Our final full day in Naperville saw our final set of fixtures at Blaze rugby club with the 2nd XV playing Noble High School which is coached by ex Ballynahinch player Ryan McBride and the 1st XV playing the state side Illinois Tornados. It was great to have the Hyndman and Martin family join us to support their sons and the team. Also Sam Seymour who toured six years ago came along to support. Two excellent victories were recorded. Reports and photos appear on this site. Once again we are indebted to our hosts who made us feel very welcome. Many thanks.
It was also the last game of rugby that a number of boys will play for Down High School and we wish the following all the success in their future rugby career- captain Darren Cheung, Thomas Donnan, Thomas Johnston, Chris Gibson, Niall Gregg, John Gabbie, Paddy Wright, Ryan Smyth, Adam Cherry, James Martin, Roger Birt, Iain McCormick, Andrew Calderwood, Peter Calvert, Ricky Gill and TJ McCavera.
The real spirit of tour was shown after the game when the players from all sides mixed together and sung together. Many tourists also exchanged shirts and memories were made to last a lifetime.
A tired group returned to Naperville and we gathered for the traditional tour awards which included the following.
Bromance Rory Kerr and Paddy Wright
Compass award John Hyndman
Strongman award Roger Birt
Soap award Thomas Johnston
Music award Thomas Donnan, TJ McCavera, Niall Gregg
Special music award Ewan Martin
Disco Dancing award Rowan McWilliams, Duncan Ross and Harry McCormick
Question mark award James Martin Snr
Hardman award Darren Cheung, Mark Hanna and Aaron Chambers
Overall tour awards
1st XV forward Thomas Johnston
1st XV back Ricky Gill
1st XV overall Chris Gibson
2nd XV forward Harry McCormick
2nd XV back Niall Gregg
2nd XV overall Elliott Evans
Tomorrow sees us start our journey home and we are due to arrive at Belfast International airport on Tuesday morning at 0900 GMT.