Abbey School Open New Pitch
19th December 2005 By Munster Rugby
The Abbey School in Tipperary town recently celebrated the opening of their new pitch with a match between the current Senior team and a Past Pupil Selection
Photo Caption Abbey School jpeg
To mark the blessing of the Rugby field in the Abbey School recently, and also a belated return visit of Munster Schools Senior Rugby Cup, a game was played between the Abbey Senior team and a past pupils selection. Pictured before the game from left were; Johnny Lacey, Paul Downey, John Heffernan School Principal, Jim Kissane Referee, Bill Cronin School Rugby Coach , and a former Munster Schools medal winner, Ian Hanley past pupil, Sam Cronin Captain of PBC, last year s Cup winners, Jerry Cronin and Des O’ Sullivan. Billy Cronin won a Senior Cup medal with Rockwell College and is now on the Abbey School staff while his son Sam was captain of PBC last year. This Cup was won by the Abbey School in 1921.
On Fri. 9th Dec. 2005 the Abbey marked the blessing of its new rugby field by Fr. Michael Ryan with a match between the current Abbey team, captained by Vivion Grisewood, and a team of recent past students, led by Michael Shanahan and Shane Redfern. In a high quality and competitive match the Grisewood XV came out on top 12-0 with tries from Tommy O Neill, Richard Donovan and a conversion by Sean Walsh.
Grisewood, John McCahill and Sean Walsh were outstanding for the victors while Michael Shanahan, Shane Redfern, Conor Duhy and Chris Barry tried hardest for the vanquished. This fixture is the first in what one hopes will be an annual match between current and past students though, next year it is hoped to play the match earlier with the Friday of the October Mid-Term break as the chosen date. Futhermore, just like this year, it is planned to run the very successful careers day, co-ordinated by Mr. McGrath, again on the morning of the game.
The game kicked off in ideal weather conditions and both teams displayed all that is best about the Abbey s running style of rugby before an appreciative and distinguished crowd. Included among the spectators were the Presidents and Officers of the local clubs Clanwilliam and Kilfeacle, and special guests and past pupils, Alan Quinlan, John Lacey and Ian Hanly- newly elevated to the Irish U-21 side. In fact Ian was to guest in the match itself but such is the commitment and game-time management of the modern professional rugby player that he was unable to play. Ian continues to progress his rugby career and was one of the stars of this year s Munster U-21 side which led to his call up to the Irish squad. Another interesting guest was the Munster Schools Senior Cup which last passed through the portals of the Abbey in 1921 when the school was victorious in that venerable competition, one of the oldest schools cups in world rugby. Sam Cronin, son of Abbey coach Bill, and team-mate of Ian Hanly on this year s Munster U-21 squad travelled with the cup having captained his own school Presentation Brothers College, Cork to victory earlier in March of this year. Bill Cronin himself was on the winning Rockwell side in 1971.
The match official was Jim Kissane of M.A.R. to whom the Abbey owes an immeasurable debt of gratitude for all his work as both a development officer and referee over the last number of years. In fact it is true to say that rugby would not have functioned in the school were it not for the benevolence of Jim. At half time, as a token of the school s appreciation, Jim accepted a presentation from Miss Kate Molloy made on behalf of the students, past and present and the Management of the Abbey.
Congratulations also to our team manager Patrique Kelly, current Irish International women s player and former Abbey teacher, and Kate Molloy, our latest rugby coach for the magnificent manner in which they prepared their teams.
Watching the game one could not be but impressed by the skill levels displayed by the protagonists but more importantly one was struck by the sportsmanship and sheer joy exhibited by the boys. Rugby in the Abbey appears to be in really good health.
Shanahan Redfern XV
Richard Hayes, Kevin Hourigan, Michael Shanahan, Damien Kiely, Eoin Kiely, Cormac Moore, Aidan Doherty, Eugene Grisewood, Chris Barry, Kevin Merrigan, Conor Duhy, Jamie English, Eoin O Dwyer, Aidan Noonan, Michael Fitzgerald and Alan Kenny.
Noel Leahy, Tom O Neill, Sean Walsh, Bryan O Brien, Edmund Ryan, Christian McDonald, David McCormack, William Donovan, Alan Kiely, Mark Moloney, John McCahill, Vivion Grisewood, Gavin Ryan, Calem Quinn, Eamon John Ryan, James Mulhair, Paul Tynan, Tim Dalton, Sean Spillane and guests Daith O Connor, Jamie Keaty, Richard Donovan, Jerry Cronin, Desmond O Sullivan and Sam Cronin.