Rice college join west's new order
It almost slipped under the radar, but a wonderful piece of rugby history was created by the boys of Rice College when the Westport school beat Calasanctius College in the Connacht Schools Junior Cup final at the Sportsground last week.
The Oranmore school, who made the big breakthrough in 2009, were chasing a remarkable three-in-a-row at this level, but Rice came from behind to reverse last year's final result and deservedly take the coveted under-age trophy for the very first time.
It marks a historic occasion for the game in the west, as one of the two main under-age provincial trophies makes its way to Mayo for the first time and provides further confirmation -- if that was necessary -- of the benefits to be gained by promoting the game in areas where it was not traditionally played.
Calasanctius have paved the way and Rice College followed suit.
What odds on the senior trophy heading for Oranmore or Westport in the next few years?
Watch this space, and, in the meantime, heartiest congratulations to everyone concerned in both fast-developing rugby schools.