A weekend to Remember

Great weekend, great company, great craic…………..What more can anyone wish for when a group of 28 talented camogie players along with their unassuming manager set off for an eventful weekend in London……..

It was an early start for the crew who started their journey from Wexford while others took the easy option & travelled up the night before in order to get some practice for the weekend that lay ahead……….Bright eyed & bushy tailed would not be the best description of this group at 6am on a Friday morning……….Best caption would be half asleep trying to hide their somewhat small cases from the Ryanair baggage patrol……..Everyone accounted for, all on board & we were off.

No sooner had we taken off but we were on London soil………..Bags in tow we headed for our pick up point & the first obstacle of the day was locating our bus…….After a cold wait it was eventually found & the fun bus was on the road. Next port of call was the hotel……….

Bags dropped off & as sure as Caroline loves her scarves the hunger set in so it was cups of tea &  scones all round putting the bar staff through their paces before we set off for the great London tour!!!!!! & what a tour it was………..Fortune would have it that the lucky Wexford girls would have to pick the coldest day of the year to venture on an open top bus viewing the sites of London……..Wrapped up to the extent that all that could be heard was muffled words the venture began. However it was not long until we had a few fallers who hopped off but forgot to hop on again….

Cold sites were seen between Big Ben, London Bridge, Buckingham Palace & last but not least the London Eye where great skill was needed jump on board with a few people nearly loosing limbs for the cause.  Thank god thou no eyebrows were affected during the journey eh Ciara.

Memorable could be best described as the journey back to the hotel. After a few warm beverages to heat the bones with some people taking full advantage & having a quick power nap (to set them up for the night that lay ahead) it was back on the Big Red fun bus to a daunting Victoria station during of course, rush hour. Typical!!What was to follow was an hour of fun, laughter & madness with all 17 of the girls trying to invade the smallest place imaginable on the tube… However only for the quick thinking & power of Kate she made dam sure there was no one left behind……Even if it did mean stampeding on a poor innocent China man!!!!!

A quick shower & change ensued & we were ready for the night ahead. A meal in the hotel followed by a few too many sociable ones in the bar where Sandy & Shelly were in full voice along with a straggler we picked up along the way a certain Mr. Cullen who kept us entertained for the night. However the entertainment did not stop in the bar & stories after 3am are for another article so Dee, Sinead & Caroline you are safe, well for the time being!!!!

Saturday morning could not have come around any quicker. Lack lustre heads were evident around the hotel lobby along with several points of water. Alas the weekend was not all fun as there was an important match to be played, our opposition being Fr. Murphys. To say we couldn’t wait to play the game was an understatement, with sub zero temperatures, sore heads & feeble bodies we took to the pitch. Some of course looking more stylish than others in the Ugg boots!!!!The match however could be best described as a challenge with Fr. Murphys battling tough until the very end but a high spirited St. Ibars team eventually overcame their exploits & the game ended with a comfortable win for the visitors……

Back to the hotel where the glad rags were on show ready for a posh meal along with a few bottles of vintage. Destination however was unknown. We were picked up & whisked to Cafe A La Monghans where on first impressions we knew we were in for a treat. As we scrolled down through the menu picking out a dish to suit the palate disaster struck. A jolly Irish woman greeted us politely outlining our one & only option “LAMB”.  You could have heard a pin drop or better still if you listened more intently you would have heard a certain girl sobbing at the taught of eating her little pet lamb.  However the saving grace & the soakage were the potatoes & cabbage that accompanied the dish while does more fortunate or truthful delved into chicken & some chips!!!!!While others anxiously waited for our birthday girl Niamh’s cake to appear…

A great night’s entertainment then followed in the Shawl pub.  However this is where the article will be cut short as knowledge is a great weapon when sober not the best thou accompanied with alcohol. None the less the reports given from the girls the next morning tell the story. As the night came into full swing with Maeve taking to the box & Sandy & Bridget to the stage one could not miss the exploits of a certain Mother. A feat that would make her daughters proud not alone was one man lusting after her but two no doubt. Luckily for her both Mairead & Aine were on hand to lend their Dr. Ruth advice.  Mayhem could best describe the end of the night with Dee’s stockings on full show!!!!

Back to the hotel we go & what an eventful journey where one of the groups had the privilege of chauffeured by none other than Eastenders Masood (or so they drunkenly taught!!!)However given the time of night & the conditions of the passengers a certain Fiona thinking the car was convertible became highly excited when her fav tune could be heard on the radio. Alas it was either her singing or her antics which caused the Masood to stop the taxi & politely asked us to vacate the taxi but some heart felt words by Michelle & Niamh weathered the storm.

The onslaught then began in the residence bar where the Ibar’s ladies got duly acquainted with the Kerry boys with Daddy overseeing the antics of some of the younger crew. Rumour has it that a number of girls who were well supervised by none other than Ciara had a spin the bottle room party with no drink, very little talking & definitely no singing. The rest of the gang took refuse in the bar until the lack of drink & lack of sleep took over.

Hungover Sunday then kicked in & what a morning that was. Some brave girls took to the shops while the majority took full advantage of the late check out. However one thinks some of the girls that went shopping should have stayed in the bed as shopping hungover is a bad combination, eh Shelly…

3.30pm & the hotel was out of site & we were homeward bound. 29 people check, bags check, passports check….Or maybe not!!!! The blood drained from Shelly with the realisation her passport was on the London city bus taking in further sites….Unfortunately only 28 boarded the plane with the remaining one having had such a good weekend in London decided to stay until Tuesday……………

Epic would best describe the eventful weekend. An abundance of laughter, camaraderie epitomised the Ibar’s ladies & our one & only manager Alan.  These qualities will no doubt make the coming year one to remember. If this heart felt camaraderie can be reflected in our camogie, there is no doubt it will bear the fruits of a great year. Wexford camogie take heed….