May 03, 2019

By Paul Isdell

Last Tuesday week (23rd April), the rugby club car park was crackling with talk as the players & supporters travelling on the U14s Tour waited for their Bus. Destination – Italy.

A playing group of 30 and 13 supporters & mentors headed for Dublin Airport to get their Ryanair flight to Bergamo. Our base for the trip wa on the shores of Lake Garda and we made our destination in time for dinner at 9pm. Next morning it was off to Gardaland theme park to take on the mighty roller coasters and many other rides that lefy your stomach in another country!!. Nobody was found wanting and it there were plenty of stories to tell in the evening. The next morning would see a 6.30am start so everyone hit the pillow early (Well, kinda early).

Thurdsay morning started with a 2 hour bus journey to our rugby tournament, The Prosecco Cup in Pive di Soligo. The town and club are set located in the foothills of the Dolimite mountains and it provided a magnificent backdrop to what turned out to be a fabolous days rugby. The tournament was run as a 13 aside which meant we could play 2 teams. This meant loads of rugby for everyone. Unfortunately Joe Daly injured his wrist in the first match and he was brought to hospital for a precautionary x-ray which thankfully showed nothing broken. 

There were 11 teams taking part, with Mullingar the only non Italian representative. The standard of rugby was very high and it was commented that there was a huge improvement since the last time Mullingar had played here. Both teams played their hearts out. It’s fair to say that every single player had moments of brilliance and this was fabolous to see. Our teams ended up finishing in 4th & 7th place. 

To cap the day Jack Boyan was deservedly awarded player of the tournament. The whole day was a great experience and we the hospitality shown by our hosts was second to none. It was very quiet bus back to lake Garda after all the exertions of the day. Friday was very much a day of rest with a visit to the local town to pick up some gifts for home. Imagine the shock of some Mullingar tourists on their own trip to Lake Garda when they bumped into our crew meandering the streets!

Finally, it was on the plane gain to battle our way back to Mullingar through storm Hannah. We all arrived home safe, well and exhausted just as you should be after a successful trip.

A special thanks to all the kids & supporters that made this such a great tour. I hope you have memories for life.

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