Tuesday 10 December 2019

Senior Cup rugby stars show they're 'amateur' in name only

Mark O'Regan

A KALEIDOSCOPE of colour lit up a rain-sodden winter's day as the fervour and the fever of school rugby returned to Donnybrook.

Terenure and Belvedere – with 10 Leinster Schools titles apiece – slugged it out in the opening match of this year's Senior Cup.

It was an emotional roller-coaster, both on the pitch and on the terraces.

Shouts of "Belvo Belvo" seemed to drown out the more restrained Terenure supporters.

Perhaps the Terenure fans had the quiet confidence that befits their status of favourites for this year's competition, and that the day would belong to them, which it eventually did on a 13-7 scoreline.

Billy Fenlon, whose son, Robert, wore the number four jersey for Belvedere, said the team had been putting in hours and hours of training.

"They do seven sessions weekly, with four mornings in the gym, two field sessions and one game a week. They're amateur in name only."

The most famous parent involved in yesterday's battle was Leinster coach Joe Schmidt, whose son, Tim, was playing a key role with Terenure.

The win allowed the New Zealander a brief respite from the heartbreak of Leinster's Heineken Cup exit, not to mention the possible departure of Jonathan Sexton to the playing fields of France.

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