The following were appointment captains of their respective sports for the next academic year:

  • Athletics (Boys) – Leo Moreau
  • Athletics (Girls) – Avouka Assebian
  • Basketball (Boys) – Pedro Grimalt
  • Basketball (Girls) – Calina Sacolax
  • Cricket (Boys) – Daniel Swift (Vice Capt Thaddy McKeever)
  • Cricket (Girls) – Eile ni Chianain
  • Cross Country – Shannon Dent
  • Hockey (Boys) – Alexis Haarman
  • Hockey (Girls) – Sophia Cole (Vice Capt Megan Bulbulia)
  • Rugby – Thaddy McKeever (Vice Philip Shekeleton)

Below is a collection of photos from the day’s activities, courtesy of Rev Owen.

The end of the Hilary Term generally marks the end of the rugby, hockey and basketball season so it is the perfect time to reflect on the season as a whole. The final few weeks are always busy and usually involved some high-stakes knock out games, in all codes.

Firstly, to Basketball. Congratulations to the Minor Girls Basketball team (pictured above) who were crowned South Dublin Basketball League champions after defeating Holy Child Killiney (after double overtime) in the thrilling final of their league on Monday. Raichael Murray scored the winning basket with six seconds remaining in the game while Elizabeth Hart was awarded the MVP for her outstanding performance. The Minor Girls also reached the East Region semifinal lost narrowly to Mt. Anville 16-18. This was the first year, in recent College history, that the Minor Girls we have reached the knock out stages in this competition. The Junior Girls reached the East Region quarterfinals back in February losing to St. Colmcilles. They also missed out on a place in the South Double League with a loss to Sion Hill in early March, despite a great defensive hustle from the dynamic Spanish duo of Laura Casasus and Lucia Garcia. In January, the Senior Girls played their South Dublin Basketball League semifinal against Loreto Dalkey; Kate Maylor, the team captain, led the charge with great passion and spirit but, despite the team’s best efforts, they lost 30-36.

The Senior Rugby squad played a friendly against a touring German team Rugby Klub 03 from Berlin (coached by a former member of staff Graham Dean, photo above) with Peter Keogh scoring a hat-trick. Their season finished on Saturday 23rd with an internal Stayers (4th and 5th form) v Leavers (6th form), it was great to see many boys return to the rugby pitch for the last time at St. Columba’s. The Junior Rugby squad qualified for the quarter-finals of their post-Christmas league, losing in the final minutes against Blackrock J4’s in a nail-biting game. Tibradden have played a regular series of games against Clongowes, St Pauls and De La Salle in recent weeks.

The Senior Boys Hockey team had a largely unsuccessful season in the league but they had an opportunity to get their hands on some silverware in the Senior Trophy. They eased through their quarterfinal against Sutton Park winning 3-0. However, they were then drawn against a strong Wesley College team in the semifinal.  Even though the team put up an excellent fight they were well beaten.  A special mention must go to Georg Mueller-Methling who had an excellent year as captain of the team.The minor team is one to watch for the future!  There are a number of players in this team who have the potential to play on representative teams.  The highlight of their season was reaching their league final which they narrowly lost 2-3 to The Kings Hospital.The u13 team were easily the most improved team. They struggled early on in the league managing only a draw. The second half of the season included an excellent cup run. They reached the semifinal of the cup playing against St Andrew’s College A team. Andrew’s had won the league while we lost to their B team in the same competition. At full time the score was 2-2, a fantastic achievement, but unfortunately, we lost in extra time. Frederik Strantz had a remarkable season playing matches for every age group from u13s all the way to up to the Senior Team. He is one to watch out for in seasons to come!

Over one hundred Girls Hockey matches were played this season, across the Senior (4 teams), Junior (2 teams) and Minor (2 teams) panels.  It was fantastic to see the great progress made both individually and by teams.  The remaining Senior players next season will be complemented by a set of strong Junior players and likewise, the remaining junior players will be bolstered by an enthusiastic and competent set of players from the Minor teams.  The season ended with an Iona vs Hollypark match, in which Iona emerged victorious (3-0, photo from the match above taken by Amy Cosgrove). Much thanks must be given to all the coaching staff for their time, enthusiasm and commitment, but in particular to Mrs Johnson, Ms Harkin and Dr Rice from the academic staff. Well done to the following girls who received an award in recognition of their fine season:

  • Best Minor Goalkeeper: Valentina McAree
  • Best Junior Goalkeeper: Ealga Ejase Tobrise
  • Best Senior Goalkeeper: Orla Conlon Batey, Antonia Bullrich, Camilla Garcia, Elise Williams
  • Best Minor Defender: Ines de Castro Ferreira Lopes
  • Best Junior Defender: Emily McCarthy
  • Best Senior Defender: Charlotte Moffitt & Georgia Keegan Wignall
  • Top Goal Scorer: Eva Dillenberger
  • Most Improved Player:
    • Minor B: Abbie Murray
    • Minor A: Laura Casasus
    • Junior B: Iona Chavasse
    • Junior A: Elys Walker
    •  4th XI: Paula Ruiz
    •  3rd XI: Caroline Ratibor
    • 2nd XI: Tatjana Hopkins
    • 1st XI: Éile Ní Chaináin

The summer games programme is already underway; athletics, cricket, tennis, golf and football are the summer games in the College.

The College was buzzing on Saturday as sport took centre stage once again.  In the afternoon the main events of Sports Day took place, with pupils assigned to one of four teams (red, blue, green and white). The campus was awash with colour as the pupils competed in a wide range of events ranging from the traditional track and field fare (short & long distance running, long jump, high jump etc) to skills based challenges (cricket throw, rugby conversions, soccer penalties, basketball throws etc) to some less traditional events (like the three-legged and caterpillar race). The final races are traditionally the “cloister dash” – a 100 yard sprint from the Hurley Lane gate to Chapel Square. The race is only contested by Form VI pupils and the winners this year were Sasha Cole and Franz Truchsess. Well done to everyone who competed – Sports Day is, for many, the highlight of the year and this year certainly didn’t disappoint. Well done to everyone on the Blue Team for amassing the most points over all the events. Many thanks to Ms. Thompson and Mrs. Johnson, in particular, but to all the teaching and sports coaching staff for their seamless running of the day’s events.

That evening the College’s sporting successes were celebrated at our annual Sports Dinner, with ‘colours’ awarded to those pupils who have excelled in their chosen sports this year. Colours for Rugby were presented to Sean Cooper, Hector Wright, Adam Murphy, Max Hopkins, Kosi Anyim and Joe Gernon. In Basketball, colours were presented to Ryan Gumsheimer, Franz Truchsess and Tiernan Mullane. In Hockey, colours were presented to Ivan Moffit, Sean Cooper, Kitty Morris, Sasha Cole and Ella Noeldeke and in Cricket, colours were awarded to Helen Crampton. The overall Sports Pupils of the Year were awarded to Sean Cooper and Kitty Morris, for their contribution to College sport over the past six years.

Below are a series of photographs, taken by Rev. Owen, from the weekend’s sporting events.

The Senior Rugby Team failed to defend their Leinster Schools League 2A title yesterday, losing an at times frantic final 31-45 against Ardee Community School in Ashbourne. The rugby on show as of an exceptionally high standard, with both teams using their physical runners to great effect but showing a determination in defence. It was Ardee who started the brighter, maintaining possession in St. Columba’s half for the early period. They soon turned the possession into points, converted a simple penalty in front of the posts. Their team was extremely well drilled and blessed with powerful and effective ball carriers, especially at prop, No.8 and in the centre. They continued to pressurise through possession, eventually dotting down for a try under the posts to lead 0-10. St. Columba’s, playing against a powerful wind in the first half, soon found their feet and some excellent ball carrying from Max Hopkins and Kosi Anyim brought them close to the Ardee line. The ball was recycled quickly – by scrum-half Thady McKeever – to centre Hector Wright who powered over. Thady missed the conversion (the wind was a big factor) but SCC were back in it. St. Columba’s continued to play well and maintain possession but couldn’t penetrate the Ardee line. The Louth side soon regained possession, off loose St. Columba’s play, and scored an opportunistic try just before the end of the first half to lead 5-17 at the break. The supporters on the sideline were optimistic that, with the wind on their backs, St. Columba’s could get back into the game.

The reigning champions started the second half brightly and soon crossed the white line again, this time through Kosi Anyim and converted by Thady McKeever. At 17-12, St. Columba’s were right back in this. But then, the sucker punch. Straight from the restart Ardee pounced on unsecured possession and scored under the posts. St. Columba’s heads dropped while Ardee rallied. They scored two more tries within five minutes and the game seemed all but over with twenty five minutes remaining. They now led 38-12 and there seemed little hope remained for the defending champions. However, St. Columba’s fought back, after some harsh words from their captain Sean Cooper under the posts. They scored quickly after the restart, with Hector Wright crossing for this second try, with McKeever converting. Another try soon followed, after some of the substitutes combined to turn defence into attack on the SCC ’22’. The same substitutes, Rowan Sweeney and Joel Taylor, finished off the move with Joel touching down in the corner. The score now stood at 38-24 and there was a glimmer of hope. Ardee were beginning to tire and the St. Columba’s power runners were stepping up again – Hector, Hopkins and Anyim carried hard but a lack of patience inside the Ardee ’22’ meant they couldn’t get closer on the score board. In fact it was Ardee who scored next, their powerful prop forward picking from the base of the ruck, close to the line, and powering over. They converted and the score now stood at 45-24, and the final flicker of hope seemed to extinguish from the travelling supporters in the stand. Again, to the enormous credit of the whole team and their coaches, St. Columba’s refused to give up. They secured possession from the restart and quickly worked their way back into the Ardee ’22’. Eventually, after an extended period of possession, they scored again – this time through Thady McKeever – who converted his own score. And that was how it ended – a final score of 45-31 and, in truth, a deserved win for Ardee.

St. Columba’s can feel an enormous sense of pride for the manner of the defeat though. Ardee were an excellent side, with some truly exceptional athletes, but St. Columba’s gave them an epic contest. But for that period after half time, when those three quick tries were scored, St. Columba’s were in this all day. The large crowd were happy, perhaps not with the result but certainly with the manner of how the game was played. Congratulations to Ardee Community School and hopefully the two sides will meet again in next year’s final.

Basketball has always been a popular and successful sport for the College, especially with the girls, but there are probably more pupils playing the sport in the College now than ever before. The Senior Boys recently faced St.Michael’s in the 3rd and 4th place play-off in the EAST Region League. The two teams had met earlier in the league campaign with Michaels winning comfortably. With some well planned defensive adjustments the team put in a hugely passionate and focused effort in the rematch. The game was a tightly fought content with no more that 3-5 points separating the teams throughout the game. We led the game for most of the last quarter with a fine display of defensive rebounding and good shot selection. However, a few tough refereeing calls down the straight and undisciplined fouls gave Michaels the opportunity they needed in the final minute. They hit two free throws with seconds left to win the game 33-32. The loss here meant that team would have to go through a further qualification game to reach the All-Ireland. On Jan 15th they traveled to Heywood School in Portlaoise for another close fought contest. The journey was still in their legs for the first quarter and Heywood took an early lead. Good inside play by Tiernan Mullane and Ryan Gumsheimer helped to close the gap. Defensively the team were solid but missed some easy baskets down the line with Heywood taking the prized place by the narrow margin of 6 points.

The Cadette Girls had a very competitive league campaign. The kicked off the play-off’s for the South Dublin League with a super display of basketball against Mt. Anville. This was probably one of the best games the team played as a unit. Co-Captains Lucia Masding and Elena Witte lead by example controlling the game, winning the boards and orchestrating the fastbreak. By the third quarter the game was over with a clear 20 point lead to finish the game. 36-16. Their semi-final game was indeed a different scenario. Dalkey was a much more orgainsed team whom they had narrowly beated in the league by 1 point. The January flu had decimated the team and due the the time constraints the fixture could not be changed. Half the team were ill, or just recovering, so we knew it was going to be tough. Despite this the girls put up a solid performance but unfortuantley lost 23-27. Heart breaking!! The Junior and Minor teams have been training hard since September and finally began their leagues in January. Both teams are performing very well with the Juniors 4-2 and the Minors 5-1 in their league games.

In rugby, both the Junior and Senior teams lost their cup matches last term but had plenty of fixtures, mainly in their respective leagues, over January. The Juniors also played in a Shield competition but lost out to near neighbours De la Salle Churchtown on a scoreline of 0-21. Their league campaign has been a mixed one, playing against the 2nds and 3rds of some of the bigger rugby schools. They earned a deserved draw away to Kilkenny College’s J2s but were beaten heavily by Blackrock’s slick J3 squad last Saturday. On Wednesday last they travelled to Clongowes Wood and grabbed a great 24-22 win against their J2s (with some excellent tries from Cian Mullane, Jack Hayes, Thomas Somerville and Oliver Townsend), but it wasn’t enough to progress to the next stage of the competition. The Seniors have played two League fixtures, against Gonzaga 2nds (winning 22-5) and Terenure Thirds (losing 11-22) and face Roscrea after half-term to secure a place in the next round. The Ducks have played two games and continue their winning run, defeating De la Salle and Wilson’s Hospital with some excellent performances.

It’s been a busy period for the College’s hockey teams too. The Senior boys spent the early part of their term preparing for their Cup fixture against Kings Hospital but sadly they lost out narrowly 1-2. They have since been preoccupied with the Senior B league and had a good win (4-1) over Wesley B’s recently. This meant they finished 3rd in their group and would play St. Andrew’s B in the semi final. They won 4-0 and await either Kilkenny or Wesley B in the final on March 7th. Both the Under 13’s and Under 14’s reached the quarter finals of their respective cups – The U13’s losing out in a competitive games to St. Andrew’s A (0-2) while the U14’s take on Kilian’s after half term. The Junior XI unfortunately lost their second round cup fixture against High School (1-3). However, they have a league semi-final to look forward to after half term against Kilkenny College.

The Senior girls competed in an indoor hockey tournament earlier this term, playing three matches. They defeated St. Andrew’s 4-1 and Wesley 6-0 but lost out to the eventual winners Mount Temple (1-3). They got revenge of sorts a week later, this time outdoors, defeating Mount Temple 2-0 in the League. They also since had a good win against Loreto Bray, 3-0. Of course there is a huge number of hockey teams in the College, and many more fixtures which have taken place over the past five weeks – a huge amount of thanks and credit go to their respective coaches.

Thady McKeever evades some St. Michael’s defenders in a friendly earlier this term. Photo by Daniel Owen.

The Senior Rugby Team’s cup run ended on Tuesday last with defeat to Coláiste Bríd Carnew on a scoreline of 17-24 in the quarter final of the McMullen Cup. (The team had comfortably defeated Ardscoil na Trínóide and Coláiste Cill Mhantáin in the previous two rounds). The boys will rue their high penalty count, which gifted Carnew possession and territory for much of the second half, and a penalty try that ultimately separated the teams at the end. However, the boys finished top of their section of the league and can look forward to the quarter final of that competition next term.

The Junior Squad unfortunately lost their first round cup match, against Ardscoil na Trínóide in Athy. It was a close run affair but a late try from the visitors meant they advanced on a scoreline of 12-14. Earlier this week they lost to Kings Hospital JCT B team on a scoreline of 19-0 but it was an excellent game and the boys played very well – the scoreline perhaps flattering the home team a little.

The Leps and Ducks have been had a busy period since half term too and are really showing signs of improving. The Leps defeated St. Paul’s 38-15 with some of the boys new to the sport really excelling. The Ducks have continued their fine form too defeating arch-rivals Headfort in a typically great game and last week they comfortably defeated St. Pauls 28-7. The future looks bright!

The Form I girls hockey team warm up before their tournament.

The Girls Hockey Senior 1st XI unfortunately lost their cup match (0-2) against Loreto Beaufort recently. The girls played extremely well, with some phases of really great play in the first half, when there were chances to score. They soaked up a lot of pressure defensively in that first period too, which ended 0-0. Unfortunately Beaufort took their chances when they came in the second half, scoring two good goals. They left disappointed but happy that they gave a good account of themselves too. The Junior Girls played their first round cup match on Wednesday last but were well beaten by a well drilled Wesley side, 7-0. The Form I Girls took part in a League Tournament on Wednesday against Sutton Park & Drogheda Grammar, defeating Sutton by 2-0 and drawing with Drogheda 2-2.

The boys’ hockey leagues are almost wrapped for Christmas with only a few re-fixed matches to be played.  The Seniors have got themselves back on track with a narrow 3-2 win over St Kilians and a draw against Mt Temple. They have one league match left against Wesley B’s and a win will earn them a spot in the Senior B League semi-final.
The Juniors have performed well with wins over Mt. Temple and Wesley B as well as a draw with St Kilians.  Their fixture against Newpark would determine the rest of their season, the prize of a win would be a place in the A-League Semi-Finals. Unfortunately, on the day of the match, we had a number of players unavailable and we ended up losing 1-3.  Perhaps with a full strength team things might have been different but congratulations to Marco Trolese and Bruno Marti Jimenez in first form for making their debut on the Junior team.
The U-14’s s are battling away in their league where they have a shot at making the semi finals.  They have also progressed through to the second round of the minor cup with a win over Newpark on strokes.  The U-13’s are starting to find their feet and they have put in some fantastic performances lately.  Their first win of the season came against a strong St. Kilian’s team and they also managed a draw against the more fancied Newpark team.  They have a lot of potential and are a team to watch in the future.

Pupils participating in the annual Christmas Basketball Blitz.

In basketball the Cadette A’s reached the East Region Semi-finals , which unfortunately needed to be played during the exams. The team traveled to Pobail Scoil Setanta in Blanchardstown and though they gave a spirited performance, the height and strength on our opponents was too much on the day with the final score at 32-24. They are still involved in the south Dublin league and will play their quarter final in the new year.

The senior boys have had a very busy and exciting few weeks. They continued to perform well in the East Region League and progressed to the playoff stages. They met Collinstown CC in the quarter final on Nov 22nd and won a closely fought match 63-54 with good performances from team captain Tiernan Mullane, Tobias Voelsgen and Jakob Habsburg. The following week, again during the exams, they played their semifinal against Old Bawn CC, who boast an Irish U17 international in Okoko Ogbe. Though the game was close Old Bawn were in control of the game and ran out easy winners in the end.

Although out of the East Region League they still had a opportunity to reach the All Ireland Play-off’s with a re-match with local rivals St. Michael’s last week – it was an exciting and riveting game. The defensive strategy really paid off and the team controlled their key scores for most of the game. The lead changed hands several time in a very tense match. With less than a minute to go Columba’s were trailing by two and a last minute well executed play saw the final basket clinch a draw and overtime. Despite all efforts, some unforced turnovers gave St. Michael’s the edge and they won by the narrowest of margins in this heart breaking loss. The following day the team received news that they still had a chance to reach the All Ireland’s  and will compete in a further playoff against a Midlands team Heywood College in the new year.

The term ended with the traditional Christmas Basketball Blitz with staff and pupils showing off their skills, getting in the festive spirit and having fun at the same time.

Mr. Ryan reports on the Senior Rugby team’s recent success.

On Tuesday last the Senior Rugby XV continued their winning streak as they packed down against a dogged and physical Coláiste Cill Mhantain side on home soil. The game was only a mere seven seconds old when SCC’s flanker James Wilkinson was very harshly shown a red card for what the referee deemed to be a dangerous tip tackle, sending SCC management and fans into a state of turmoil. What management and fans did not realise was that this was the catalyst which sparked what was to undoubtedly become one of the finest displays of never say die rugby ever witnessed here in SCC.

Cill Mhantain struck first with a converted try following a penalty inside the St. Columba’s twenty two, their advantage was doubled eight minutes later with a breakaway try from a gathered lineout inside their own half, the scoreboard now read 14-0, but things were about to get worse.

Cill Mhantain raced into a 19-7 lead, however, SCC’s opening try from Kosi Emmanuel – Anyim with the conversion by centre Hector Wright added some stability to the home sides’ endeavours. SCC struck again following a break inside their own half with a fabulous kick for the line by Ivan Moffitt who was now beginning to dictate the ebb and flow of the Columban back line. The lineout was won and brought down for the SCC forwards to drive for the line. Tipperary’s Joseph Gernon rolled over the line with the conversion being sweetly slotted by Thady McKeever, the score now read 19-14, SCC were on the march.

The passion and sheer determination of the SCC pack was infectious with students and parents dotted around the sidelines roaring their approval. A lineout inside the Cill Mhantain ten metre line was collected by Adam Murphy who was escorted over the line by a fantastic forwards pack, Thady McKeever stepped up to take a conversion at what many would call an impossible angle. However, the acuteness and pressure of the kick completely unfazed young Thady who nailed the conversion much to the delight of the vocal crowd. Somehow the scoreboard now read St. Columbas 21, Cill Mhantain 19, but SCC were not finished yet.

Thady McKeever’s touchline conversion bisects the posts to put SCC in the lead for the first time in the match.

A kick over the top bounced sweetly for the rampaging Moriz Boyen who was taken out by a sweeping leg from the Cill Mhantain outhalf stopping a certain try, but Seán Cooper darted to collect the ball and with great poise dove under the posts for SCC’s fourth try of the game, which was complimented by the trusty boot of Thady McKeever who pinged the ball between the posts to end the game 28-19 in favour of the SCC side.

Not only did Columbas play the entire game with 14 men, they had to endure two sin-binnings in either half which left the side reduced to 13 men for a total of twenty minutes. This game was a privilege to witness as the likes of it are rarely seen at an international standard let alone schoolboy rugby. Confidence is high within the SCC camp and rightly so, but there is more to come from this dogged side and we eagerly look forward to our upcoming game in Gorey RFC against Carnew on Tuesday December 12th.