Rath­drum hon­our a won­der­ful char­ac­ter

Bray People - - SPORT -

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

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