17 August 2009


Team Ireland Lacrosse was off to Scotland this past week to play the teams from Wales, Scotland and France for the Celtic Cup. We were told that the tournament was being held at a place much like Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from Harry Potter.

As our team is made up of mostly goofy University kids, this led to lots of jokes and references from the movie including even nicknaming the players...Hagred, Malfoy etc

I can't say that I didnt get into the act...I even used my baseball cap as the Sorting Hat to determine which kids were staying in which building...I'm a dork.

Then we arrived at Fettes College in Edinburgh. Holy moly....it was like Hogwarts !

Fettes College is a very prestigious private high school where many famous Britain's have attended school including former Prime Minister Tony Blair. Fictional character James Bond was said to have been schooled at Fettes and real life James Bond actor Sean Connery used to deliver milk here as a boy. The place reeks of history and uppity crustity education.

This was my final tournament with the Irish guys before moving to Austria and it really couldnt have gone any better.

Along with a very talented team, I was lucky enough to have a great coaching staff. Matt Walsh served as Asst Coach / Wise Cracking Joke Man, and Team Physio John Cavanaugh was, as always, the Master Organizer and team leader every team needs to stay focused.

They also both think they are James Bond.

We were defending Celtic Cup champions but couldn't repeat as the Scots and Welsh brought very strong teams. In the end, the Scots took home the Cup and we came in 3rd after beating France in Round Robin play as well as in medal round.

It was a great experience from beginning to end.

This tournament was a success on so many levels, I don't even know where to begin. Morale was high, we played the best lacrosse I have ever seen from our local Irish players, we enjoyed each others company at team events and everyone had a wonderful experience.

When given the choice to make their own curfews, the players chose to come home early every night and saved their partying until the tournament was over. They went to meals as a team, and had their own meetings outside the regularly scheduled team meetings, they worked hard at daily practices and left it all on the field...it was all very impressive.

I have never been more proud as a coach.

Unfortunately, due to all our Tournament obligations, I didnt get to see much of the city in the daytime, but what I saw was beautiful. Edinburgh has got medieval charm in spades. Since our tournament coincided with the Fringe Festival, the city was a buzz with events and crawling with people....we'll have to go back someday to check out all the nooks and crannys.

Until then I'll just sip on this fine single malt the team gave me at the end of the tournament !

Stay tuned for game pics and Kelly's take on the Festival.



Casey said...

glad you had a good time. Although I must admit I am a tad disappointed to see that Pat and I only got a brief mention in a blog post about pub crawling and not our own nifty little post. Oh well :(

Alli Arnold said...

Dude. That school. Holy Moly. Cheers to your bittersweet experience...

xo Aa

Anonymous said...

A bangs aka fringe festival? 'splain, please.

Chris said...

The fringe festival is right up your alley Helen. I'm sure Kelly will get around to posting about it, otherwise google it...you'll want to go next year.

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