4 Dec, 09:57
This Friday night coming, 6th December (kick-off 7.45pm), Midleton RFC host Sundays Well RFC in the All Ireland League "under lights" at Towns Park.
In fact, the club arose from the embers of the dissolved cricket club in Carrickbeg, with a team representing the town divided by the Suir playing all over Munster and Leinster into the 1930s and early 40s.
Three quarters of a century ago, the club's playing ranks included men from Carrick Mor and Carrickbeg, as well as neighbouring Ballyneale and the villages of Portlaw and Kilmacthomas in County Waterford.
Since then, many more boys and men from these townlands have worn the red and blue hoops of Carrick-on-Suir RFC with great distinction, along with players native to Mooncoin, Fiddown and Piltown in South Kilkenny, Grangemockler, Kilsheelan and Clonmel, as well as from further afield in Eastern Europe and New Zealand.
However, the escalation of World War II in the 1941/42 period, which lead to further rationing by the De Valera government, literally forced the club off the road and into dissolution.
Some 15 years would pass before the club was reformed, and the club has remained an active member of the Munster Junior League ever since.
The club has played its rugby football in Tybroughney, just outside Carrick, since 1977, following the acquisition of a 17-acre site, which now features two pitches, one floodlit, and a recently expanded clubhouse.
Carrick-on-Suir’s first XV, captained this season by the long-serving David Kiersey, kick off their J3 campaign with a trip to Douglas on Sunday, October 13th, a traditionally difficult fixture. But captain Kiersey, who has made a top-class effort on and off the training paddock since assuming the role this summer, is hopeful that the team will front up against the Cork city side.
"We've had a savage level of commitment from the lads in pre-season," he said. "The one thing I was adamant about when I accepted the captaincy was that each and every one of us pulling on that jersey come October 13th would be as physically prepared as possible for the season.
"Last season was a disappointment for the club, for the players that put in the slog from one of the campaign to the other and for the committee which does a lot of work to keep the club in as healthy a condition as possible off the pitch. We've put in a lot of hard yards in pre-season. The lads have been fitting in individual sessions between collective training and I've been really encouraged by the level of commitment we've had ahead of the new season. None of us want to be in J3 - that's not where we want to be playing. It's a relatively short season; every point, be it for a fourth try or a losing bonus, could be the different between promotion and frustration. The only way has to be up."
The club's numbers have increased significantly since 2010, when Carrick founded its Girls/Ladies playing division. And what a success that has proven. "We signed on seven new players within the past week, which is just fantastic" said Club Committee member Sarah Moore. "After two rounds of this season's Munster Sevens' Blitz, our Under-18s are undefeated and have played some brilliant rugby already - no less than six of the team have been sent forward for Munster trials already. We've also just founded our Under-15 team, who were in action in Bandon last weekend, all of which is enormously encouraging."
The club fields boys' teams at Under-14, 16 and 18 levels, vital years in the development of players with a view to their progression into First XV ranks. Carrick RFC's Mini Rugby campaign (for ages 6 to 12) got underway on September 15th, and with over 100 children attending training with our IRFU-trained coaches, the club's future talent is in great hands. "All you need is a little motivation, a pair of boots and a gumshield", said Mini Rugby Officer Donal Moriarty who went on to say "To see both pitches full of children enjoying themselves on Sundays at Tybroughney from 10.30am is some sight. Our gates are open to one and all!"
President: Tony Musiol
Hon Secretary: Ken Murphy
Club PRO: Dermot Keyes
Fixtures Secretary: Conor Murphy
Wins of Note:
2012 J3 League Winners
2009 O’Sullivan Cup
Munster Rugby's James Cronin and Darren Sweetnam checked in on the progress of Carrick-on-Suir RFC's emerging talent during their pre-season 'Munster Race'.