THE BIG AWAY TRIPS
Japan in October 2012, Argentina in 2014. That’s the plan. An intrepid small in number, big in weight, group of Clontarf players are shortly on their way to Fukuoka in Japan to play the world tournament. Average age 62 – yet we won’t be playing in the oldest category. Red and gold shorts the norm.
May in Avignon in the South of France, a beautiful weekend, an excellent six nation’s tournament. Clontarf Golden Oldies on the march once more. We were bigger, heavier, and older than any of the other teams. We drew with the Italians, lost narrowly to the English and were hammered by the local French side. I am not sure that we won any of the games played at the pre-tournament dinner on the Friday night. I had never seen some of the games. Sliding along lined up beer covered tables was new. The hospitality in Avignon was the best we have ever experienced.
FATHERS V SONS
The annual Fathers and Sons versus the J4s was played in Castle Avenue on New Year’s Day. It was an excellent game – a draw, six tries a piece.
During the year the Oldies played a few games against junior new players. As the season progressed the new players got better so we had to beef up our team. A separate side, the Veterans played and won the Veterans Cup. The Oldies have a much more relaxed approach as must be obvious to anyone who has watched us play.
A serious transition is underway. Age and infirmity has seen the original group dwindle to 7 or 8. Economic pressures have reduced the ability of family men to travel but there is a growing cohort of 35/40 year olds who will revitalise the group.
The next target will be Mar del Plata in Argentina in 2014. With a few new players we could do trips to Budapest and Spain in 2013.