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Connacht visit to Ballinrobe marks new era for club

Published 29/08/2014 | 02:30

Connacht's Michael Swift and Dave Heffernan chat with young players during Connacht's visit to Ballinrobe.
Connacht's Michael Swift and Dave Heffernan chat with young players during Connacht's visit to Ballinrobe.

July 22 last was a very special day indeed for Ballinrobe RFC.

A huge crowd of young and old turned out as coach Pat Lam put his Connacht charges through their paces on the wonderfully manicured new pitch, which is situated back in the traditional home of Ballinrobe rugby in The Green.

The town centre venue had not been used for a number of years as the pitch and dressing rooms underwent extensive renovations. The new venue, which was officially opened by Minister Michael Ring on the day, is now a match for any venue in the province.

Hundreds of people watched in awe as their Connacht heroes went through numerous training drills before taking all the young rugby starlets from the club onto the field with them for what was a very special few hours.

All of the Connacht coaching and playing staff gave generously of their time, signing jerseys and entertaining the young, and not so young, afterwards!

Following the official pitch opening, all of the Connacht players and staff were guests of honour at Ballinrobe Racecourse, where the Connacht Rugby Handicap Hurdle was the highlight of the card.

It was a wonderful day for the club which will live long in the memory.

Irish Independent

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