There was great excitement, enjoyment and comradeship last Tuesday, the 4th of April, at Marian college in Ballsbridge, Dublin. The Moyle Park first year boys (the combined efforts of our basketball, soccer and Gaelic football teams) emerged triumphant in the Marist cup competition!
The Marist cup is a competition that has been running since 2011. There are three teams involved, the three Marist brothers schools in Ireland: Moyle Park college (the 2017 winners!); Marist college Athlone and Marian college Ballsbridge, Dublin (our hosts). Two schools have dominated this competition:
2017: Moyle Park college
2016: Marist college Athlone
2015: Moyle park college 
2014: Moyle park college 
2013: Marist college Athlone
2012: Marist college Athlone
2011: Marist college Athlone
The Marian college boys and their mentors, however, can be immensely proud of their efforts this year. They played with determination, passion and vision throughout the Gaelic football part of the competition; their young Gaelic footballers produced some excellent passages of play and deservedly won the GAA section. In addition to this, their basketball and soccer players were skillful and competitive throughout. 
 
Marian college, as mentioned earlier, is a Marist Brothers Catholic secondary school in Ballsbridge, Dublin. Their impressive school is adjacent to the equally impressive Aviva stadium (the old Lansdowne road). Their school motto is ‘Optimum Optare’ – the pursuit of excellence. With regards to winning the Marist cup, this pursuit will continue ( they are the only school who have not won the competition; of course, like Mayo’s pursuit of an All-Ireland senior football title (last won in 1951!) their day, on the evidence of their excellent performances last Tuesday, I have no doubt at all, will certainly come.)
 
The boys from Marist college Athlone performed admirably on the day also. These young athletes, who journeyed the furthest to this excellent competition, demonstrated wonderful skills in all three sports. In the GAA competition the Marist college boys showcased an array of superb skills: high catching, excellent long-range scoring and clean, fair tackling that was a joy to watch. The future of Gaelic football is alive and well in the county of Westmeath! Also, in Basketball and soccer, they showed wonderful determination, team-work and flair in all their matches. They were a credit to their coaches and to their school- well done to all involved!
 
However, of course, to the victors go the spoils… Moyle park first year boys were simply outstanding on the day!! All six coaches, Ms Corscadden and Ms Roche (Basketball), Mr Martin and Mr McMunn (Gaelic football) and Mr Condren and Mr Anderson (Soccer) were delighted and proud of all the students involved. Principal of Moyle park Ms Cahalane and deputy principal Mr Mcgowan were delighted with the effort of the lads and, of course, so proud that we were victorious! 
 
The GAA team, who have only played two matches so far this year, acquitted themselves superbly despite losing their matches. The first year GAA players, (a lot of whom are playing Gaelic football for the first time) wore the Moyle park jersey with pride and played in a fashion befitting the jersey. Their manager Mr Martin and selector Mr McMunn were very proud of the students effort and behaviour on and off the pitch. Their manners and respect for the opposition, referees and their mentors was something to special to witness. This team is going to continue to improve and will be a formidable outfit in the very near future. 
 
Moyle park soccer team had two teams involved; Mr Anderson and Mr Condren both had a team each. Gifted, imaginative and passionate, these lads played with a fantastic will to win, which gave great joy to their coaches. Victories, from the comprehnsive (5-0) to the hard-fought, kept coming and no team could stop us!  With two Moyle park college teams involved the inevitable happened: Mr Anderson’s team of champions versus Mr Condren’s conquerers, two Moyle park teams competing to see which team was number one! Bragging rights go to Mr Condren’s team… Mr Anderson, naturally, wasn’t too upset, delighted that both Moyle park teams performed with such grit, grace and sense of fair play. Well done lads!! 
 
Last but by no means least is our basketball team. Led by Ms Roche and Ms Corscadden, our lads avoided double-dribbles and produced lovely lay-ups, amazing assists, fabulous fast-breaks and terrific three pointers! Alliteration aside, these students were a credit to themselves, mentors and school. Our school is lucky to have such a respected reputation in basketball, at all age grades, and these first year boys continued on this proud tradition. Success does not come easy; incredibly, like our soccer team, our boys were unbeaten in the Marist cup! Inevitably, there was some incredible individual performances, but this success was built on a foundation of team-work and work ethic (life lessons being learned on the court). Our respected coaches, Ms Roche and Ms Corscadden, (like the GAA and soccer mentors) were over the moon with the results and immensely proud of their team. Excellent performance guys… well done!!
 

A hearty congratulations to all the players and coaches involved from Moyle park college!