Leinster Rugby is in the middle of a golden era right now and this summer the boys and girls of Portarlington’s Under-11 mixed tag rugby team won the right to represent Leinster in the Community Games All Ireland Finals and become a part of the blue revolution…

The finals took place in Athlone and backed by enthusiastic support, Portarlington managed to win their semi final against Munster and then, thanks to a last minute try from Jack O’Neill, they overcame a resilient Connacht challenge in the final.

Coached by Portarlington RFC’s Under-11 coach Barry Lambkin and St. Patrick’s Boys BNS teachers Emer O’Brien and Maria Cosgrove, the team consistently raised their performance as they moved through the Laois, Leinster and then All Ireland sections of the competition.

Local Community Games Chairperson Mary Bennett remarked: “The boys and girls have really enjoyed this great experience and their success will no doubt encourage sport, particularly rugby, in our town. We are really delighted”.

Mary’s words have prophetic as, thanks to this success and a recent tour of the local schools by the team accompanied by the Heineken Cup, registration in Portarlington RFC’s Minis section increased by 50% this season.

The team in full was; Sinead Cullen, Tinashae Chapwanya, Ciarán Ward, Emily Emerson, Ceilum Coughlan Maher, Conor McCarthy, Anito Marcarelli and Caoimhe Maher, Cathal Bennett and Jack O’Neill.

Well done to all involved.