Ballymena Rugby Club’s under-12 squad brought the curtain down on a memorable chapter in their young rugby careers in style at the weekend.
After nearly seven years together, a touring party of 50 Ballymena Rugby club P7 players and parents celebrated the conclusion of the mini rugby season with a tour of Edinburgh.
The traveling squad of 27 split into two teams of 10 players with rolling subs.
They played a series of games at the historic Watsonians club in south Edinburgh, followed by an encounter with Ayr mini rugby section on the way home.
The tour was paid for by a year long fund raising drive by squad members.
The panel was also hugely appreciative of the financial support of local businesses including Pennybridge Accounting, Greenville Electrical, Capitol Foods, Crosskey Meats, YESSS Electrical, Coating Developments and William Allen Meats, Ballykeel.
Head coach Andrew Goodfellow commented on the tour:
“It was fantastic to get away with a bunch of lads who’ve really bonded together.
“We have always pursued a successful policy of mixing, rather than ‘streaming’ the squad over the years.
“The end result has been real unity and an above average skill set reached by everyone.
“I think the parents have also become close friends.
“They will never forget this tour as a formative part of their rugby experience, representing our club and town in Scotland.
“I want to pay tribute to all of the 36 players from all kinds of backgrounds, all the coaches and especially all the parents who have taxied the lads and washed many kits over this season and all the years before.
“We’ve been through so much mud, sweat and laughter together!” added Andrew.
The team also had a tour of Murrayfield, with some members staying to watch the Edinburgh v Munster game on Saturday night.
On Sunday morning a good number of the touring party paused for a short service of worship in the hotel, during which the boys took part with Bible reading and prayers.
Andrew Goodfellow commented: “We’re exhausted but exhilarated by the efforts of our lads. They did the club and town proud.”