Instonians Rugby Attend The Pat Lawlor Tournament: Report & Pictures

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Pictures, Reds (U13 A squad), Whites (U13 B squad) ,U17’s.

Pat Lawlor U13 10-a side tournament (past winners include Peter Stringer, Ronan O’Gara, Keith Earles, Andrew Trimble)

Instonians returned to the Pat Lawlor tournament for the 1st time in 7 years having previously taken part 21 years in a row under Des O’Donnell winning it once and reaching the final a further 5 times.

21 of the best teams in Ireland participated in this year’s tournament including 2 teams from Instonians.

The Instonian whites performed very well losing 2-0 to Sligo and Ennis respectively and 5-1 to a strong host team Limerick Bohemians.

The Instonian reds had a magnificent tournament winning 3 games and drawing 1 in their group to qualify for the quarter finals of the main cup competition. In the group stages they beat Garryowen (the holders) 3-0 , Tralee 4-1 , St Marys 4-2 and drew 3-3 with New Ross.

In the quarter-final they came back maginficently from 1-0 down at half time to beat a strong Richmond side 2-1 with both tries form Mark (“Sparky”) Johnston who had an outstanding tournament.

Unfortunatly the reds then drew the hot favorites for the event Wexford Wanderers in the semi. Wexford had hammered everyone in their path up to this point including the good Richmond side 5-1 in the group stages but Instonians came back heroically from 2-0 at half time to 2-1 and marginal ‘forward pass’ calls prevented an equalising try on 2 occasions before Wexford’s U14 Leinster sprint champion (who does the 100 metres in 11 seconds) made it 3-1 running the whole length of the pitch with the last play.

Instonians gave all 16 of their squad at least a half in the semi and lost inspirational captain David Whitten (brother of Ulster players Ian and Alan) to injury in the first half. David’s dad John (also an Ulster player) was the trusty lieutenant to the late Des O’Donnell and he formed part of the enhanced coaching team under Des’s son Keith.

The Instonians reds left the field through a tunnel made by all 27 players of the Instonian U17’s to a standing ovation from all 96 of the overall touring party. Mick McLauglin , the tournament organiser , then paid tribute to the rugby played by Instonians throughout the day and to the magnificent support they had given to the Pat Lawlor tournament under Des O’Donnell and hoped that they would return next year and for many years to come.

U17 challenge match (15-a side) – Instonians v Limerick Bohemians

The U13 players then returned the compliment to their U17 club mates by supporting them in their superb come back win against the hosts Limerick Bohemians. In a great game which was keenly contested in superb sunshine Instonians won the match 14-12 with a last second conversion by Matthew Keane from the touch-line of an equalising score from Wayne Phillips. The first try had been scored by flying winger Kadum Hasson.

A great Saturday all round and a great tour for all 96 of the party finsihed off in the small hours by as noted by Rodney Hume (assistant coach to the U13’s) by some of the worst singing heard south of the border!

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