Last Saturday was a big day in the young Rugby lives of Coolmine Under-9’s when they came away from the Armagh Blitz as winners…

The Under-9 took their impressive form up north having already enjoyed a very successful tour of Limerick in March. The players arrived in Armagh just before 10am and played their last match just before 4pm, on a beautiful spring day. Coolmine Mini Rugby has a long and successful history in this competition.

Nineteen players from the Under-9 age group made the trip to Armagh. There were sixteen teams in total at the Under-9 age level  on the day,  from clubs such as the hosts (Armagh)  Boyne, Navan, Dundalk, Dungannon, Mullingar  and Monaghan. Games were ten minutes long and were refereed by representatives from clubs other than those involved in the individual games. Since rugby at this level is uncompetitive, games were not awarded to the winner on the scoreline alone.

But on a Fair Play system based on a number of criteria including score skills and discipline, with three match points up for grabs based on the referee’s findings. Coolmine started brightly defending their line with vigour and scored some wonderful tries on the day. All games were played in great spirit and were keenly contested by the players. Coolmine knew from the outset they had the measure of the very well coached sides from a variety of Ulster and Leinster clubs. Each of the two  Coolmine teams played seven  games each  over the day with pitch and weather conditions ideal for fast flowing Rugby.

The two Coolmine teams had minimal subs which were rotated during the games, every player made a big contribution to the Coolmine cause. It would be unfair to name individuals but suffice to say everyone gave their all, scoring an impressive number of  tries and conceding the minimum. The Coolmine Under-9  players can feel rightly proud of their achievements on  a very successful days rugby in Armagh .

 Just after 4pm teams gathered at the front of the Armagh clubhouse, at this stage Coolmine Under-9’s knew they were in the shake-up for the Cup. When Coolmine Under-9’s were announced as winners, parents and players were delighted, at what was a wonderful achievement for the club. Rory Best (Ulster Captain) presented the Coolmine Under-9 team with the winners’ Cup. 

A special word of thanks goes to the City of Armagh Rugby Club who hosted the event and provided refreshments for parents and children on the day and to the Armagh Mini coaches who organised an enjoyable day’s rugby and ran the matches of in quick succession.