The Ballinasloe Rugby Club’s conveyor belt of talent continues to produce players of great potential, with two of the club’s finest products nominated for some outstanding awards of late.
Matthew Devine capped a brilliant season, with the scrum half named Connacht Academy Player of the Year at the annual Connacht Rugby Awards Ball held recently, largely thanks to his terrific form for the Ireland Under-20s during their Grand Slam-winning Six Nations run. Devine played a key role in the under 20s winning all five of their games during the campaign as he wowed spectators and pundits alike with his excellent performances. Touching down four times throughout the tournament the award was due recognition for the hugely promising 20-year-olds form this season.
Aoibheann Reilly was also nominated for the WHOOP Women’s 15s Young Player of the Year at the Rugby Players Ireland awards. Having impressed for Blackrock College during the All-Ireland League season, Reilly earned her first cap for Ireland against Wales in their Six Nations opener. Reilly hasn’t looked back since and went on to be a shining light for the side during their campaign. Having now got the experience under her belt Aoibheann is now no doubt looking ahead to a long and successful career in the green jersey.
Ballinasloe Rugby club are holding an 8-week programme to encourage girls from the 8-14 to take up rugby in association with Irish rugby called “Give it a try”.
The course is designed to teach all the basic skills required for rugby through rugby based games and drills, they will be slowly built up to be able to participate in games by the end of the programme and participate in a regional blitz against other GIAT clubs.
Ballinasloe was one of the founding clubs to encourage girls into the game setting up both minis and youth girls teams. They currently have girls teams at u10 to u18’s level and have produced many representatives on both the Connacht team and now the Irish national team.
If you’d like to follow in these ladies footsteps or just have some fun and meet some new friends the course will be running until June 26, at 10am every Sunday at the clubs pitch, the cost is €10 per person which includes a free t shirt. You can register on the following link www.sportsmanager.ie/registration/event-registration
The club’s u16 girls team triumphed in the Connacht U16 Plate Final against Claremorris recently. There was some outstanding skill on display from both teams and it was an extremely close encounter with Claremorris leading by the narrowest of margins towards the end. The Ballinasloe girls never gave up and showed what a skilful and talented side they are and with the last kick of the game they came from behind to win 29–26 making it a fantastic end to the season for the team.
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