Loss puts Boyne on brink

Drogheda Independent - - SPORT -

BOYNE face a mas­sive job to se­cure their Leinster League topflight sta­tus in the com­ing weeks af­ter slump­ing to their eighth de­feat from 10 games at Sham­rock Lodge last Satur­day.

Op­po­nents Kilkenny started the day sec­ond from bot­tom of Di­vi­sion 1A, hence this looked like a piv­otal clash for both teams, but de­spite their best ef­forts the Drogheda men were well beaten and find them­selves eight points adrift, with just four rounds re­main­ing.

Dun­dalk now oc­cupy the rel­e­ga­tion play-off po­si­tion and Boyne must fo­cus on re­duc­ing that big deficit over the next three games be­fore the two Louth clubs meet on the fi­nal day of the sea­son at Mill Road.

The first of those games is back at Sham­rock Lodge this com­ing Satur­day when Wick­low are the vis­i­tors (kick-off 2.30pm) and some se­ri­ous work will have to be done on the train­ing ground to rec­tify de­fen­sive weak­nesses which saw them con­cede seven tries last week­end.

Boyne were left with a moun­tain to climb from an early stage as Kilkenny got over for two touch­downs through ‘Pud­din’ Dempsey

Boyne Kilkenny

P En­nis­cor­thy 10 Gorey 10 Wick­low 10 Bec­tive Rgrs 10 Kilkenny 10 Ash­bourne 10 Dun­dalk 10 Boyne 10


W 9 7 7 4 4 3 3 2 L 1 2 3 6 6 6 7 8 D 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 Boyne 21 Kilkenny 47 En­nis­cor­thy 40 Ash­bourne 8 Gorey 20 Bec­tive Rangers 15 Wick­low 24 Dun­dalk 19

This week’s fix­tures 21 47

and Liam Caddy, with the lat­ter con­vert­ing both for a 14-0 lead af­ter only seven min­utes.

To their credit, the Drogheda side hit back strongly with two tries from Rory Hen­nessy and Adam Brodi­gan in the space of five min­utes, both con­verted by cap­tain Karl Keogh, to draw level on the half-hour mark.

How­ever, the mo­men­tum shifted firmly back in Kilkenny’s favour

F A BP 285 147 7 181 125 3 240 200 4 184 190 7 201 229 5 187 218 6 194 210 5 134 287 1 Pts 43 33 32 23 21 20 17 9 Ash­bourne v Dun­dalk, Bec­tive Rangers v En­nis­cor­thy, Boyne v Wick­low, Kilkenny v Gorey com­ing up to half-time as they were awarded a penalty try be­fore adding their bonus-point score through Garry Dunne - 26-14 to the vis­i­tors at the break.

The next score would be cru­cial and Gary Downey’s men were on a hid­ing to noth­ing once they con­ceded an­other seven-pointer in the 50th minute, with the try scored by Joe Manuel in the cor­ner af­ter gath­er­ing a cross­field kick.

Kilkenny fol­lowed up with two fur­ther touch­downs - in­clud­ing an­other penalty try which re­sulted from their dom­i­nant set-piece - to in­crease their ad­van­tage to 47-14.

Boyne did put a slightly bet­ter look on the score­board with their third try, scored by Kevin McCleery and also con­verted by Keogh, but it came too late for them to chase an­other score which would have earned them a los­ing bonus point.

And with the league’s top three teams pro­vid­ing the op­po­si­tion over the next three games, even to fin­ish sec­ond from bot­tom - which might be enough to se­cure a rel­e­ga­tion play-off - would rep­re­sent a tremen­dous achieve­ment for the Drogheda side as things stand.

There was bet­ter news for Boyne 2nds, how­ever. Last year’s


cham­pi­ons in that grade are cur­rently last in the Leinster 2nds League Di­vi­sion 1A, but they boosted their chances of sur­vival when over­com­ing sec­ond-bot­tom Kilkenny 20-12 de­spite start­ing the game with only 13 play­ers.

Boyne 2nds’ only other vic­tory this sea­son was also against Kilkenny and just two points now sep­a­rate the clubs with four games re­main­ing, while six­th­placed Wick­low are now also within touch­ing dis­tance for the Drogheda side.

A Boyne for­ward tries to set up ruck ball af­ter be­ing brought to ground.

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