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Strabane derailed by positive test

STRABANE had hoped to open the new Kukri Ulster Championship Three season with a home win over Belfast High School Former Pupils on Saturday of last week but a positive Covid-19 test put paid to that.

With one of their players testing positive for Coronavirus, Strabane RFC immediately postponed the game and as per the guidelines they have ceased training and any group activities.

The rugby club isn’t the only one feeling the brunt of the recent spike in cases with Strabane Sigersons and Sion Swifts amongst local sporting clubs also postponing activities.

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The rugby club hopes to resume training today with the aim of their first league game of the season being at home against Civil Service on Saturday.

The positive Covid test was just one of two pieces of bad news for Strabane RFC last week following the passing of club stalwart Gerry Taylor following a lengthy illness.

Mr Taylor was the lifeblood of the club for decades and his influence around it will be badly missed, especially by the more experienced members of the playing staff.

“For the older players who grew up with Gerry it’s hit hard. It’s hit me hard. A lot of the team knew of him but they don’t really know the talent that was Gerry Taylor,” acknowledged experienced forward, Gary Smyth.

Smyth is determined that when things return to normal, the club will come up with a fitting memorial for Mr Taylor.

“I knew [Gerry’s death] was coming but I just hoped it didn’t come in Covid times because the funeral and his send off would have been a big, big spectacle,” he explained.

“If there had been no Covid, that funeral would have been a different kettle of fish. I didn’t feel right and I’ll be saying we’re going to need to have something to honour him once this clears.

“We need to have some sort of memorial for him.”

FULL STORY IN LAST THURSDAY’S STRABANE CHRONICLE

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 4 Castle Street, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, BT82 8AB