Leinster Branch Anderson Cup Boyne 18pts North Meath 8pts

<p>This was a hum dinger of a cup game played on Friday last at Shamrock Lodge between these two North East protagonists in the 2<sup>nd</sup> round of the Leinster J3 Anderson Cup. Emmet Grogan&rsquo;s charges came up against formidable opposition from the Co Meath club&rsquo;s first team but having endured a shaky initial 20 minutes the Boyne side settled down to come to terms with the opening offensive of North Meath.</p>
<p>The Boyne J3&rsquo;s are made up of youth and experience with the likes of veterans, Emmet Finegan, Alan MacEneaney, Paddy Keenan, Simon Gerrard, &nbsp;Seamus Sarsfield and Paddy Cooney lending their&nbsp; guidance to the likes of Ryan Healy, Ethan Bradley, Ciaran Clinton and Sean Callaghan.</p>
<p>North Meath had a bright opening and were somewhat unfortunate not to have capitalised on the possession they had during these opening minutes. The Boyne defence was severely stretched to keep their line intact and coupled with unforced errors by North Meath&rsquo;s only&nbsp; score was 3pts from a penalty. Following this initial surge by the visitors, Boyne began to assert themselves and their team work improved with their backs starting to show cohesion with some incisive breaks. This pressure forced infringements and Boyne had a penalty on the 22<sup>nd</sup> minute for offside.&nbsp; Alan McEneaney was assigned kicking duties and was off target with his first attempt. He made amends however minutes later with a similar effort when he landed a 32&rsquo; penalty. This followed a period of play that saw Boyne increase the tempo of the game and were now playing with confidence that brought their first try which was right out of the top drawer. It started in their own 22&rsquo; when North Meath were on the attack. Boyne had a turnover and broke out of defence with centre Simon Gerrard putting in an excellent chip to beat the opponents defence. He followed up and gathered to break away and with his fellow centre, Rory Hennessy on his shoulder he transferred and left Hennessy with a simple run-in for the first try of the game.&nbsp; McEneaney missed the conversion but his later penalty left Boyne with an 8pts to 3pts advantage on the half hour. There was to be no more scores before half time.</p>
<p>The second half saw both teams play with great intensity and North Meath just couldn&rsquo;t finish off their good approach work and were unlucky at times not to breach the Boyne defence. Another excellent move, this time from a lineout, yielded another Boyne try which young hooker Ryan Healy played a prominent part. A short lineout inside the 22&rsquo;&nbsp; outwitted the North Meath forwards and Healy burst through at the front to set up the try. McEneaney missed with the conversion which took Boyne&rsquo;s scoring tally to 13pts.</p>
<p>Coach, Emmet Grogan made some tactical changes for the final 20 minutes of the game among which saw centre, Rory Hennessy, move into his more accustomed position at No 8. Paddy Cooney and Paddy Keenan entered the game and these players added experience and guile to the team for the final quarter of the game. Hennessy, in particular, was dynamic in ball carrying and he thwarted the North Meath offensive time after time. However, North Meath did manage to cross for the try that had eluded them for the first 65 minutes of this game. They missed a very simple conversion though to close the score even further. It was Boyne who had the final score when Ethan Bradley made a great break which came from a quick penalty and before he was tackled he found Ciaran Clinton, who initiated the move, with the offload to cross for the final score of the game, a try. Boyne didn&rsquo;t convert this try but with this score to bring the game to 18pts to 8pts it effectively finished off the North Meath challenge and Boyne now take on Dundalk in the quarter final next weekend.</p>
<p>This game also saw the return of Al Martyn and Shane Rooney to playing duties with the club and with a fine squad of players now available to the coaching staff, this side should make a bold bid to bring some silverware to the club this season.</p>
<p>Boyne XV &amp; Repls; Ciar&aacute;n Clinton; Ethan Bradley, Rory Hennessy, Simon Gerrard, Sean Manley;&nbsp; Alan McEneaney, Garret O&rsquo;Dowd; Paddy Haughey, Ryan Healy, Daragh Grogan; Emmet Finnegan, Brendan Byrne; Ben Dunphy, Sean Callaghan, Seamus Sarsfield. Repls used; Paddy Keenan, Paddy Cooney, Al Martyn.&nbsp;</p>