The few Boyne supporters who braved the terrible weather conditions last Saturday to get to this match up at the City Of Derry witnessed a comprehensive defeat at the hands and feet of a very accomplished side who possessed pace, skill and determination in abundance. That they have aspirations of returning to the AIL there can be little doubt. This was the first game of rugby to take place between these clubs and the hospitality extended to their visitors by their President. Mr. Mark McFeely, the committee and members of the club was warm and convivial.
Senior Team News
Following the fiasco of the previous week, Boyne returned to winning ways on Saturday last when they had a comprehensive win over Portlaoise at Balbriggan RFC to move into second place in the league behind leaders Seapoint who had a narrow win over Dundalk at Mill Road. Boyne transferred their matches to Balbriggan because of the adverse weather conditions and it proved a big success with the perfect pitch suiting the fast open rugby that they like to play. It was apparent from the start of this game that Boyne held the upper hand and went on the attack straight from the kick off.
Boyne travelled to league leaders Tullamore on Saturday knowing a win was a must. Preparations were severly hampered when Boyne were informed of a 5.0pm as opposed to a 5.15 kick off which after a 2 hour bus journey wasn't appreciated. Boyne used this slur as great motivation and started the game with great purpose leading 12 minutes after as many minutes. Tries by captain Caimhin Hall and centre Rice let Tullamore know early that Boyne meant business, in fact the lead should have being 20 points but for wayward goal kicking by the otherwise reliable MacEnaeny.
With the league leaders Seapoint winning earlier in the day the pressure was on the second and third placed teams to stay in touch in this game played on Saturday night in Spollenstown. Boyne were dealt a blow before kick off when player coach Craig McGrath failed to come through the warm up with an injury. His young replacement, Shane Campbell, had a fine game. Tullamore too, had their injury problems with four first choice players unavailable.
Match report to follow
Boyne had Tipperary side, Kilfeacle & Distict RFC as first time visitors to Shamrock Lodge on Saturday last in the first round of the AIB All Ireland junior cup. The visitors were an unknown entity to Craig McGrath and his squad and with eyes on full fitness for next weeks hugely important tie against Tullamore, McGrath rested no less than five of his first team squad. There was a new look to the side with Conor Walsh moving into the 2nd row and two new back row players getting a start, John Carlos and Ceclan Moore.
Another win for Boyne which keeps them in touch with league toppers Tullamore. A severe cross pitch wind was always going to dictate tactical proceedings and limited the amount of free flowing rugby, nevertheless a good tough contest between two well matched teams ensued. Boyne played against the wind in the first half and held Skerries to a 3-14 halftime score. Boynes only score coming off the boot of Al Mac after a brillant hit by captain Mickey Maher directly from the Kick off after Skerries try.
Quite a large crowd turned out for this league encounter between north east neighbours Boyne and Skerries at Shamrock Lodge last Saturday. It was a tough battle and the forwards from both sides will have felt the effects of their efforts on Sunday morning. The reason for this was the gale force wind that blew down the pitch from the Moneymore end making it virtually impossible to play any sort of open football. The simple task of transferring the ball from one player to a colleague was nigh impossible.
Boyne's luck finally ran out in Sydney Parade on Saturday as they suffered their first league defeat to a defiant Monkstown side. Boyne have being unable to kill off teams all season and had this game in the bag after a third try in the 17th minute of the 2nd half by the returning Nial Carolan put them 23 10 infront in what had being a see saw battle till that point. However a few rash decisions and a lack of composure allowed Monstown in for 2 converted tries in the last twenty minutes to snatch victry and leave Boyne with a losing bonus point to ease their woes.
Boyne travelled to Sydney Parade for this League game with Monkstown last Saturday and were determined to shake off the effects of their previous encounters at this venue. There was also a more important reason to do well, with the Dublin 4 side breathing down their necks at the top of the league table. Boyne were at full strength, with the exception of their winger, Brian Howell, who became a father during the course of this match when his son Sean was born.