Ulster Bank AIL Div 2B DLSP 16pts Boyne 14pts

Ulster Bank AIL Div 2b -  DLSP 16pts BOYNE 14pts
This scribe has been doing the club rugby reports now for the past 42 years for the local, national papers and social media outlets and have always tried to be impartial and descriptive whilst giving encouragement to my own team for their efforts without offending or denigrating our opposition or officials.
 Given the widespread feedback from various quarters around the world, these reports are awaited with great interest and keep everybody informed of the Boyne teams’ progress, or otherwise, and how the team is faring.
From checking the notes of Saturday’s game, it is proliferated with question marks as to the interpretation of the official in charge of the match as to exactly what rules he was applying in the following areas’ of the game;

  • The tackler releasing/not releasing the ball carrier
  • The player not releasing the ball in the tackle
  • The illegality/legality of collapsing a maul
  • When is a ruck formed
  • The set scrum
  •   The advantage laws.
  • Amount of Injury time played

These are just some of the questions that are posed frequently throughout the game at numerous stages.
 To be objective and descriptive in a rational manner is to allow reason and commonsense prevail in the logic of the content.
 By the end of the game on Saturday; all of these attributes had failed this scribe in trying to make sense or reason out of what was experienced and witnessed, which, defied logic of any kind.
If this was confusing to the supporters, then what it must have been like for the players of both teams, who had to comprehend the interpretation of the rules & laws as applied during this game, was another matter.
Of course it meant little to DLSP at the end, because their dramatic win overshadowed the previous 98 minutes of rugby that was played between the teams. There was 6 minutes of injury time played in the first half which was doubled to 12 minutes in the second half. To snatch a win in the 10th minute of injury time with the last kick of the ball sent the DLSP & supporters into ecstasy when they were assured of AIL rugby next season.
De le Salle Palmerston RFC are a club with whom Boyne share very good relations and their pre-match lunch which coincided with their ladies fundraising day was excellent. The pre-match and post-match hospitality to our President, Robbie McGrath,  and Boyne RFC Members &Guests was convivial, warm and friendly.
The good wishes extended to Boyne RFC upon leaving the Kiltiernan club, following the game, was sincere and genuine. Their President, Ciaran Daly, along with other prominent members such as Sean O’Neill and Kevin Fitzpatrick were superb hosts throughout the afternoon & evening.
Boyne came away from this game with a bonus point having played some of their best rugby the season. They dominated for long periods of the game and took the lead with a superb Brian Howell try, which Gavin Kennedy converted, to leave them 7pts in front at half time.
The 50th minute saw Boyne full back Brian Howell yellow carded for handling in a ruck when he had made a tackle 5’ from his try line. Boyne were now down to 14 players and the home side took advantage with the penalty to register their first score, 3pts.
Boyne conceded a try on the 63rd minute when the DLSP out half slipped through the defence close in following a set scrum to score virtually under the posts which left a simple conversion for a 7 pointer. The home side were having their best spell midway through this half and added another penalty on the 72nd minute to push their score out to 13 pts which gave them a 6pt lead.
Boyne’s woes were compounded on the 71st minute when a second yellow card was flashed in Howells direction followed by a red which meant he seen no more action. The referee signalled a ‘tip tackle’ for Howells dismissal. Now down to 14 players Boyne forwards responded magnificently and a succession of phases and drives brought them right up to their opponents line and scrum half Mike Walls was credited with the touchdown for a superb team try on the 76th minute. Gavin Kennedy delivered the ‘coup de grace’ when he landed a fantastic conversion from the touchline. During this period DLSP also had a player yellow carded for persistent infringements at the ruck which evened up the playing numbers on each team.
However, the drama was now only beginning. With Boyne desperately holding on to their slender lead of 13pts to 14pts, they defended magnificently for the full 80 minutes of the game.
Injury time prevailed but where the referee found an extraordinary twelve minutes, during which time he awarded three dubious penalties to DLSP for ruck and tackle offences, completely baffled the Boyne players and supporters. DLSP elected to go for touch with the first penalty which Boyne defended heroically. On the 9th minute of injury time another penalty was awarded to the home side which was in a very kickable position 25 metres out to the left of the posts. Inexplicably the kick was missed and Boyne awaited the final whistle which didn’t come. They were made to drop out on the 22’ and sent the ball deep into DLSP territory which they fielded and a succession of plays brought play into the Boyne half. Another penalty was awarded 25’ out on the right with 12minutes of injury time on the watch, with further ignominy inflicted on the Boyne team when replacement prop, Paddy Cooney, was yellow carded for apparently not releasing in the tackle.
This time the DLSP kicker was successful with his effort and as soon as the ball sailed between the posts, the referee blew for ‘no side’ following an extraordinary match which ended on a very sour note for the Boyne players and supporters.
From a reporting and spectator vantage point, one cannot discern the communications that interchange between players and a referee on the pitch. Rugby is a game which is lauded whereby the referee is sole arbiter, and players, by and large, comply with this adage.  Therefore, it can only be assumed that discipline must have been a contributing factor for Boyne during the course of this game to have incurred the wrath of the official.
The Boyne team have now three games to play in this league two of which are away to Ards and old foe’s Tullamore, with their remaining home game against Sunday’s Well from Cork.  If they are to avoid the dreaded relegation play-off, then they would do well to learn from last Saturdays experience and improve their discipline going into their final three matches of this season.
Boyne XV & Repls; Brian Howell; Conor McGann, Graeme McQuillan, Harry Kennedy, Paul Rice; Gavin Kennedy, Mike Walls; Karl Keogh, Declan Moore, John Kermath; Shane Kennedy, Paddy Muldowney; James McKevitt, George Cooney, John Kinsella. Repls all used; Pat Shuttleworth, Paddy Cooney, Oisín Howell, Dermot O’Neill & Cormac.