Social Rugby 2011/12 Season Review:
A massive influx of new players from the beginning of the season was a welcome boost to the older, more seasoned ‘social players, coaches and managers’ and to the club in general. With a wide range of abilities and experience in a squad of 40 plus, the J4 & J5 teams quickly settled and competitive & consistent league campaigns followed a number of difficult pre-season friendlies.
On the pitch the rapid improvement, determination and commitment of the players, many in their first season, was a real inspiration to all involved and a credit to the hard work of the squad in general. The depth of resources in the second half of the season meant we could compete in the J6 cup.
A narrow defeat after extra time in a gripping and memorable O’Connor Cup (J5) final to a deserving St. Mary’s proved how far the players had come in one short season and gave everyone real determination for improvement in the coming season.
Off the pitch also saw a massive improvement!!
The swell in numbers and the on-pitch fun and enthusiasm gave rise to our Social Committee who organised regular events throughout the season including the Golden Oldies series (shared over 4 matches) and the obvious highlight being the Bristol Tour in February – details of which are somewhat sketchy but reportedly highly successful nonetheless!!
Clontarf Social Rugby goes from strength to strength in every department and with a Galway Tour, including a game v Corinthians, already in the calendar for September 15th it looks like we’re up and running for next season!
Social Rugby Awards 2011/2012
In addition to the official Clontarf Rugby Club Good Play Awards won by Phil Bourke (J4) and Andy Clifford (J5) the Social Rugby Awards Night completed the season on May 12th with deserved congratulations to all.
Best Newcomer: Adam Skelly
The dynamic flanker was the heart and sole of the pack throughout the season. There was nothing he couldn’t do. Made a positive difference in every aspect of the game. A really valuable new asset to the club.
Most Improved Player: Dave Duffy
Leading from the front with huge hits and calm confidence, Dave took on the captain’s role and grew the squad around him. A massive inspiration on and of the pitch.
Best Emerging Talent: Kevin Curtis
A future Clontarf star and sure to move up the ranks Kevin’s versatility saw him feature in many positions throughout the season. However with utter confidence in his ability he excelled on the pitch showing maturity and a willingness to give it everything. A solo 60m try v DLSP one of the scores of the season.
Special Contribution: Peter Connolly
In his first season in Clontarf, Peter ensured the on-field success was exceeded in the off-field activities, the highlight of course being the successful Bristol Tour. A significant contribution on the pitch with a memorable first try & matchwinner v Stillorgan.
Social Rugby Hall Of Fame: Phil O’Connor
A true leader of Junior Rugby on and off the pitch for as long as most of us can remember his contribution and influence has been an inspiration to all his teammates especially in recent seasons. One of the true greats of Clontarf and most deserving of this award.
Clontarf Social Rugby – Player’s Player 2011/2012:
As voted by the Social Rugby Players
J4 Players Player 2012
Winner: Liam O’Farrell – J4 Prop
A new member to the squad this year, making a great contribution with his influence on the team growing as the season progressed. Solid in anchoring the scrum and was a valuable lifter in our lineout which was a key weapon, while also being prominent in open play.
J4 Runners Up
Guillaume Bescond – J4 Flanker
Performing at a consistently high level for the J4’s over the past few seasons and this year was no exception. This guy is a master of unseen dark arts of the back row. An expert at turning over the ball in contact, his defence around the fringes was also excellent all year.
Denis Feighery – J4 Centre
Having arrived after Christmas but immediately made an impact, helping to ignite a backline which went on a try scoring spree in the 2nd half of the season. Rock solid in defence, he was equally adept at getting over the gainline in midfield traffic and taking on and beating his opposite man out wide.
J5 Players Player 2012
Winner: Chris Egan – J5 Hooker
A key element in an excellent set piece Chris was conspicuous in general play with clever offloads and dynamic carries. One of the defensive leaders with big hits around the fringes ensured our line was seldom crossed.
J5 Runners Up
Berian Davies – J5 Centre
Berian consistently gainlined with every carry creating the momentum for what resulted in many team scores. Defensively unequalled, his crucially important try against the Emerald Warriors was a season highlight.
Paudie Sweeney – J5 Wing
Ever reliable in defence and always providing a threat on the counter attack, Paudie’s ability to finish in the tightest of spaces provided several matchwinners throughout the season.