St Marys College RFC
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Sensational Saturday

Sensational Saturday 

21st March 2015.

And two to come

After the most excruciating afternoon of brilliant rugby and unbearable waiting for the end of the England French match, we headed off on wobbly legs to the GAA headquarters at Croke Park, which was to be the culmination of Sensational Saturday, Strictly St Marys’ Dancing.

Arriving off our coach, we were met by a GAA man who wanted to see our Hand Passes , before we could gain entrance.  Immediately the atmosphere enclosed us, with wide corridors and shining metals, gleaming lights and polished floors; opulence.

Into the entertainment suite, we filed and filled tables and sensed the osmotic atmosphere, riotous lights, strobes and pulsing music.

What an adventure it proved to be.  When we settled, the incomparable Niall (Rynner) Rynne bounced onto the stage, electricity and sparkles emanating from him (he of odd socks for Down Syndrome and multi-tie waistcoat- his amazing technicolour dream coat)).  He started with a song, which he delivered with élan.  You would pay to attend a one-man show from this man, he is multi talented and tireless.  If there is work to be done he does it, especially if it is for his treasured club, in fact, he contributes vitally to every aspect of club life and; additionally soon will be junior vice president of Leinster.  But what a compère he is.  He is way ahead of the most professionals one might encounter.  He ran the show, with efficient, unhurried brilliance, making all the contestants feel at ease, and ensuring that the audience were well informed and entertained.  Brilliant.

A dancing competition such as this, may seem to be a lighthearted event, however, it requires dedicated practice from the contestants and their mentors and an immense amount of energy and effort in organising it.  Marie Hammond and her team did a highly commendable job.  Marie is a dedicated Marys’ woman and a consummate organiser; she did a superb job and after long days, spent most evenings in the club for seven weeks working on this project, which has raised vital funds for the club.  Her team of Eileen Fanning, Michael Fanagan (Order Order), Amy Grimson and Mossy Davin, who continually contribute to St Marys in many ways, can be proud of this enterprise; it was a soaring success. 

On the night, the judging panel, added to the entertainment, Roisin Kelly, the choreographer and dancing coach to the dancers was joined by RTE Sports Presenter, Jacqui Hurley, Leinster Star, Darragh Fanning and former Lion Mal O’Kelly on the bench.  They all happily entered the spirit of the night, with popular Darragh adding an extra valuable piquancy to the assessments. 

A large attendance, between 400 and 500, ensured a busy murmur and expectant excitement.  Most of the club faithful, relations and friends made the trip and were rewarded for their financial support and attendance with a bubbling champagne night.  Between phases, people mingled happily.

Then the countdown began and excitement mounted.  Joe Schmidt sent a good luck video message (SEE HERE) to Marie Hammond and the club, then the dancers formed a vivid procession of sparkle and tans to the stage, before Rynner introduced the dancers in pairs (SEE HERE).  All had association in some form with the club and proved it by giving over so much of their spare time since Christmas to practising for this night.  We even had one entertaining Northsider, Paul Tighe of Softco, the club sponsors.  He was paired with Claire Rynne, Rynner’s wife, looking beautiful and  flippantly flash for the night, and generously joining the fun.  A full table of Rynnes came to cheer on their favourites and this pair did very well.

Then they  all came and did their stuff to tremendous applause.  We had our local guardian of the peace, Garda Eamon Flaherty giving an arresting performance in the American Smooth, with the gorgeous Lady in Red, Zara Kelly.

We had a glimpse of great from Aaron (Iron Man) Hudson, a previous Marys’ mini rugby lad who spun the light fantastic and welded well with Stephanie O’Kelly, Mal’s wife.  Super it was to see Frank (Dollier) Doyle back in action keeping his lines straight as he waltzed through his number with Catherine Corry (Sister of Shay Forde) - what an elegant couple they were!

Phillip Lynch was ever a Riotous Rocker and was again, most impressive with player, Knickers Monica, both with twinkling toes and the rest.

What Katie did next was, sell a dummy to slip in, instead of her mum to rehearse (In the Fanagan tradition) and then dance with Gavin in brilliant fashion. 

Well two veterans Ray (Rambo) and Donal (Swifty) certainly kept up their sides for the golden oldies when strutting their stuff with Pamela and Mary; they loved the tan and shiny shirts; come back Dickie Rock (and spit on us) all is forgiven.  The young members were exceptionally well represented by Hugo Diepman, (The Flying Dutchman), Captain of the successful U20s and fine lad, did a super Salsa with Fiona , who bullied her way, Hockey Style ; a great partnership.

One of the most popular and accomplished players in the club, Mikey Houlihan and off shoot of one of the most illustrious Marys’ families, the Kennedys teamed up with local entrepreneur  Rachael McDaid and they  did battle with the disco dance and won hands down in that regard.  Super entertainment and a lovely couple.

Of course, there had to be winners and the top three couples were really close together.  The Hennessy family were all there to see Steven’s very personable son Gareth (Gaz) take to the stage with ravishing Ruth (Smythy’s sister in Law) and light up the scene with hop, (quick) step and jump.  Great show, well done to both, Third Place.

Chris Lilly, an outstanding young man, instigator of the fake tans and shiny shirts looked Adonis Like and nearly as nervous as Elaine, his greatest fan and mother.  But with the partnership of Claire (Modser’s girl) they electrified the place, with precision, panache and some  smutty (sorry dirty) dancing.  This was an astral performance and was deservingly awarded Second Place.

Graeme McInerney, who along with three brothers, two sisters, father and recently and sadly departed mother Ann has contributed handsomely to our club.  He has  been a terrific player, leader and  clubman.  He was matched with Mairead Ryan; well matched they were, both being second rows and  both being brilliant dancers and  had  an empathy and synchronisation that was stunning they commanded the stage and melted into one as they did last Tango in Dublin. An outstanding performance that won them the award.  They finished with a flourish when G-Mac did a lift of which John Hayes would have been proud.  Fully deserved Winners.  Well done to both.

Rynner ended off proceedings telling all that the first reunion of the attendance was next Saturday at Tom Clifford Park in Limerick.

Well done to all.

D O’Brien


Donations can still be made. MORE DETAILS HERE or contact Marie Hammond on 01-4900440


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