Ulster Bank AIL Div 2C Boyne 16pts Wanderers 19pts

This was a must win game for the Boyne side to avoid the prospect of making the long trek to Middleton this week seeking a win to preserve their AIL status outright. It was not to be however and with the two sides below them on the league table winning their games the loss against Wanderers was further compounded.
This was a weekend which saw the whole country celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising and it certainly will not be lost on Boyne rugby supporters, the irony of this game taking place on Easter Saturday and ending up on a 19 – 16 score line.
Wanderers were chasing a play off place at the other end of the table and whilst not achieving a bonus point win, nevertheless, left Shamrock Lodge very contented with their afternoon’s work going into the last series of games in the AIL.
The visitors got off to the proverbial ‘flyer’ when they had 7pts on the board within a minute of the kick off. An exchange of kicks saw Wanderers take advantage to bring play right into the Boyne danger zone and their forwards completed the job by surging over for the first try of the game virtually under the posts. They easily added the extra’s to put themselves 7pts up within a minute. Added to this was the fact that they were playing against a very stiff breeze during this half which provided a bonus to taking this early lead.
Boyne did respond and gradually clawed their way back into the game with out half Kerbey making a telling break which broke the visitors defence before he found centre, Bevan Duffy who completed the job to cross for a Boyne try. Boyne did have other chances to increase their try tally but failure to find a colleague when clear cost them dearly. It was left to Karl Keogh to add to their score with three penalties to give Boyne a respectable half time lead on the score 16pts to 7pts.
The second half saw Wanderers take control for long periods and their forwards used the ball well to retain possession and deny the home side any real opportunities to improve on their earlier lead. Boyne were further handicapped when an earlier injury saw the enforced retirement of their full back, Eoghan Duffy. Their centre , Ronan O’Brien also shipped an injury during the course of this game which didn’t help matters.
Although the wind abated somewhat in the second half it made little difference to the visitors as they made sure of taking home the spoils with two well taken unconverted tries which was largely due to their forwards taking the ball through the phases to retain possession and gain territorial advantage. Boyne could not break up this dominance and rarely threatened the Wanderers defence.
Boyne did manage to salvage a bonus point which, at the end of the days AIL League Div 2C proceedings, meant little by way of salvaging their safety. It now goes down to the wire with Boyne making the trip to Middleton on Saturday next with no other thoughts on their minds but to win this last game to ensure their AIL status.
Boyne XV; Eoghan Duffy; Adam Brodigan, Bevan Duffy, Ronan O’Brien, Kevin McCleery; John Connolly, Niall Kerbey; Jerry Onianwa, George Cooney, Pat Shuttleworth; Oisín Howell, Richard Shuttleworth; Declan Moore, Rory Hennessy, Karl Keogh. Repls; Keith Keogh (not used), James McKevitt, James Mose, Shaun Rooney and Joe Sweeney.