On Saturday morning our u12 girls were up bright and early for their end of year trip to Croke Park.
Loaded up with sweets and treats for the journey, we set off promptly at 7:59am. The bus was eerily quiet on the way up, as the girls prepared mentally for the big day!
As we neared Dublin, we were joined by our Garda escort which rushed us through the city centre and onto Croke Park in plenty of time for our 11am tour.
After a quick group photo with Michael Cusack, Tom, our tour guide met us at the entrance, delighted to have the chance to give these outstanding Sixmilebridge girls a very comprehensive tour of the great Croke Park. He shared all his vast knowledge and had some very entertaining stories for the girls. Tom was quizzed by all the girls but there was no question he couldn't answer!
The girls visited the dressing rooms and all agreed that the best place to be after playing a match in Croke Park would be the winner's dressing room.
A quick visit to the player's lounge followed before heading to the Corporate box and then outside to the VIP area, where some of the girls got to lift the Liam McCarthy cup!
After the tour, Tom brought us to the Museum and interactive centre where we were told that Liam McCarthy actually isn't in Limerick at all, but safely kept in a locked cabinet in the Museum.
The girls then proved how skillful, fast and agile they are in the Interactive centre.
After that, we had all worked up an appetite, so it was on to the canteen where we were fuelled up for our afternoon matches.
A quick visit to the gift shop was needed, and then back onto the bus for the short trip to St. Pat's DCU College pitch for the much anticipated matches against Na Fianna.
The girls did themselves proud, fired up by their visit to Croke Park, they played like they were playing in the All-Ireland final, every girl giving their very best and displaying skills worthy of Croke Park itself!
After the games, the girls received party bags from our new friends in Dublin and we are already looking forward to welcoming the Na Fianna girls down to Clare soon. We were delighted to see that Tom, our tour guide, popped over to cheer the girls on; he must have been very impressed by them!
After a long day, it was time to get back on the bus and head for home. This time the bus must have been similar to the bus that brought the 1996 Sixmilebridge winning team back home! There was a great party atmosphere, made all the more special as we were celebrating Aishling and Darcy's 12th birthdays with a lovely swiss roll!
Once that part of the festivities were over our "The Bus has got Talent" competition began with our birthday girls taking on the roles of judges. We were treated to a wide variety of songs from Jingle Bells to Mamma Mia. The coaches gave their own rousing rendition of We are the Champions but it was Mary and Grace who made it to the Semi final. It was a tight competition, but Mary won the judges' vote by a very small margin.
A great end to a very memorable day for all.
Thanks to everyone in Croke Park. We were treated like royalty on our visit. Also a huge thanks to Na Fianna, we couldn't have had better hosts. Everyone, the coaches, referees, supporters and most importantly the players gave us a great welcome and some very competitive games.
Click on the link to view an album of photos from the day.