Rathdrum honour a wonderful character
IN the summer of 2006, Dave Fox marched along the side-lines of Rathdrum RFC and recruited a handful of players to begin the journey of Rathdrum RFC Women’s team.
Eleven years on, the team has seen over 150 women don the Rathdrum jersey. Dave also had the initiative of establishing an Under-18 side in the club to help feed the senior team. He was the main recruiter and driver behind the development of women’s rugby in Rathdrum.
Last Sunday saw Rathdrum RFC host a Dave Fox Memorial Day as a way to remember and celebrate Dave’s passion and influence on the game in the club.
One of Dave’s goals was always to have two senior women’s teams in the club; this year following a successful off-season recruitment drive, the women now have a development team alongside their division one team. Both teams fielded on Sunday, with the development team playing Greystones and the division one team then playing Gorey.
With returning players and new caps on Rathdrum’s development team the women took their time to get a foothold in the game and Greystones closed the first half in front with a score of 12-5.
After some composure at halftime, the experience from returning players and the eagerness of new caps started to sync in Rathdrum’s plays, resulting in them scoring two tries in the second half and creeping back to get a well-deserved draw (19-19) against a growing and experienced Greystones.
At 3pm Rathdrum’s Division 1 team took on Gorey RFC, in a tale of two halves game. Following a minute silence in tribute to Dave, Rathdrum came out firing from the blocks and quickly scored a succession of tries pinning Gorey in their own half and not allowing any response, closing the first half with a comfortable lead of 29-3.
Following some positional changes and substitutions from Rathdrum, this gave Gorey the opportunity to get into the game and shift the momentum for the visitors. The second half was a thrilling encounter with both teams playing great phases and both scoring fantastic tries.
Rathdrum won with a score of 34-15 on the final whistle, awarding them with the Dave Fox Memorial Cup.
The Cup, kindly sponsored by the Jones’ Family of Rua’s Pub in Redcross, was presented to Captain Nicola Fennell by Dave’s wife and Rathdrum’s manager, Sharon Fox. Head Coach Jason Moreton thanked both Greystones and Gorey for travelling to the club and providing such great opposition. He paid tribute to Dave as being the reason for the success of women’s rugby in Rathdrum and that he would be happy to see his vision of two teams playing in Rathdrum finally happen.
Rathdrum Women begin their season next Sunday, 17th September, at 1pm in the Ivy Leaf against St. Mary’s RFC. All support greatly appreciated.
Squads: Aoife Byrne, Grainne Short, Lynda Woolmington, Ellen Hurley, Aoife McGrath, Ciara Healy, Kristina Vesselko, Siobhán Parsons, Neasa Olohan, Nicola Souster, Pamela Maher, Sarah Kendrick, Laura Kavanagh, Lorna Driver, Linda Dempsey, Hannah Fennell, Becky Condren, Lindsey Madge, Bernie Byrne, Nicola Fennell, Emily Ryan, Noelle Ward, Ann-Marie Burke, Heather Cullen, Mo Dowling, Sue Brady and Trish Byrne.
Rathdrum players and mentors stand for a minute’s silence in honour of the late Dave Fox. Photo: Noel McMullen
The Drumette’s development squad at the Dave Fox Memorial day at Rathdrum RFC. Photo: Garry O’Neill
Heather Cullen scored three tries on Sunday. Photo: Noel McMullen
Annmarie Burke and Sharon Fox with the Dave Fox Memorial Cup at the Dave Fox Memorial Day. Photo: Garry O’Neill
Annmarie Burke drives forward. Photo: Noel McMullen
Noelle Ward refuses to be stopped. Photo: Noel McMullen