Senior XV 32 - 13 Sligo (AIL Div. 2C)

That rugby is the topic of the moment was apparent at Shamrock Lodge on Saturday last when one of the largest attendances for a Boyne game turned out to see this encounter with Sligo. Another feature that helped bring rugby folk out was the glorious weather which prevailed on the day reminding people of a summers day such was the climate.
Sligo made the journey down from the North West hoping to achieve their first win over a Boyne side who won all their previous encounters. The men from the North West were also trying desperately to gain their first win of their AIL campaign.
During the opening spell of this game they looked as if they might achieve both of these ambitions with their forwards posting their dominant intentions on a retreating Boyne eight in the set scrums.
In contrast, Boyne’s backs were also stating their intent with the limited amount of possession they were receiving causing havoc on their sorties into Sligo territory. Ben Traynor made his first AIL start for the Boyne side and gave a competent performance with boot and hand when he got the chance to move his back line and kick for position.
The club also seen the emergence of their other signing with James Mose showing the kind of excellent form which preceded his joining the club and his ball carrying was a feature which was very evident in Boyne gaining precious territory during this game.
The opening minutes of this game saw Sligo exert serious pressure on Boyne largely through their forwards who were securing ball through their scrum and content to use ruck and maul to gain territorial advantage. These tactics were successful and Boyne were testing the patience of referee, Quinn, by constant infringing the rules in trying to defend Sligo’s advances.
From one of these drives Sligo went in at the side of the ruck inside the Boyne 22’ and lost the opportunity of a score. They dissented and the penalty was advanced 10’ which gave a welcome clearance to Boyne from the kick.
On the 10th minute Boyne did take play into the Sligo half and following good work by No. 8 Mose initially, a splendid move on the blind side involving the back row saw ‘Larry’ Robles go over for the first score of the game. This move saw good work from the Boyne back row trio of Mose, Roble and Keogh with Keogh adding the extra points with a fine conversion from wide on the left.
Boyne were put under enormous pressure with a series of scrums which Sligo dominated. The visitors also spurned several kickable penalties in deference to kicking for goal seeking possession from lineouts.
The Boyne infringements eventually saw the referee patience run out and he flashed a yellow card to Hugh Carolan for killing the ball on the 22nd minute. From the resultant penalty, Sligo decided this time to go for goal and their out half Keegan slotted the kick for three points to bring the score to 7pts to 3pts.
Following this score Boyne were awarded a penalty almost on the half way line and Keogh elected to kick for goal. He landed a superb penalty to take Boyne to 10pts. Just prior to this, Boyne suffered another injury blow when their excellent centre, Ronan O’Brien, who was making great runs, pulled up with a severe hamstring tear and had to leave the field.
Sligo once again brought play deep into the Boyne half on the half hour and forced a scrum on the 22’ which saw them take play to the 5’ line and Sligo 2nd row Cassidy decided to drive at the Boyne defence and he made the line the line to touch down for a deserved try. Keegan converted to bring the sides level at 10pts each.
Boyne had the final say of the first half when Keogh landed a penalty to give his side a 3pt half time lead on the score 13pts to 10pts.
Sligo once again levelled matters 5 mins into the 2nd half when they kicked a penalty to equal the score on 13pts each. This was to be Sligo’s last score however with the Boyne backs cutting loose on three occasions to score three tries which the Sligo defence had simply no answers to the scintillating running of Bevan Duffy who time and again cut through their defence to score two of these tries. His brother, Eoghan, nailed the bonus point try with virtually the last play of the game.
A feature of this Boyne team is the trio of brothers which are now part of the squad, the Duffy’s, Bevan and Eoghan, the Howells, Oisin and Brian and the Shuttleworth’s, Richard and Patrick who have all come through the Boyne youth system.
Whilst they struggled for periods throughout this game, nevertheless, the Boyne camp will be extremely happy with their start to the league in gaining nine valuable league points from their games so far. The squad are presently depleted with injuries which has put enormous pressure on their playing resources.
Next weekend they make the journey to Rosbrien where they take on Old Crescent who have had a similar start to their league campaign.
Boyne XV & Rpls; Eoghan Duffy; Arthur Moffatt, Ronan O’Brien, Bevan Duffy, Brian Howell; Ben Traynor, Shaun Rooney; Jerry Onianwa, Pat Shuttleworth, Hugh Carolan; John Kermath (capt) Richard Shuttleworth; Laurient Robles, Karl Keogh, James Mose. Repls all used, John Connolly, Oisín Howell, Caimin Hall, Declan Moore & Cillian O’Neill.