Oughterard Saturday April 29th – Monday May 1st 2017
It was a very early start on Saturday morning, with a 7:55 flight from Stanstead, the group were up bright and early to ensure they did not miss the flight. The trip this year was organised by Robbie and Caroline Welby to the village of Oughterard in County Galway. The intention was to play two teams from the village of Oughterard (Oughterard and Killanin) and the surrounding areas. The team arrived in Oughterard after a very bumpy landing at Knock Airport caused some might say by potholes in the sky. It was one of the worst landings ever encountered with the plane shaking from side to side, causing Robbie’s glasses to fly through the plane. It has to be said things were not looking good following this and “panini gate”. For further information on the quality of Ryanair’s panini’s, speak to panini Pete.
Once we got to Oughterard the team got a pre-match pep talk from Kevin Walsh the current Galway Manager. This got the team well motivated before the first game. Just with the game about to start, the rain lashed down, which everybody thought was going to be the outlook for the rest of the weekend. How wrong they were.
Parnells won the first game by a margin of two points and there was great football played by both teams. There is no doubt that Oughterard were a very good side evidenced by free flowing football shown by both sides. Parnells just about edged it.
In the second game Parnells played Killanin, a local team which turned out to be a draw. Again, this was a very good quality game with lots of skill coming from both sides. It was very exciting with Killanin equalising before the final whistle.
The last game was between Oughterard and Killanin, which Oughterard won. These were two rival teams where the passion shown by both sides was plain to see. Over the three games there was a great turnout and all agreed it was a very good tournament.
Following the football most of the teams and their families went back to the Boat Inn where food was kindly provided for all the kids who were playing and there was a presentation by Parnells to Oughterard. Following speeches and the kids enjoying a game of rugby all went with their host families, allowing the adults to hit the town, the least said about that the better!!
The next day all the kids went for a day out to Killarey Adventure Centre where by all accounts the kids had a great day out. Some of them probably still had turf in their ears leaving on Monday. The adults had a free day on Sunday and took full advantage either sight-seeing or just relaxing after a hectic schedule.
On Sunday night the adults went for a fabulous meal at a local restaurant with a traditional session in full swing. Another late and very entertaining night was had by all.
Monday morning, unfortunately it was almost time to go. The kids were dropped back to Carribdale where they had a training session attended by some of the Galway Senior squad namely Jonny Heaney, Cathal Sweeney and David Walsh. There were lots of photo opportunities and time for some last minute shopping. The coach in time honoured fashion was delayed, not by the kids but by the adults and their love for Supermacs. The sun was shining like it had done for nearly all of the weekend. The attention turned to getting home which people finally did later that evening, after a safe landing with no potholes. For those who were off the next day, well done for good planning, for those who had to go to school and work, well done, you will know better next time!!
I would like to say a big thank you on behalf of Parnells to Caroline and Robbie who with the team manager Tony Griffin organised the trip with a great deal of planning to get it right. Their enormous effort was evident throughout the weekend. Thanks to their extended family for helping to make the trip go smoothly and to the host families for their kind hospitality.
Thanks to all the coaches from Parnells, Oughterard and Killanin and all those people who contributed in any way to a very memorable and successful weekend.