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By Dermot O’Mahony
Friday April 23 2010
A FORTNIGHT ago we were spoiled by a superb weekend of top class European rugby that produced three Irish semi-finalists, with no game being more dramatic than Leinster's cliff-hanger with Clermont Auvergne.
Last weekend it was the turn of the top junior clubs in Leinster to create similar fireworks with Seapoint completing an outstanding season in Monivea to qualify for the AIB League, while Boyne beat Tullamore for the second year in succession in a scintillating Newstalk Provincial Towns Cup Final.
The 2nd PTC campaign got back underway on Saturday 10th April, after over a month in hibernation. A well-fed Clondalkin unit travelled to Shamrock Stadium on the back of a long run of victories with the intent of adding Boyne to the list. Clondalkin started well, first slipping a tackle on halfway to score virtually unopposed, then benefitting from four successive penalties against Boyne to go from their own line to kicking for goal. At 10-0 Boyne hadn't fired a shot. Then up stepped our own "Johnny Sexton" in the form of Alan McEneaney.
Boyne travelled to Edenderry with great trepidation on Sunday last to meet Cill Dara in the Semi Final of the Leinster Provincial Towns Cup. The Drogheda side were defending the trophy, won for the first time last year. Cill Dara had inflicted a rare defeat on Boyne in the Leinster League back in February and confidence was high in the Kildare camp that they could repeat the result.
Following some concern, due to weather conditions the previous week, the Edenderry grounds were in superb condition and the weather matched the efforts of the host club.
That the Leinster Provincial Towns Cup has regained its Prestige and pride of place among the competing clubs and indeed the rugby fraternity of the province, there can be no doubt. Once again, the holders, Boyne, were involved in an epic encounter with an Enniscorthy team who came to Shamrock Lodge determined to hold on to their latter season unbeaten run and extend it to include a cup semi final spot. That they did not realise this ambition was down to a try that was worthy of try of the season in any grade.
The full results from today's games are as follows:
The Semi-finals are set for Sunday 4th April and see
Cup matches do not come any better than this. The Black Gates venue is a renowned ground for cup upsets and Tullow came close once again to upsetting the form book with a riveting cup display against the holders, Boyne. The home team got off to a dream start when within three minutes they scored a magnificent try, when they tore into the Boyne forwards and moved their attack into the opposition half.
Boyne were assured of second place in this league going into this game which, ended their league campaign. However, whilst the result may not have altered their league position, such is the thoroughness of their coach, Craig McGrath, he demanded full concentration from his squad and, apart from wanting to end on a winning note, his eyes were firmly fixed on preparing for this weekends PTC encounter with tough opposition, Tullow.
Boyne registered a fine win in this first round cup match against a good Ashbourne side in excellent conditions under lights on Friday night. Boyne played some excellent stuff in the first twenty and were rewarded with a fine try finished off by winger Conor Duff and converted by AlMac. Boyne were humimg along nicley and a penalty by Mac Enenany extended the lead to 10 to nil and an easy day at the office looked on the cards.
Tullamore reversed an early season loss to Boyne at Shamrock Lodge on Saturday and in the process deservedly won the 2nds League Title.
Boyne’s slim chance of a league title were wiped away after this loss and now they must re group before their Towns cup match against an in form Ashbourne on Friday night under lights in Ashbourne.
These sides certainly provide their supporters with top class football when they meet. Shades of last years cup final were evident during this game with the teams concentrating on fast open rugby. Conditions were conducive to this type of football with the Shamrock Lodge pitch in good condition having earlier accomodated the seconds match which saw Tullamore win the game and also the league with their 16pts to 8pts victory over Boyne.