Derby

All a little weary to start the day today but got away at 11.40am enroute to Derby for the championship match between Derby and Brighton, with a near sellout crowd of approx 33,000.

We had great seats undercover and what an experience to see cheering and chanting from the supporters. Derby officials took our players onto the field pre game then they were paraded around the stadium before returning to their seats. A great game to watch a 2-2 result.

Following the game the buses headed to Northhampton for our nights accommodation.

Wexford

This morning we visited the Waterford Crystal centre before heading back to Dublin.

Our games for Friday were rescheduled as Good Counsel College made their regional final to be played the same day we were there. Our earlier hosts Lucan Sarsfield provided us with their synthetic pitch and we were able to play an internal Wanderers match.- Green Vs Gold. With a bit of good banter on the sideline the match was played in great spirit with some good skills on display. We used the round ball for the full match and while the Gold team led early the Green took out the match by 2 points.

Thenit was off for some last minute shopping and dinner before farewelling our fantastic drivers Greg and Owen at the Dublin ferry port.

Smooth sailing across to Holyhead late into the night, then the drive to our hotel arriving after 2am. A later start tomorrow, planned to leave at 11.30am.

 

 

Dungarvan

On the road early on Thursday morning toward Dungarvan. First stop was Blarney CAstle for the group to climb to the top of the Castle and kiss the Blarney Stone.

After lunch we were off to visit the AL Elie thoroughbred racescourse stud, thanks to Christy for showing us around.

Then to Ballanacourty for tonight's games.

Following the games the team was hosted to dinner and presentations before heading home with billets for a good nights sleep.

Dingle

We met the boys early in the morning and headed out to the seaside town of Dingle, home of Fungi the dolphin. After the morning stop and walk around Dingle we went to Slea Head Drive around the south western coast of Ireland, overlooking the Very hostile Atlantic Ocean.

Lunch was back at Dingle and on our way back to Listow we stopped at Kilarney where the boys found the Nike Store.

 

Game 3 - Listowel

With the weather forecast indicating worse conditions ahead if us, Listowel club decided to play both games on Tuesday night.  

The crowed milled in the grandstand and at least filled the back row out of wind & rain. 

Coach Saddington mixed our teams up a little. 

The first game was played without rain.  We started slowly but once the boys adjusted to the heavy ground conditions they got some momentum with the round ball. In the second half we again used the Sherrin with the Lustowrl lads bring first to put the ball into the net. Wanderers ran out winners by 7 points.

It rained for the second match making it a little harder to control the ball. The Aussies showed a little more polish and finishing skills to take the game comfortably by 20 points.

Dinner & presentations will be held Wednesday night so more photos to come. 

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Kerry

On the road to Kerry today after picking up the boys from their billets. 

We drove out to the coastline and visited the Cliffs of Moher we all did our best to not be blown into the Atlantic Ocean while walking up to the lookout it very strong winds. The view is amazing. 

 

Back on the buses and followed the beautiful coastline to Kilross for our lunch stop. A little singing along the way including Justin Bieber. Then the buses boarded a ferry to take us across the Shannon Estuary from Co. Clare to Co. Kerry. Glimpses of sunshine and blue sky on our way to Listowel.  

The players bus went via Ballybunnion a beautiful beachside summer holiday location on the Atlantic Ocean for the Irish. But for us a brisk water temperature of 10 degrees. The boys had a brief beach fitness session followed by recovery in the water. Then off to meet our billets before tonight's game.

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Game 2 - U16 Monaleen

Tonight we were back to the Uni for our U16 match. 

The boys played with passion in a competitive game. Monaleen stretched us the whole way including the 4th quarter with the Sherrin. Wanderers came out on top scoring 7.6.27 to 3.3.12

after the match we went back to Monaleen clubhouse for dinner and presentation and a great night of Irish hospitality and music that Tom and some of our supporters joined in on.

 

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Limerick

Today we met the boys at Monaleen clubhouse at 8.30am after their night with host families. We then toured Limerick city on foot around the banks of the river Shannon lead by councillor Michael Sheehan. Seeing st Johns castle, St Mary's cathedral and a civic reception hosted by mayor Galvin.

Fr. Andrew spoke of the history of St Mary's cathedral a beautiful old church built in the 1600s with magnificent stained glass windows.

At Limerick city council we were greeted by mayor Galvin who took us into council chambers, welcomed the group to Limerick  and gave us an insight into the operations of council and meetings. He also answered questions about comparing our economies, currently a beef farmer will get 1750 euro per head of cattle, council rates are typically 175 euro per year for a property valued at 300000 euro. Our visit concluded with a light lunch provided by Council.

And a Limerick from Mike Sheehan to close.... 

You're a fine group of Aussies it's clear

Who visit us year after year

A great team game you play

Lots of skill you display

We are so glad to have you come here.

 

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Game 1 Lucan Sarsfield

We faced some challenging weather conditions which we thought was good for character building. Despite the 70km winds and rain the boys played the game in great spirit and we're happy they had opportunity to buy playing gloves in London and at Croke Park.

The games were modified to be played on the synthetic pitch as the main ground was closed. We had 3 teams of 11, 11 & 12. While there were no official scores recorded, Wanderers won all three games, the third by only 2 points. Some very good skills on display and when the Irish asked for the Sherrin to be brought out, we did for the last 10 minutes of each game giving us a greater advantage until it was kicked over the fence in the dying minutes of the close match.

After the games the players, staff and parents/grandparents mingled with our local hosts in the clubrooms enjoying the Irish hospitality which included a display of Irish music and dancing.

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Game 2 - U15 Monaleen

Game was played in much better conditions, cool but no wind or rain,  at University of Limerick synthetic pitch.  

Playing compromised rules we used the round ball for 3 quarters and brought out the Sherrin for the 4th. 

The boys played a great game in good spirit and shared the ball using their team mates well. 

An even game that saw us take a good lead into the third term. At the start of 4th qtr using the Sherrin, the Irish surprised us and scored the first under (3pts) for the term. Wanderers took the game 9.8.36 to 2.2.8

Under = 3 (into net under crossbar)

Over = 1 (over crossbar) 

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Lucan Sarsfield

Met with our host families last night. The boys spent time on the artificial pitch kicking the ball around with their billets followed by great soup and sandwiches in the Clinton before heading off for a good nights sleep. 

This morning we toured Croke Park and learnt much about the history of Gaelic football & Hurling.  And in the interactive museum the competiveness begins with the boys trying their skills at kicking the round ball and hurling.

we then went on to the Guinness Storehouse where you can learn how Guinness is brewed and up to the Gravity Bar on top level for a fantastic view of Dublin and a soft drink got the boys while the adults sample a Guinness. A quick team push up session on exit before boarding the bus for our first match. And a little nap on the bus.

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Droitwich

Droitwich was the destination for last nights accommodation. On the way we spent 3 hours exploring the grand Warwick Castle with views from the ramparts and climbing the towers. Saw the Burds of Prey show with Ernie the Owl & Bruce the Eagle. Supporter group then had a lovely afternoon visiting the Roman medieval town of Chester while the players were surprised with a visit to Manchester United at Old Trafford, what a great Megastore. Early to bed ready for our early morning departure to ferry to Dublin.

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London

After all meeting up in Singapore we arrived in London very early Tuesday morning and explored some of the sights including Buckingham Palace, Changing of the Guard, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben & Westminster Abbey. On to Marble Arch & Oxford St with lunch at Selfridges then a bit of shopping at Lilywhites before checking in to hotel. Dinner was at Windsor, Queen was in residence at Windsor Castke but we didn't get a wave.

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