New season excitement at Railway

Railway Union 5

It’s not an exaggeration to say that last season was a great year to be involved in Railway Union RFC. Five Leinster Pennants hang in the clubhouse as a mark of the success of the year and there’s a sense of energy and excitement at pre-season training as men and women alike look to the 2013/2014 season with enthusiasm.

If you’re wondering exactly what success can be summarised as, here is an overview of the season.

In March, after a six-month league campaign, the Men’s 1st XV came away with their Leinster League title, with the Men’s 2nds following that up a week later to win their division also. The men’s 3rd XV narrowly missed out on victory in Leinster Metro League and the hugely talented Men’s U20s, of whom many of the players are underage again this year, lost their cup semi-final by the narrowest of margins, 20–19 to Seapoint.

Meanwhile, in their inaugural season, the Women’s 1st XV, had at this point already won their league in January, winning all their matches without conceding a single point. April saw them continue with their winning streak to claim the Leinster Paul Cusack Cup Final, beating Cill Dara 42–10.

The Women’s 2nd XV, affectionately known as The Devs, won their cup final that same day, beating Old Belvedere in the Paul Flood Cup Final. This was followed up that night by 240 people attending the club’s annual dinner dance in black tie at the Aviva Stadium. To say the club celebrated would be a slight understatement.

Ringsend locals Kim Flood and Claire Ryan were both selected for the Leinster Women’s team, and along with fellow Railway teammates Eimear Flannery and Eimear Mairtin were invited to train with the Irish Emerging 7s team later in the year.

April also saw the establishment of the Railway Women’s Rugby 7s Academy with the team going on to play at Kinsale 7s in May, winning the Open Competition and are currently preparing for the National 7s in August.

The Girls Rugby 7s Academy have been training all summer and four local girls have trialled and been selected for the Irish schoolgirls 7s camp. This residential camp takes place over six weekends from August, in the same facilities used by Brian O’Driscoll et al, and will culminate in the first Irish International Schoolgirl 7s team playing an international tournament in the UK.

Railway’s stated goal of finding and developing a future Leinster, Irish and Olympic rugby player looks to be on track.

Head of PR and Marketing in Railway, Kirstin Smith, picked up Leinster Rugby’s Press Officer of the Year Award at the annual awards ball in The Mansion House for “setting the benchmark by consistently promoting Railway to a variety of media with fresh, innovative and interesting content”.

This season sees three adult men’s sides, three adult women’s sides, men’s U20s, Girls U18s and U15s take the field, in addition to The Locos.
Preseason for all adult sides begins on Tuesday 30th July at 7pm.

“I’ve been working with the club’s coaches and they’ve put together an impressive pre-season programme,” said Director of Rugby John Cronin. “All teams – men’s, women’s and U20s – will be training together for the first three or four weeks and we’ll be working on conditioning and skills. There is a really good atmosphere in the club at present and we are very clear about wanting to be a club for all our community. The players are itching to get back, especially after such a successful last season. I’m confident that the players and coaches, in addition to the new players joining us on all teams, with hard work and dedication can repeat the success of last season again.”

As always, Railway is open to all and all teams are recruiting for new players. For further information, please see our website or our Facebook page

By Kirstin Smith