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Cill Dara's youth on crest of a wave

FOR Cill Dara RFC, 2013 should be dubbed, 'The Year of the Youth'.

The last 12 months have seen the Kildare club's focus on developing young players, girls and boys, reap rewards. In the latter months of the 2012-13 season, teams from Cill Dara's youth section reached seven area and provincial finals.

While not all brought home the silverware, it showed that the club's young teams were consistently achieving a high level of competitiveness.

The club form of two of the older boys, Peter Howard and Jimmy O'Loughlin, earned them selection for the Leinster Under-18 Club team which won the inter-provincial series.

Howard scored the all-important match-winning try in the final game against Connacht last October.

The girls were not to be outdone. Muireann Scully gained Cill Dara international recognition when she was selected as a member of the Ireland Under-18 Sevens team that competed in the UK during September as part of an international schools' competition.

The continued success of girl's rugby in Cill Dara was again rewarded last month with the selection of Muireann and Aoife Murphy for the Leinster U18 squad.

On the senior front, Mel Morey was part of the Leinster Women's squad which recently won the 2013 inter-provincial series, beating Munster in Thomond Park to lift the title.

Ex-players Fergus McFadden and Johne Murphy continue to excel at Leinster and Munster respectively.

At the end of last season, the senior team retained its place in the top Junior division in Leinster and are currently positioned in third place as this competitive league comes to a conclusion.

The first round of the Provincial Towns Cup has seen Cill Dara drawn to play a tricky fixture in Roscrea.

Could 2014 be the year that the Kildare club lift Irish rugby's oldest trophy for the first time?

Regardless, the future of rugby in Kildare Town looks bright.