Cardiff start their season on a high

Updated: March 9, 2014
Cardiff 7s Team

Cardiff start their season on a high

Newly appointed team manager Eoin Butler guided a ring rusty Cardiff team to their first silverware of the year with resolute showing at the recent 7’s tournament in Bristol. 9 mens teams and 2 ladies teams competed for the respective honours at the Avonmouth Old Boys Rugby Club.

The teams competing consisted of Cardiff St Colmcilles, 2 teams from hosts Western Gaels of Bristol, 2 teams from Eire Og Oxford, St Judes of Bournemouth, 2 teams from Plymouth Parnells and St Nicks of Bristol. The ladies competition was contested by the newly established Western Gaels team and the more experienced Oxford side. The Oxford ladies edged out a Western Gaels side in a spirited game. The tournament was very well organised and coordinated and huge credit must go to the lads of Western Gaels in Bristol for providing everyone with a very enjoyable opportunity to shake off the cobwebs after the winter months.

With creaking legs, bags dug out of the back of the press (or cupboard for you locals) boots dusted off and slipped on with a hope of loosening them up again, jerseys were distributed and wrestled on. Stepping on to the pitch is a familiar feeling, but with little ball work done over the winter months accuracy was at a premium at times and notoriously slow starters St Colmcilles were bested by Eire Og of Oxford in their first game. The Oxford side seemed fresher and utilised their superior possession to good effect.

The boots loosened up in unison with the legs as Cardiff found their feet like many a new born foal at this time of year. Cardiff got back on track with a comprehensive win over Western Gaels in their second game after some solid performances from Shane Galvin, Eoin Butler and Patrick McHale in defence as Paudie Rooney tormented the Bristol side at the other end of the field.

Western Gaels

Western Gaels Bristol

Plymouth Parnells were seen off in the third group game as Paul Kennedy and Des Foley’s movement proved too much for the Plymouth defence as Cardiff goalkeeper Aidan Farrelly spoiled their best efforts whilst also pointing a couple of long range placed balls to keep the score board ticking over.

The final group match was a tough physical contest against St Judes of Bournemouth who had made the trip up from the south coast. Trojan work from Ollie Harney and Cardiff’s seasoned stalworth Barry McDonnell ensured that the welsh contingent dominated the middle third of the field and linked up the play with ease. St Judes, who have made huge strides in their short life thus far, caused problems for the Cardiff defence but were thwarted by the tireless Cathal Garvey who seemed to be in two places at once, both at just the right time.

Upon weighing up the leaderboard, St Colmcilles and St Judes were neck and neck at the summit, however, St Judes with the superior score difference got the nod from the chalk holders. This resulted in Cardiff going into the Plate semi final where they once again met, and dispatched, Plymouth Parnells to set up a Plate Final with hosts Western Gaels.

St Judes

St Judes Bournemouth

After words of wisdom from Manager Eoin Butler and Chairman Johny Power, and words with less wisdom from an assortment of others, Cardiff lined out for the throw in with dreams of the sandwiches and steins of Clonmel Champagne awaiting the winners. Western Gaels struggled to cope with the movement of the Cardiff forward line, in particular the intelligent Des Foley who took some lovely scores and the Cardiff colossus Paul Kennedy who wasn’t to be outdone and kicked a few beauts himself. 3 first half goals from St Colmcilles knocked the stuffing out of the Bristol side who suffered a couple of unfortunate injuries in the process.

Despite finding the onion bag in the second half, it proved no more than a consolation for Western Gaels. In the dying minutes Shane Galvin rampaged up from corner back to float over a Maurice Fitz with his right wand from the sideline. It must have been around that time that Gaels knew it was just not their day. Cardiff held out for a comprehensive win, securing some silverware in the process. At times it wasn’t pretty but promising. I think that Ian Holloway put it better than I possibly could.

“To put it in gentleman’s terms if you’ve been out for a night and you’re looking for a young lady and you pull one, some weeks they’re good looking and some weeks they’re not the best. Our performance today would have been not the best looking bird but at least we got her in the taxi. She wasn’t the best looking lady we ended up taking home but she was very pleasant and very nice, so thanks very much, let’s have a coffee”

Not a string of vintage displays from St Colmcilles, but nonetheless at times produced glimpses of the football that may be coaxed out of hibernation once Butler gets his claws into the panel on a grassy patch.

The tournament was a fitting start to the year ahead and will have done no end of good to the players who participated. If American football is a game of inches, then gaelic football is a game of feet. In particular, at this time of year, getting those feet to do what your brain wants them too whilst hoping that the synapse that mans that particular route hasn’t been severed by the preceding onslaught of turkey and tins of roses.With the start of the league fast approaching, we won’t have long to wait in order to find out.


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