On Saturday, the 30th of September, our U11’s traveled to Limerick City for an amazing experience – to play on the hallowed ground of Thomond Park! The weather was atrocious as we left Aghadoe and we prayed for an improvement as we travelled north towards the home of Munster Rugby. Thankfully the weather improved as we hit Limerick and stayed dry for the whole day, which meant we could enjoy the action packed rugby that was to unfold.
We were in Thomond Park to watch Munster host the Barbarians in not just 1 match, but 2! Both the ladies teams and Men’s teams we hosting their Babas counterparts and our U11’s had been selected to take on their counterparts from Richmond RFC at the half time display match during the Women’s game! One can imagine the excitement on the bus, but when we got to Limerick the anticipation was palpable.
We entered the ground nice and early and were shown to the Funzone behind the North Terrace, where we got to speed check kicks, throw darts and get faces painted. The women’s game kicked off at 2pm and we were given the nod at 2:30pm to get ready. Finally, our time had come and we hit the pitch! To be able to walk onto the hallowed ground at Thomond is something special but to play there is a dream for so many, and it did not disappoint.
We had a thrilling 10 minutes on the pitch with all of our boys and girls thoroughly enjoying themselves. The crowd got behind the display matches and a brilliant time was had by all before the whistle went and it was all over! It was time to head back to the terrace for the rest of the matches!
The Munster women just came up short against the Barbarians but the men’s team won a cracker of a game – a literal try fest with some lovely tries scored right in front of us, to the cheers of our enthusiastic players! After the match ended, we were lucky enough to meet a few players from both sides, with ex-All Black and double World Cup winner Jerome Kaino proving a favourite with the players and coaches alike!
What an amazing day for all wo travelled to Limerick. We are so proud of our U11’s team who had a wonderful day and achieved a dream – to play at Thomond Park, and not for the last time we hope! A wonderful day was finished off with a celebratory McDonalds before heading home and back to Aghadoe. A long day, but a wonderful day!