This was clearly evident when the school beat a competitive St Mary's team from Drogheda on a final score of 38-5. The final was excellently supported with five buses bringing over 250 students, together with their teachers, to the grounds.
The team, captained by Jake Burgess, went on the attack from the very start coming up against a stiff forward pack. The back row functioned excellently with number eight, Clive Stanley, constantly bringing the ball into contact, unsettling the opposition defence. Clive touched down twice from such attacks. Despite St Mary's determined running through the forwards their kicking game, while often focussed on our 15, Gavin Farrell, rarely challenged his incisive handling. Gavin's searing runs left St Mary's wrong-footed and resulted in him claiming two tries.
While this final has been the culmination of four years of hard work there was a clear sense from the beginning of the year that this team had gelled together and was playing rugby for each other. There can be little doubt that the crucial game was played in the semi-finals when they came up against last year's winners, St Brendan's, Enniscorthy. St Brendan's attacked from the very outset and by half time we were trailing two tries to nil. It is a testament, however, to both the team spirit and accuracy of Eric Mackey's boot that Colaiste Lorcain clawed their way back into the game with Eric's conversions being the decider, guiding the school into the final.
As in all teams there are the unsung heroes whose graft and unflinching work ethic becomes the spine of the team. Colaiste Lorcain is no different. Adrian Hanlon and Eric Mackey's propping of David King in the front row have stood as a wall in opposition to all teams we have come against this year.
The hunting instinct of our back row was clearly on show with Ryan Donoghue and M J Kane putting their bodies in harm's way to hamper any forward momentum in the opposition team. Such actions enabled half backs, Luke Stanley and Emmet O'Keefe, and centres, Michael Wall and Jake Burgess, the room to control the game. This allowed a clean distribution of ball to our back-line with the blistering pace of Ian Costigan at 14 being well matched on the opposite wing where Kealan Hegarty kept the opposition defence constantly on their toes with his agility and raw speed.
COLAISTE LORCAIN: Gavin Farrell, Ian Costigan, Michael Wall, Jake Burgess CAPTAIN, Kealan Hegarty, Emmet O'Keefe, Luke Stanley, Clive Stanley, Ryan Donoghue, M J Kane, Kevin Griffin, Wesley Robinson, Adrian Hanlon, David King, Eric Mackey
REPLACEMENTS: Larry Cullen, John Waters, Cormac O'Neill, Anthony Kelly, Gbolade Sadiq, Dale Kavanagh, Tony Murphy