Ballyclare RFC Notes: BUSY WEEKEND FOR OLDEST & YOUNGEST BALLYCLARE PLAYERS: MCCambley Cup Final!!!!!!!!! & Over 1000 Set To Attend BRFC Mini Rugby FESTIVAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! + 100+ Action Shots Of The IV XV v Armoy RFC I XV

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This weekend is expected to be the most hectic of the season at Ballyclare Rugby Club at each end of the age spectrum. On Friday night (7-30 p.m. kick off) the Fantastic Fourths go to Ravenhill to play Belfast Harlequins 4th XV in the final of the McCambley Cup and the team is hoping that they will be well supported as they attempt to maintain their unbeaten tag and aim to capture a trophy which has eluded the Clare club over the seasons at times. Then on Saturday 28th the club is holding their Annual Festival of Rugby at the Cloughan when at least one thousand young Mini rugby stars of the future will gather at the biggest Mini-Tournament in Ulster for five different age levels.
Click Here for 100+ Action Shots From The IV XV v Armoy RFC IV XV
Ballyclare teams from the past contested the final of the McCambley Cup , presented originally for Fourth Division and latterly Minor League sides, back in 1969 and 1974 (both by the then bottom team-3rd XV) and also in 1999 (by 5th XV). This Friday night at Ravenhill the Clare`s 4th XV which has won the Minor East 1 league being un beaten all year and having racked up close to a total of 1100 points and is also into the final of the Ravenhill Cup due for 5th May (for the winning team from the 4 top Minor sides) will face Belfast Harlequins 4th Xv . The Clare men have defeated the Quins team twice in the league and therefore have a good knowledge of the opposition personnell but the Belfast team ended as runners up to the Fourths so the final is reckoned to be a tight affair.The Clare side for the final will be the oldest ever to represent the club at a Ravenhill cup final with a good number of them past their 40th birthdays and possibly this may be seen as their last hurrah. Certainly several of them have played years ago for the club`s 1st XV or even at a higher level but on the field this year there can be fewer teams who have been more follicly challenged ! At this level of rugby it is good to see that the powers that be have allowed a use of substitutes during games to help keep as many players invoved as possible. The Ballyclare 4ths have played 20 league games,all won,4cup games won and 1 friendly won and will meet Cookstown in the final of the Ravenhill Cup. The team has this year done their bit for charity and from a Chinese banquet on 25th February, a tombola and a raffle managed to present a cheque last Saturday to the Newforge Taggers who are supported by the Ulster Branch (I.R.F.U.) for £2,160.
For the final a bus will leave the clubhouse at 6-30 p.m. on Friday night costing £3 a head. The team will return after the game to the clubhouse for a Chinese banquet from the Bambou Restaurant and anyone wishing to travel on the bus as well as attending the function the charge is £10-full details from Neil Reynolds (Tel.07909006462)
The 4ths panel for the final will be selected from—Backs-John Wasson,Gareth Smith,Nial Lamont,Neil Reynolds,Trevor Clarke,Graham Barnett,Artie Campbell,John McDonald and Cavan Watson; Forwards-Darren Montgomery,Terry Moore, Jonny Barnett,Stevie Crawford,Trevor Fletcher,Steven Wright,Paul Morrow,Harry gaston,Bruce Logan,George Peel,Ian Luke,Ally Breen and Lyle Andrew.
On Saturday 28th the Ballyclare Mini Festival of Rugby will take place at the Cloughan grounds with over a thousand young players from most clubs in Ulster taking part.In the morning starting at 9-30 a.m. there will be teams from P7; P4 and P5 taking part and in the afternoon it will be P6 and the remainder of the P5 teams who will be playing. The overall organiser is Aaron Blackbourne who is the club`s Mini rugby Convenor and he is assisted by a team of helpers including several of the 4ths who will have played the previous night at Ravenhill. It is expected that a group from the I.R.F.U. will attend to observe team harmonisation during the Festival or Tournament. Various attractions will be available including a Bouncy Castle,face Painting, Climbing Wall,Hot Food and a Club Shop- the nominated charity is the Wooden Spoon Society for the day.The event which has become the biggest in the Province and was originally part of the Ballyclare Mayfair is being sponsored by-B.T.W. Shields; Karl; Antrim Hills Water;Mountcharles;Isaac Agnew;Hilton (Templepatrick);Coca-Cola and Fruit Boxers. Everyone is welcome to come along and it will be possible to view the Ulster-Edinburgh European Semi Final on the big screen in the clubhouse in the evening.

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