Boyne resumed their Leinster League campaign at Shamrock Lodge on Saturday last in what could only be described as arctic conditions.Given the pre-match weather conditions, it is testament to the magnificent work of the Shamrock Lodge grounds staff, under Fergus Wilson, that the Lodge pitch was in superb condition for this game. The supporters who braved the elements for this match can rarely have experienced such icy cold conditions. The players also had to contend with a stiff chill wind that blew from the Moneymore end of the pitch.
Note this is an open draw and the pairings for subsequent rounds are drawn after the preceding round is completed.
Recent fixtures between these sides have provided Leinster Junior Rugby with high class games well worthy of a place in any of the higher divisions and last Saturday’s clash was no different with Skerries triumphing in a thrilling finish that saw them score 14pts in the last 10 minutes of this fixture to send their supporters into ecstacy at the final whistle.
Boyne completed their first round series of games in Beech Park on Sunday last against bottom of the league table side Cill Dara. They continued their unbeaten run in this league, but, could certainly consider themselves fortunate to have come away from the Kildare town venue with their unbeaten run intact.
Weather conditions once again forced Boyne to concede home advantage for this Leinster League game. Ashbourne has now almost become a second home to the Drogheda club and it is now more obvious than ever that they need to bring their facilities up to the required standards, given that they are strong contenders to play senior rugby next season.
This game saw the Cup Winners of Ulster and Leinster, Ballymoney and Boyne respectively, play each other in the 1st round of the All Ireland Junior Cup at Ballymoney on Saturday last. This was also the second year in succession that Boyne travelled north in this competition and once again they came away with no satisfaction from the experience. Hospitality is indeed a feature of trips up north and the Ballymoney club was no exception and welcomed the Boyne President, James Tallon and his officials with a pre-match lunch.
Anyone who doubts that this league does not give value for money and provide excellent entertainment, should have been in Rosetown on Saturday last to witness an encounter that threw up nine quality tries and two teams who played at a stunning pace for the entire 87 minutes of this game. Both teams were in top form going into this game having had excellent wins the week previously over their neighbours, Cill Dara and Dundalk. The Kildare team had to field without several regulars against the league leaders owing to the wedding on the same day of one of their players.
This game drew a huge attendance to Shamrock Lodge on Saturday last in what could only be described as conditions more reminiscent of a day in August rather than October. Beautiful sunshine complemented by a splendidly manicured pitch made for ideal conditions for the protagonists. Unfortunately, whether out of respect for each other’s lofty position in this league, the rugby did not live up to the ideal conditions in the first half.
Boyne had to travel to Oak Park on Saturday last to take on a Carlow side who had previously plied their trade in the higher echelons of senior rugby before losing that status last year when they were relegated to the qualifying Leinster Div 1 a league. The former kingpins of Leinster Provincial Towns Rugby were meeting Boyne for the first time at this competitive level of rugby.
Both of these teams were in eager mood entering this game having opened their respective league campaigns the previous week with impressive wins. Skerries have reorganised their coaching staff this season with John Murphy taking over the coaching duties and Chris Keane returning to the club to assist in coaching and play at scrum half. These appointments are expected to rejuvenate the Holmpatrick club and whilst they suffered defeat to Boyne on Saturday last, there were signs that it won’t be long before the seasiders become a force once more.