Over the half term break, the Senior Rugby teams visited Belfast for a wonderful sports tour with a good amount of game play alongside plenty of opportunities for exploring beautiful Belfast.
The tour party left school bright and early, travelling all the way across to Ireland by breakfast time! After fuelling up with a hearty meal in Belfast, the team set off on a lengthy journey out to Clogher Valley Rugby Club where, after so much time spent travelling, the whole squad were itching to play in the first of several fixtures. The 2nd XV played first, dominating territory and possession but narrowly failing to score, leaving the score at 0-0 by half time. The 1st XV came on in the second half and they pulled away into an impressive 24-0 lead before a number of younger players re-entered the game, with a final score of 26-0.
1st XV Captain Felix H. particularly enjoyed having the chance to play with teammates he had not played with before, adding that “it was great to see some of the Fifth Form taking opportunities and integrating into senior rugby.” He also shared that the post-match hospitality was excellent, with the whole team making the most of the opportunity to socialise with their Irish counterparts over food. After their first match, the tour party remained at the club to watch an All-Ireland League rugby match in the afternoon, which provided plenty of inspiration in preparation for further games.
Following the first fixture, the boys settled into their hotel rooms, their base for the remainder of the tour. Visits to Belfast city centre, with an open-top bus tour deluged by rain, and We Are Vertigo, the world’s largest indoor inflatable activity course, proved to be extremely popular excursions, with lots of fun being had by all. Felix shared that the whole team loved watching Harry S. become “king of the hill on the battle beam in the indoor inflatable Total Wipeout!” Their game play was also complimented by a rehabilitation session at Windsor Park, the home of the Northern Ireland football team, which allowed the team to prepare for further matches.
The second fixture of the tour was a split one, with the 1st XV playing against Foyle College and the 2nd XV playing against Ballyclare High School. The 1st XV fixture proved to be a one-sided game, with Bloxham winning by a significant distance, 50-5. The 2nd XV played an extremely competitive match, unfortunately eventually running out with a 29-22 loss.
Belfast proved to be a fantastic place to tour and everyone involved had a brilliant time. The culture and location provided a very enjoyable five days for the whole party.