MINI RUGBY: As with all clubs and sports, this season ORFC has been hugely affected by the weather. It seems like it hasn’t stopped raining and blowing a gale since the start of November.
However, having training cancelled only twice due to the weather, our mini and girls section have braved the conditions most Saturdays to train and play.
An early New Year trip to Gort RFC blew away the Christmas cobwebs for all the boys’ groups from U7 – U12s, while the girls hosted a girls-only blitz in Oughterard the same day.
Girls’ teams from Gort, Tuam and Galwegians headed to the village for a fabulous series of matches, playing entertaining and skilful rugby in cold and testing conditions.
The boys’ U11 squad headed into the Sportsground recently to play at half time in the Eurpoean Challenge Cup match between Connacht and Russian team Enisei – STM. Playing in front of more than 4,000 spectators, the lads had a short but great tussle with Corinthians.
The following week, our girls, who had been playing in a provincial blitz in Athlone in the morning, stopped off on the way home to play at half time of the Guinness Pro 12 game between Connacht and Scarlets. If the huge crowd hadn’t appreciated girls’ rugby before this, they surely do now after U12 girls teams from ORFC, Sligo, Castlebar, Westport, Ballina and Gort put on a terrific exhibition of mini rugby.
Both the girls’ and boys’ mini sections have several more blitzes, home and away, coming up in the next couple of months, so will be training hard on Saturday mornings to prepare for them.
YOUTH RUGBY: Again due to the horrendous weather this season, ORFC youth section’s season has been hugely affected. The U16s played in a number of league matches before the tournament had to be restructured due to teams dropping out and fixture congestion. The 16s squad travelled to Loughrea to play in what was effectively a league semi final. At the end of a hard fought contest the ORFC lads came away with a deserved 14-3 win.
The U15s travelled to Athlone to take on the ever-strong Buccaneers in an U15s league fixture a couple of weeks ago. After a slow start trailing 10-0 in the first half, the boys came out for the second half fired up, and played brilliantly – coming through 19-17 at the final whistle, in what is possibly the club performance of the season.
The combined Connemara/ORFC U14 team have been lucky and played two league matches since the new year. Having been soundly beaten by a strong NUIG team back in October, the squad showed how much they have developed since then by only narrowly losing out to the city club 22-13 in a entertaining match in Clifden. The following week Gort where the visitors out west. All the hard work put in by the players as a group and individually paid off with a 43-5 win over the visitors.
After a superb start to the season, the ORFC first XV have had a decidedly indifferent start to 2016. The heavy pitches throughout the province certainly don’t suit Oughterard’s quick handling, running style of play. But consecutive away defeats to Westport and Greggs cannot be blamed solely on the conditions and have dented ORFC league ambitions. The league has been reset due to teams dropping out and unplayed fixtures. So with four games left to play, the seniors are sitting mid table with a lot to do.
For further information on ORFC training times, upcoming events and matches, visit www.orfc.ie