Boyne made the long trip to the south-east for this Leinster League game against an all-white side who are currently in contention at the top of the league.
Their first round encounter between these sides was one of the best games the Shamrock Lodge has seen in a long time. There was little to separate them on that occasion, with Boyne winning by the narrowest of margins.
This game did not disappoint and the spoils went to the home team when this time they were the victors by the narrowest of margins.
The ‘sunny south-east’ certainly didn’t live up to its reputation, with cloudy skies prevailing throughout the game at Clontinen, but thankfully the rain stayed away.
The Whites elected to play the first half with a stiff wind. Both the teams went against each other right from kick-off and a highly entertaining game ensued with six tries each and both sets of supporters were in tense mode till the final whistle.
It was the Whites who were first off the block with a penalty to give them a three-point lead in the fifth minute. Boyne followed with a series of attacks which saw forwards Hugh Carrollan and Oisin Howell make good breaks before freeing their backs through winger Eoghan Duffy and then full-back Robbie Vallejo.
The attack took them deep into the white area and their pressing saw them win a penalty only 10′ out. They elected to take the tap penalty and went over the home side’s defense before releasing their backline. Unfortunately, an errant pass broke a promising move and the chance to open their scoring account was lost.
Gore wasted no time in converting his luck into attack and he too displayed quick and clever hands in his backline to score wide. They missed the conversion but led by eight points in the 20th minute.
By the restart, White had his tail up and was soon back inside Boyne’s half and a series of further drives took him to the Boyne 22. Under severe pressure, the Boyne defense broke down and the Whites moved onto the white chalk and began to score close to the posts.
The conversion was missed when the ball slipped off the kicking tee. This left the home team with a 13-point lead after 25 minutes. Boyne had played good rugby but failed to capitalize on the scoreboard and was caught on break ups by this point in the game. He found himself doing a lot to get back in the game and his character shone through when he refused to buckle.
Their set scrum led the way and they came out on top when they converted a penalty. Hooker, Shuttleworth tapped and sucked into the opposition before taking off Dunphy and a few passes later No8 Carl Keogh doted down close to the posts. Keogh also converted and Boyne were now back in the game at 13–7 on 30 minutes.
As half-time approached, Boyne launched another series of attacks. Captain and center McQuillan powered through the midfield with fellow center Cathal Green on his shoulder. Prop Tadhg O’Reilly then picked up from the ensuing fumble and forced another Boyne penalty.
Boyne was now playing with great intensity and issued a series of tap and go’s to score right up until the half-time whistle. Keogh’s conversion was just narrowly wide to leave the half-time score, 13–12.
The second half continued at a very high pace with both the teams testing each other’s defenses severely. Boyne managed to work his scrum and lineout well and the second row Callaghan and Howell were running their team from the engine room.
It was the Whites who drew first blood in the second half. From the penalty on the halfway line, Goree kicked from the lineout which caught out the Boyne defense and Goree once again sprinted all the way to the line, scoring close to the post.
The conversion put the Whites back in the driving seat with a 20-point to 12-point lead in the 55th minute. The match continued as several white players walked out due to attrition.
Boyne was unlucky not to score when Duffy was tackled over the line and unfortunately the ball came loose in the tackle.
There was still plenty of energy left in the Boyne side and another good break by center McQuillan brought the game closer to the goal line.
Gorey forced a scrum from the Boyne attack but Boyne intercepted the Gorey ball with young Liam McEnany – making his first Leinster League start at scrum-half – skilfully intercepting the Gorey scrum-half’s pass and hitting the Gorey post. Dive on the line close to.
Keogh kicked the simple conversion and now only one point separated the sides 20–19 on the 65th minute. Boyne emptied his bench when he went out for the win in the remaining minutes, but despite his efforts, try as he might, he failed to gain a foothold in the Whites half and saw the Whites finish the game with the fewest wins. Be successful ,
Once again, it was a great game of served rugby from both teams. What must have been encouraging for Boyne coaches and mentors was the vast improvement in his level of performance from the previous week against Bactive.
Greatly improved set scrum and managed to get good platform possession for his back.
They have another tough match at Shamrock Lodge on Saturday against Monkstown, who occupy the top four positions in this league. Start: 2:30 p.m.
Boyen: R Vallejo; G. McQuillan; sea green; E Duffy; M Briscoe; L McKenney; T O’Reilly; P Shuttleworth; H Carolan; hey howl; C Callaghan; C Smith; B. Dunphy; K Keogh. Replacement: P Mongi; P Prendergast; E McGinn; F. Moore; Si Quinn;