Ulster Bank AIL Div 2B - Boyne 17pts NUIM Barnhall 63pts

Boyne mixed the sublime with the ridiculous in this game and contributed enormously to this humiliating defeat to promotion chasers NUIM Barnhall. Not for the first time during this season have they contributed to their own downfall by displaying indiscipline which incurred the wrath of the referee. During the course of this game they had four players sin binned which left their fellow players with an impossible task of stemming the challenge of the visiting team. Added to this was the non availability of their outstanding hooker, Chris Pusi, who suffered concussion at training earlier in the week;
Boyne played against a stiff breeze in the first half into the Moneymore end and went behind within three minutes to a Simon Gillespie penalty. This came from an infringement at a ruck and the NUIM Barnhall out half, Simon Gillespie, was unerring with the kick which was an indication that he was on-form with his kicking. Further penalties came on the 7th and 10th minutes for the visitors to push their lead out to 9pts. Boyne went back to their running game and responded with a magnificent try which they initiated deep in their own half. Out half, Bryan Croke made a superb breakout and left tacklers flailing in his wake. The backline handled brilliantly and the transfers were delivered at pace which saw the move end with a fantastic try by centre Eoghan Duffy. This score shocked the visitors but they came back with a series of scrums inside the Boyne 22’ which yielded a try from their No 8. The Boyne pack were in trouble in the set scrum and would almost certainly have conceded a penalty try had the scrum collapsed for a fourth time. This score came on the half hour and Boyne once more came up with another brilliant score before half time. Once again they ran the ball from deep and big 2nd row, Mark Butterly, was up in support to finish off another great piece of innovative play by Boyne. This left the game delicately poised at the half time break on the score 10pts to 16pts.
However, the second half turned out to be a disaster for the home side when they seemed to have pressed the ‘self destruct’ button by conceding two early tries on the resumption. In playing an open game they left themselves vulnerable n defence and the visitors certainly made them pay when they seized upon the loose ball to sprint away and score under the posts. Following this set back Boyne completely lost their shape and discipline and it became a matter of how many tries NUIM Barnhall would score for the remainder of the half. They had numerical advantage with four Boyne players at various stages watching the game from the bench for ten minutes. Following a promising first half they capitulated completely and NUIM Barnhall virtually sealed their promotion hopes with this big win. They ran in seven more tries during the course of this half. Eoghan Duffy did score another try for Boyne which Niall Kerbey converted to bring his side to 17pts. Ironically, despite the heavy defeat, Boyne at one stage had the opportunity to salvage a bonus point from the game with a fourth try. Following a period of applied pressure in the NUIM Barnhall 22’ they swung the ball wide and had the ball line at their mercy when another off the ball indiscretion was spotted by the referee off which he immediately penalised. This resulted in a penalty for the visitors and a yellow card for the offending Boyne player.
This summed up a 2nd half performance by Boyne who completely lost their way and suffered their heaviest league defeat of coach, Craig McGrath’s tenure in charge. Next Saturday Boyne play their final league game of the season against fellow North East side, Skerries. Both sides have had similar seasons and Saturdays game is of little importance other than pride. It will also see the end of Craig McGrath’s reign as coach at Shamrock Lodge. The amiable Kiwi has brought huge success to the Boyne club and has taken them to unprecedented heights since he came to the club n 2008. During his time in charge he has won two PTC’s
and the Leinster Div 1 A League which brought senior rugby to the area. During the clubs two years in the AIL they have performed well with many of the clubs young players making the breakthrough to the senior team. McGrath also had great success with the Boyne under 19’s team when he was assisted by Cillian Duffy, they won the Leinster Culleton Cup and league and many of these players are now in the first team squad.
Boyne XV; John Kinsella, Dan Kinsella, Hugh Carolan, Mark Butterly, Paddy Muldowney; Declan Moore, Paul Meegan, Ciarán Smyth; Gavin Kennedy, Bryan Croke; Brian Howell, Harry Kennedy, Eoghan Duffy, Adam Sherrard; Niall Kerbey. Repls all used; James McKevitt, Gerry Oniawana, Dermot O’Neill, Kevin McCleery & Karl Keogh.