- Senior Club Teams
- Youth Rugby
- Mini's rugby
- About Us
- Online Shop
- Pitch Development
- Photo Gallery
- Social / Clubhouse
- Application Forms
Given that the press were in attendance at yesterdays game and a full report will ensue in this weeks Drogheda Independent, this is just a summary report of a very historic day in the annals of rugby in the town of Drogheda.
Connemara RFC were the privileged club who were to be the first team to play Boyne at Shamrock Lodge in this, the first AIL game to be played in the town. The visitors arrived the previous evening and stayed at the D Hotel who have agreed to accommodate all visiting AIL teams at reasonable rates. The experience of 10 years in AIL was shared with the fledgling clubs officers by the very affable President of Connemara, Mr. Des Fogarty and his entourage. A pre-match dinner was held in Shamrock Lodge and Boyne President, Mr. James Tallon, welcomed the very distinguished guests that included, past Presidents, Sponsors of the lunch, Smyth & Son Solicitors and Boyne Valley Honey. Also in attendance were the clubs main sponsor, James Collins of James Collins Electrical, who made up a very illustious gathering which also included club members and past players like Jimmy Tully, Tomser Lyons, Odie Gardiner, Seamie Briscoe, Don Byrne, Paul Kerbey, Frank Buckley and many others who had come along to celebrate the occasion. Mr. Seamus Davis, one of the founder members of Boyne RFC, was given a very special welcome by the President, who was making his return following illness.
Formalities over, it was time to get on with the real business of playing rugby in this Carl Strong Construction sponsored Ulster Bank AIL League Div 2B game. The grounds were in superb condition and a large crowd turned up to clap Captain, John Kinsella and his team onto the pitch.
Boyne lost little time in asserting dominance and got off to a whirlwind start. Their forwards were taking the ball on at every opportunity and several drives brought them to the visitors line. Scrum half, McGrath, was the accredited scorer of Boyne’s first ever try in the All Ireland League. It was fitting that the history books should record this because, the New Zealander has brought rugby to unprecedented height to the town of Drogheda and its surrounds. Boyne continued with their all attacking play and both backs and forwards were in a great mood to run everything. Connemara were left bewildered in these opening minutes and little went right for the visitors. Boyne wingers, Sherrard and Eoghan Duffy were in sparkling form and made some telling forays into the Connemara 22’. With out half, Croke, continuing his rich vein of form, he conducted the proceedings with fine decision making and kept things moving apace. Bevan Duffy at centre was also a threat every time he received the ball and another thrust into the Connemara 22’ yielded an excellent try by Eoghan Duffy who received the scoring pass from Sherrard who joined the line in support. Boyne’s third try came from the maestro himself, out half, Bryan Croke. Full back, Kerbey, converted two of these tries to bring Boyne’s half time scoring tally to 17pts.
For the first 20 minutes of this game, Connemara were like a rabbit caught in headlights. Whether it was the “Euphoria” which surrounded this opening fixture for the home side, little went right for them during this spell but their out half kept them in touch with three penalties to leave them on 9pts at the interval.
The second half turned out to be an entirely different story with Connemara coach, Peter Bracken, giving his side a stern lecture during the break. They improved immeasurably in the second moiety and Boyne’s Fairy Tale opening was beginning to turn into a nightmare on the 62nd minute when Connemara turned the tables with two excellent tries per Keogh and Bester. But, as happens so often, Kerbey restored Boyne’s lead with a penalty in front of the posts. The score with 8 minutes left on the clock was 20pts to 19pts. This enthralling game was keeping the large crowd highly entertained and the outcome was kept in doubt right up to the final whistle. The decisive score came from Boyne substitute winger, Howell, who replaced Eoghan Duffy at half time. A magical piece of back play which involved hs inside backs, Kennedy and Duffy, sent him away up the right on a try scoring run. Kerbey nailed the conversion to bring his sides score to 27pts. Connemara refused to throw in the towel and were rewarded with a bonus point try in the final minutes.
The result might have been far different but for the indifferent opening of the visitors. They simply left themselves with too much to do and their second half performance suggests that they wil be a force for many teams this season in this division.
Boyne on the other hand now find themselves in the lofty position at the top of the League Table. Two great results in their opening matches places them in that situation. The emergence of young players has been a feature. This means that the squad has been increased and these two results have been garnered minus the services of established players such as Brendan Muldowney, Eoin Collins and Conor Casey. Unfortunately, the premature retirement of Cillian Duffy has reduced front row options but, Hugh Carolan is another prop ready to come into the side and gain his spurs.
Shamrock Lodge was a happy place to be on Saturday evening following this game. The executive committee and officers of the club were highly pleased with the marvellous turout for the day and hope that this continues throughout the league campaign. Also on view last Saturday was the excellent work that is ongoing with the laying of a new all weather pitch. The contractor for this work has been, Carl Strong Construction who also sponsored last Saturdays historic league opener. Mr. Strong is a former player and his support and help during this development has been very much appreciated.