2009 Boys International Journey

November 7, 2018

The future of St Sylvester’s are in safe hands after a very impressive showing over the bank holiday


A selection of 2009 boys flew to Birmingham last Saturday 3 rd of June to take part in the Coley Folan

Memorial Tournament at Pairc Na hEireann.

It was an intense day with an early 4.20am start and non-stop matches from our arrival at 10am. The

sun was shining and we faced stiff competition from representative teams from St Brendan’s, John

Mitchells, Roger Casements and the home team Sean Mc Dermott’s. Matches were played with 5

minute thirds, and the pitch was divided into 3 zones, defence, midfield and attack, that boys were

allocated to and they could not enter the other zones. This meant that the emphasis was on winning

the tackles, and passing to your teammate in the next third. The boys had to adapt quickly but they

soon learned that teamwork was essential in order to win the games.

We brought two teams with us, Team 1 composed of Aidan, Daniel, Darragh, Hugh, Hugo, Jack, Max

and Rory. Team 2 was composed of Conor E, Conor O, Donal, James, Liam, Max, Robert and Ross. I

am confident each Dad remembers some stand out moments from the day. For me, there were too

many to mention here. However the quality of tackling, passing and finishing was top class from all

the Syl’s boys who displayed their desire to win.

The big match was between the two Syl’s teams and it will be known hereafter as the Battle of

Warwickshire as there was no quarter asked nor given and the spectators were given a treat in how

to play the game with passion. The tension was palpable, friendships were forgotten for 20mins and

that was just the coaches!

The final was between St Sylvester’s and the holders and home town favourites Sean McDermott’s.

Syl’s took a half time lead, before being pegged back by some exceptional positional play and

accuracy from the opposition no.12. It came down to the last quarter and final minute, when up

stepped the hero of the day, young Max with the best catch of the day despite the close attention of

two defenders and who then managed to handpass to his brother to finish sweetly over the bar. The

ref blew his whistle and the match and tournament belonged to St Sylvester’s. The boys went mad.

The trophy was ours!

Our eternal gratitude must go to our liaison John O’Connor, our hosts Sean Mc Dermott’s and

Warwickshire County Board who welcomed us and looked after us all day with bacon butties,

burgers and VIP parking. Both the boys and the coaches enjoyed the “Skip Challenge”, fun slides and

bouncy castles, family atmosphere and senior intercounty Championship game between Kilkenny

and Warwickshire.

We finished off the weekend with an action packed R&R day in Drayton Manor, where we sampled

as many rides and adventures as we could, though the previous days rivalry continued through a

couple of rounds of Dodgems. A long weekend, and one that will live even longer in the memory.