Published in The Anglo-Celt, 3 May 2007 (no byline, but written by me; this is an edited version). This was the last serious rugby Seán ever played – he was 15 years old, and played at full-back.
The Cavan under-14 and under-16 squads, with their coaches and helpers, travelled to England on Friday, 13 April to represent Ireland in the South Coast Rugby Festival, a massive event involving 4,000 young players.
Cavan were based at the Butlin’s holiday camp in Bognor Regis and played their matches at Portsmouth Rugby Club, where the recent fine weather had made the pitches as hard as concrete.
On Saturday the under-16s played three matches, against Westcombe Park A, Swindon and Portsmouth. Cavan, with a squad of just 17 players, were at a disadvantage from the start. They lost to a second-half try against Westcombe Park, but really got into their stride against Swindon and led 1–0 [scoring was in tries only] at half-time thanks to a great solo try from winger Conor Kelly and an incredible try-saving tackle by hooker Niall Gaffney. Continue reading