Celtic Nations: Day 2

April 27, 2015 in EQC

Team-Ireland-CN2015

Team Ireland. Back: Dave McBryan, Kevin Jones, John Groarke, Dan O’Malley, Hugh Brady, Dave Lea, Paul Philpott. Front: Lorcan Duff, Mark Henry, John Nolan, Derek Cray, Karen Crofton.

Done and done.  Some ambitions fulfilled and others frustrated.  The 2015 Celtic Nations championship is done and dusted.

Our own headline is that Ireland finished second.  Out of three.  This might not seem like that much of an achievement but, trust me, it is.  We are the most recent arrival on the international scene from this part of the world and, in the previous two runnings of this event, finished dead last.  Yes, Scotland won comfortably.  Their strength in depth (as witnessed by their constant rotation of players from the A team right down to the C team fairly demonstrates) is impressive.  However, Wales did beat them in the Euros last time out.

An ambition yet to fulfilled is a personal one.  Since joining this scene I have taken part in nine international matches (EQC 2012, CN 2013 and now CN 2015) and lost them all.  🙁  Of those defeats though, two have been by a single point, one was two points and a yet another was by six or so.  Yesterday morning I had another such slap in the face and the team of myself, Kevin Jones, Hugh Brady and Dan O’Malley conspired to lose after being 11 points ahead with two categories to go.  Our Scottish opponents stole two of our final set (worth 3 points each) and then answered two of their own last category.  And thus, emerged as winners by 45 points to 44.

This was the closest Scotland came to defeat in an international match this weekend.  After dodging this bullet, they went on to claim what chief organiser Gareth Kingston called a ‘blue wash’ and comfortably win the championship.

Congratulations to our A team though, who defeated Wales for the second time shortly afterwards.  This team was made up of the Davids, Lea and McBryan, Lorcan Duff and Hugh Brady, who had stepped up from the B team following that Scottish heartbreak.  It capped off what was a very impressive debut from Hugh, who I hope will continue to join us at events such as this.

Yesterday I promised you the questions from the set created by Lorcan and myself for Saturday morning.  Here it is: Scotland v Wales, set 1.

I’ll be back online later with a selection of photos from the event.  As for now though, excuse me while I go and catch a flight.

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