Saturday 18 November 2017

Leinster Faithful on track

Tullamore Disability Tag team. Back (l to r): Paul Cronin, Lisa Kennedy, Maria McCann, Bernard Galvin, Stephen Cuskelly and John Burns. Front: Roisín Kane, Gary McCabe, Linda Dolan, Adam Gorman, Amy Bennett. Top: Vicki Galvin, Stephen Loughlin, Alex Felicio, Glen Waters and Louise Larkin
Tullamore Disability Tag team. Back (l to r): Paul Cronin, Lisa Kennedy, Maria McCann, Bernard Galvin, Stephen Cuskelly and John Burns. Front: Roisín Kane, Gary McCabe, Linda Dolan, Adam Gorman, Amy Bennett. Top: Vicki Galvin, Stephen Loughlin, Alex Felicio, Glen Waters and Louise Larkin

Brian Jaffray

Watch out Northampton, the 'Leinster Express' is coming down the tracks with hundreds of blue and white-clad fans from Tullamore RFC on board.

In a first for the Co Offaly club, the All-Ireland League Division 2C side have teamed up with Irish Rail to run a direct train from Tullamore to Lansdowne Road for Leinster's Champions Cup showdown with the Saints tomorrow.

"It might not be the Polar Express but for the hundreds of minis and underage players we're bringing up to the game, the 'Leinster Express' is the next best thing," said club president Ray Quinn.

"With the recent reopening of the Phoenix Park tunnel, it is now possible for a train to travel directly from Tullamore, to the Dart station at Lansdowne Road. The train is a complete sell-out with 450 club members travelling to the game. Such has been the interest that we're planning to make the 'Leinster Express' an annual tradition," added Ray.

Pride of place on the train is reserved for the newly-formed Tullamore Tigers Disability Tag Rugby team who will take to the pitch at half-time in a special exhibition game.

"Tullamore RFC embraced the IRFU's Disability Tag Rugby programme during the summer and the first training session saw 14 players from Rehab Care, Tullamore and Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, Mountbolus come to our grounds at Spollanstown.

"Let's hope Leo Cullen's men deliver the goods."

McIlhagga inspires CYM triumph

Diane McIlhagga helped CYM Ladies into second place in the league table after inspiring them to a 25-19 victory over Sutton on the road last Sunday.

The game started off well for the visitors with good early pressure and play resulting in the opening try and conversion coming to CYM, both supplied by a line break by McIlhagga.

However, Suttonians hit back hard with two tries in quick succession. A follow up penalty by McIlhagga settled things down again for CYM. At half-time the score stood at 12-10 to the hosts.

The to-and-fro nature of the game continued into the second half. Suttonians added another seven points to the scoreboard early on after some missed tackles by CYM in the centre of the park. However, halfway through the second half a converted try by Rachel Horan started to make things look better. It was 19-17 and CYM looked the more composed of the two teams.

However, a penalty from McIlhagga on the hour mark had the game at 19-20.

Lucy Barry, with the final score of the day, then touched the ball down under the posts to seal the win. Next weekend they meet title chasers Gorey.

Irish Independent

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