The under 13 team are a treat to watch, with their enthusiasm and commitment. They don’t actually play in a league but have played 12 matches this season, winning all but one (when they drew 0-0). They play a lovely brand of rugby with their back play being particularly impressive. Most of these boys learned their rugby at mini-level and in going into secondary school – they can play their rugby for either school or club. Quite a lot of our minis move to the Royal School but a majority of them play for our local club. 2 players who are really standing out at this level for different reasons are Sam Murray (No8) – he is a big lad for his age and can burst through tackles. Where as on the other side Dylan Nelson is very impressive on the back line. They would hope to do well in the cup and try to emulate their performance of 2011/12 when they got to the final at Ravenhill but were narrowly beaten by Lurgan.
Coaches, Niall Chapman and Phillip Doyle, have instilled great skills and abilities for all these boys and there are regularly 30 or so boys training on a Wednesday night.
The Under 15 team lead the Premiere League by 2 points. They have only lost one match this season having gone down by 19:14 against Virginia earlier in the year. They have played 9 League Games and have a points aggregate of 325 for and 77 against. They are also going well in the Cup. The strength of this side is both in the forwards and the backs, with Barry Finn, Oran Campbell and Paul Mullan – all outstanding in the pack. Cormac Fox, Neil McGuinness, Evan Cromie and Shea O’Brian all shine in the backline. There is a great team spirit and regularly 26-27 boys turn up for training and matches. Decision day in the league will probably come on the 1st February when they travel Virginia away, but before this they have to play a Cup game against Dungannon. Anton Finn, their coach, works this team very hard and expects, and gets, 100% commitment from them. The team is hoping to recruit a new assistant for the backs as well. If this side continues to play the way they do, they will be a force to be reckoned with in the League Play-Offs and the Cup. There is, however, a lot of work to be done and training will continue each Wednesday night. There is also the prospect of a touring team from Carlilse coming over in February, and the team are likely to be invited to a tournament in Dublin. There is also the prospect of an overseas tour at Easter in Grenoble.
The Under 17s are also having a good season this year. They have played 9 league games, winning four, losing four and drawing one. With a points aggregate of 102 for and 133 against. They have also played four friendlies against Rainey – losing 26-12, beating Portadown 21-15, beating Banbridge 45-5 and beating Cavan 20-12. They have a small squad of players to choose from, but when they get all their players available, they can be a match for anyone. For example when the played Carrickfergus, the league leaders before Christmas, they were down 3 scores after 10 minutes but rallied to press Carrickfergus for the rest of the game. They have no real stars in this side as all seem to work well exceptionally together. Unfortunately they have gone off the boil recently and have lost to Banbridge, Carrickfergus and Ballymena. They still have some tough games to play and they are hoping for a run in the Cup. Mark Riddle and Gareth Warnock are in charge of this side, which is captained by Shea Harney. The manager, Phillip Agnew would like to have more people at training but, as we know, 17 year olds have commitments to school and part-time jobs and it is hard to juggle all these things.