The Grandest of Slams
After a Paddies’ weekend to beat all Paddies’ weekends, spare a thought for the England squad. Apart from the Saracens members – and coincidentally but not surprisingly Farrel, Vunipola, Itoje and Kruis (plus Brown) were the only ones who had half decent games – they are now looking at 6 months of wound licking, with no rugby other than the turgid wastes of the Premiership.
The Premiership is fast becoming the Vauxhall Conference of world rugby leagues, with only Saracens qualifying for the European knock out stages this season. Sacking Eddie George won’t help England (and there probably isn’t a replacement at hand, otherwise the RFU knee jerk would already be in mid swing – ask Stuart Lancaster). Radical change to the Premiership – combining with the French, the Rabo, or even the South Africans – will.
Here endeth the lesson.
2018 F6NF Champion
The F6NF Grand Slam Award, for the ultimate table topper goes to the man who finished 100th last year, the keeper of the books of the National Children’s Hospital project, Mayoman Declan Holmes.
“I am absolutely delighted, thrilled and honoured, to win the Grand Slam” said Holmes from his snowcave in Leixlip. “I’ve had a good run for the last few matches and thought I was there or thereabouts – very tight though. What a great day! Cant wait to get back to work now and explain to Donal Collins how it should be done”
Anna Howard was just beaten into 2nd by Holmes, by 2 points. “Ahh so close” said a brave but disappointed Howard. “I thought I had a chance but all the results were so close I didn’t know how it would turn out”
Niall O’Kelly, a further 2 points back was third, the rest of the pack then dropping off slightly at the final hurdle. “Well at least Linesight did well, apparently we are holding the trophies for Ireland until the next year, so President Scully tells me from Heathrow”.
Prizes, Prizes, Prizes
So apart from Holmes’s massive winner’s cheque of €1,000, who else picked up a prize this weekend?
The Hanley Pepper Structurally Sound Award goes to the strongest element in the table, who would be Alva Fitzgerald if she hadn’t already won one “Awww” (Fitzgerald), then would have been Edith Blennerhassett if she hadn’t already won one “Aww again”, so goes to firmly based Caoileann Cassidy.
“Wow that’s fantastic” said an overwhelmed Cassidy. “I never expected to win anything, that’s brilliant!” €200 worth of ready mixed concrete will be delivered to a hole in the ground of Caoileann’s choice.
Top performer this weekend was tied between Brian Connolly, Jean Murphy and Neil Doyle.
“Fantastic I’ve won something!” an ecstatic Doyle was quick to establish, taking a break from building datacentres in Seattle. “I’m hopping on a plane now and be over tomorrow” before we could tell him that on countback . . . well yes he had actually won, scoring 6 points in Weekend 4 versus minus scores from Connolly and Murphy.
Doyle wins the Ethos Engineering Ethically Engineered Award, and will be collecting €200 of carbon credits to take home to be admired by his NRA Republican neighbour.
The Leo Lynch Ladies Choice goes to the lady who came so close to immortality, but just didn’t quite make the Cian Healy, Rory Best, Tadgh Furlong and Declan Holmes plateau, Anna Howard.
Anna wins a €250 voucher for the Herbert Park Hotel, compliments of Leo Lynch, to be enjoyed at her leisure. (And that’s actually a real prize).
Our final prize, from long term sponsors GEA International, is being given this year and henceforward as The Kevin Daly Award. Kevin, who passed this season, would have been known to many of you. A Scouser at home in Dublin, a larger than life character who brought fun to engineering (who else would insist on having a Tuchenhagen valve placed in his coffin?), Kevin, may you never walk alone.
The inaugural Kevin Daly Award goes to Katie Conlon, who anchored our midfield, finishing exactly halfway in the table, holding us all together. Katie collects a cheque for €200.
So all that’s left for me to do is to thank each and everyone of you for your forecasts, your interest and your money. A big thank you to all of our sponsors for their continued generosity, who donated more than we could give out as prizes, and the balance of their contributions has gone to Laura Lynn.
Which means we have done an absolutely amazing job, passing our target of €20,000 and doing a real bit of good to the Laura Lynn coffers.
Thank you from The Gaye Vaughan Foundation, see you next year – and bring a friend!