Wellington College

Wellington College Belfast

Co-Educational Grammar School

Engage | Educate | Empower

Marbella 2007


Senior Sport Trip to Marbella

The 1st XV rugby and 1st XI girls' hockey teams embarked on a joint tour to Marbella from Friday 14th - Wednesday 19th December and a fabulous week was had by both teachers and pupils alike.

Upon arriving, the tour party were met by temperatures of 20ºC and immediately took advantage of the great weather by dipping in the sea and undergoing fitness training at the nearby beach. The evening saw the party enjoy a games night with a local entertainer.

Saturday saw the first match of the tour, with the hockey girls playing Gibraltar. The boys also travelled to The Rock, and enjoyed a day of sightseeing and training before lending their support. Unfortunately, the mixed gender home side coped better in the humid conditions, and ran out comfortable winners. The entire group then spent a great evening bowling.

With both rugby and hockey fixtures scheduled for the following afternoon, some squad members spent the morning strolling on the beach while others chose to attend a local church service. The games themselves saw mixed fortunes for the two sides, with the girls bouncing back superbly from the previous day's defeat with a convincing 2-0 win over Benalmádena ‘B' in Mijas. Lyndsey Alexander and Ali Caruth, from a short corner, got the goals.

A weakened rugby XV, however, were defeated 29-15 by Marbella RFC, who fielded a largely English line-up. A brace of tries from man of the match Andrew Harris, added to a further score from his centre colleague Ross Floyd, was not enough to save a disappointing Wellington side from defeat.

Monday was the final match day for the hockey XI and they again travelled to Mijas, this time to take on the Benalmádena ‘A' team, a strong outfit boasting three Spanish internationals in their side. The tourists put in a fantastic performance and Katherine Calvert's goal after a brilliant weaving run from Emma Speer gave them an early lead. In the second half, Steph Fulton outstandingly resisted a second half barrage of shots on her goal.

Disappointingly, however, the home team scored with the last play of the game to secure a draw. Although they did not win the game Mrs Rose's side were not too disheartened as they knew they had put on an excellent display. After this match the boys took part in another training session. Upon returning to the hotel, the party were entertained by flamenco dancers, with a superb evening being had by all.

The final day of the tour is one which will live long in the memory. After a relaxing morning in a local shopping centre, the squads travelled to Malaga, where the rugby 1st XV were to play the Andalucía regional U19 team at the University of Malaga Stadium. Determined to bounce back from Sunday's disappointment, and bolstered by the support of the hockey team in the stands, Wellington put on a sensational performance to defeat their physically more mature opponents 34-10 in an emotionally charged affair.

The tourists took a 15-5 lead into the break after brilliant solo tries from Andrew Harris and skipper Matthew McCormick, added to five points from the boot of David Burke. A home try early in the second period put the game on a knife edge but a long-range score from Tom Gonzalez and another Harris try, converted by Burke, sealed the win that the performance so deserved. A last minute try by winger Andrew Bill and another Burke conversion put the icing on the cake and a night of entertainment back at the hotel rounded off the tour in fine style.

A fabulous time was had by everybody on the trip, with fun being had both on and off the sports' field. Tours such as this are invaluable in fostering team spirit and camaraderie and thanks go to Mr. Carlisle, Mr. Chambers, Mrs. Rose and Miss. Gould for making the venture possible.

- David Burke (Year 14 pupil)