The Mill Road hosted this Leinster League game between the home side Dundalk and their Co. Louth rivals Boyne. A beautiful Autumn day saw ideal conditions prevail for playing good rugb and both teams did not disappoint the large crowd that turned up to watch this derby encounter. Both clubs were enjoying good results in this competition to date and Dundalk were lying in third position going into this game. Boyne, despite an impressive run of results, were lower down the table in 7th position with four league points separating the teams.
Boyne caused a major upset on Sunday last when they knocked fellow North East rivals Skerries of their lofty perch at the top of the Leinster League Division 1. In beating Skerries they also did another North East team a big favour with Navan overtaking the North County Dublin side to go top of the League. Conditions, whilst dry, were extremmely cold and a stiff breeze blowing down the pitch into the clubhouse end in the first half favoured Skerries. Boyne opened well and they adjusted to the conditions by playing possession rugby.
This was a match played out in glorious conditions at Sydney Parade on Sunday last. Both sides were level on points in the League table going into the match and it was the home team who won the spoils to move three points clear of their rivals in the league table. This was a game that ebbed and flowed with both sides providing plenty of entertainment for their supporters. It was Boyne who started the game at a blistering pace and threw the ball around with great inter link play that involved both backs and forwards.
Boyne travelled to Portlaoise in bouyant mood having had a great win the previous week over last years league winners Cill Dara. Weather conditions on the way to the midlands venue were atrocious with gale force winds and driving rain making the journey difficult never mind the prospects of trying to play rugby in such conditions. However, whilst the strong winds still continued to blow, the rain abated and conditions remained reasonably dry for the game. The home side were looking for their first win in this competition and they targeted this game to start their winning ways.
Niall Kerbey kicked a last gasp penalty from the half way line to secure a dramatic victory for boyne over last season's Leinster Divison 1 champions at Shamrock Lodge. Conditions were perfect for rugby on Sunday, and both sides responded with some wonderful rugby, contributing to one of the best games witnessed at the Drogheda venus in recent years.
Sunday last was a perfect day for rugby football and on a well manicured surface, both teams certainly did not let the big attendance down. They served up a top class game of football that saw all facets of the game at its very best. Navan have been to the forefront of this league over the past number of seasons, without actually reaching the Holy Grail. However, their large following will be hopeful that they have put a team together this season to do just that.
This game opened the league campaign for both teams. Newbridge were making their debut in this competition, having won out in Div 2 last season. The Roestown club had a baptism of fire against Boyne who were in a very determined mood from the kick off. Newbridge were not at full strength for their opening encounter and will certainly need to bolster their side if they are to make any sort of an impression in this division.
Match Report to follow:
This game was played on a rare glorious Autumn evening in Shamrock Lodge on splendid underfoot conditions that both sides took full advantage of, with good open running rugby. The home side had most of the possession in the first half and they used it to very good effect. Both teams are taking the opportunity of using this competition as a testing ground for players who are on the fringes of selection for the upcoming league that will commence at the end of the month.
The Boyne senior mens panel travelled up North to Dromore last Saturday and had a training game of three 25 minute periods against the Ulster Junior 1 side. We had a good win with the final scoreboard reading 21 points to 5 points.
The new coach, Craig McGrath, tried out several new players and the club welcomed back former centre Eoin Fox following a few years away from the club. Another encouraging aspect of the trip was the inclusion of several young players who are now coming of age and graduating to adult rugby.