The Creggs Under16s undertook an overland (and sea) journey landing over Llandovery way late last month.

The tour group, a 33-strong contingent featuring 23 youngsters, arrived in Bristol and bus-ed to one of Wales’ most-historic clubs. The hosts fronted with its premier selection, some of whom had appeared for the national 16s side this winter, but Creggs paid typical heed to reputation and led 9-3 at the break. That said, captain Dylan Keaveney and company were unable to contain the second half offensive and Llandovery emerged victorious at the finish.

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A Saturday morning team-building venture followed the Friday feature match as players swapped six and eight studs for hiking tread and trod Welsh gorges, streams and inclines. The Creggs 16s, many of whom comprised this winter’s bolter the CBS Roscommon junior schools cup entry, came on leaps and bounds this season but the 10m high clifftop leaps were a new prospect altogether.

Upon return to civilisation (and terra firma), the tour party took in Swansea’s Liberty Stadium: home to Ospreys Rugby and Swansea Football.Creggs16a

Athleague native and Neath-based engineering/demolition giant Pat Cuddy of the Cuddy Group played “godfather” throughout, organising tours and opening proverbial doors. Cuddy, now in his 70s, still features on the worksite whereas company director son Mike also heads the Ospreys franchise as managing director.

The tourists parked up in the dressing room that afternoon in seats recently-occupied by Carlos Tevez, Wayne Rooney, Brian O’Driscoll and Connacht/Creggs clubman Denis Buckley.

The party headed east to Llanelli that evening for the RaboDirect PRO12 Scarlets v Munster match lending Connacht cheers to the Munster camp, albeit temporarily.

Creggs16bSeason skipper Keaveney and a colleague then ventured into the Munster dressing room post-game and wandered out with newfound friends in red to meet the rest of the Creggs contingent. Several landed playing socks, shorts and signatures.

All 33 returned homo via Knock on Sunday, exhausted, but fizzing with memories that will likely last a lifetime.

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