Friday, 20 February 2015

Maroon blood, Coleraine hearts

The White family annual February half-term trip to Northern Ireland is sadly at an end.

Actually, we came back yesterday but for some reason I didn't quite feel strong enough to open my laptop.

That's Richard above, my old Coleraine Inst XV rugby teammate and now Head Coach of the team. We got together in Portrush and, gents that we are, even allowed our wives to come along (but not interrupt, obviously).

Tomorrow Richard's boys run out at "The Big Sand" on the banks of the Bann for the Quarter-Final of the Ulster Schools' Cup, the world's second oldest rugby competition.  

With CAI set to merge with the girls' High School to become Coleraine Grammer in September, it'll be the last time the famous maroon jerseys grace a home Schools' Cup tie. 

It's precisely 25 years since Richard and I played together on the same pitch at the same stage of the same competition. And I'm gutted not to be there tomorrow. But I've pledged to travel across to Belfast next month for the traditional St Patrick's Day Final should the good guys make it through.

Let's hope fate deals Richard and his boys the hand that the school's proud sporting history so richly deserves.