Boyne 18 Skerries 28
Boyne came off second best in hugely entertaining opening to the new season in Drogheda. The strong wind played a big part in the outcome with both teams shuffling their deck in this Leinster Shield opener. This competition gives clubs the opportunity to try out new players and combinations before the serious business of the All Ireland League and both sides availed of this with Boyne giving opportunities to several youngsters.
Skerries played into the clubhouse end with a strong wind at their back in the first half and used it to their advantage to put the Boyne defence under pressure. Boyne had an early set back losing their experience scrum half Mike Walls within 10 minutes with a calf strain to be replaced by Emmet Banahan, the 18 year old making his first appearance for the senior team. Skerries continued to press the Boyne line with the majority of the game being played in Boyne's half, Johnny Kermath and Karl Keogh putting in typically physical performances. The pressure finally payed off for skerries when their centre forced his way over from short range following excellent work by his pack, the conversion from the touch line sailed between the posts and when Boyne were caught off their feet a few moments later the skerries out half converted the chance to leave the visitors 10 nil up at half time.
Given the strength of the wind Niall Ronan the Boyne Director of Rugby would not have been too unhappy with the work rate of his largely experimental team and so it proved with Boyne straight into the attack in the second half. Following some excellent work in the scrum they were rewarded when the Boyne 10, Tyler Lansdowne landed his fist kick for his new club following an infringement just inside the 22 metre line. Shortly after following some neat interplay excellent debutant openside Rory Hennessy held off the cover to score close to the corner with Lansdowne converting the difficult conversion to tie the scores at 10 all.
Skerries regained the lead with a penalty but Boyne struck back in spectacular fashion from the restart when the flying Brian Howell took the restart at full pace beat two defenders before released Eoghan Duffy who scored spectacularly to put Boyne ahead for the first time in the match. The lead was short lived however as Skerries responded with the next two scores seeing them lead 23 - 18 coming into closing stages and when when they took advantage of lax defending closing to the line it put the icing on a workman like performance.
Skerries who will play in the AIL league above Boyne had too much experience on the day, however the new coaching team will not be too unhappy with the performance as while it highlighted a number of areas requiring improvement it also gives reason for optimism with some excellent individual performances, in particular Jack Foley, another newcomer to the senior team at 18 years old having an outstanding game in the second row.
Boyne now face a difficult trip away to Tullamore next Saturday.