Balbriggan 13 Boyne 12
Balbriggan maintained their home record in competitive games this season when they played their get out of jail free card to narrowly edge Boyne out with an injury time score.
It was Boyne that started the match better when the Balbriggan defence gifted them a score under the posts after 15 minutes. Balbriggan attacked from the restart and had a kickable penalty but opted to go for the corner. However Boyne defended the line out and escaped the danger. Balbriggan though were awarded another penalty and this time Kyle Healy made no mistake from the tee.
The Boyne pack had the upper hand in the scrum and from a scrum 15 metres out their No 8 got in untouched to extend their lead. The conversion was missed and this was expensive come the final whistle. It was Balbriggan’s turn to put on some pressure and from a penalty 5 metres out a quick tip and go by “Elmo” Malone saw him burrow over in the corner. Healy was not able to add the conversion to leave Boyne 12 – 8 ahead at half time.
There was plenty of cut and thrust in the middle of the park in the second half but the defences had the better hand with Ian Murphy leading the Balbriggan tackle count. Glen Healy and Stu Mullen made some good runs but the Boyne defence held firm.
With time running down it looked as if Boyne would hold on for a win but in the dying minutes Balbriggan got a penalty on the half way line. Healy found a good touch 10 metres out. The line out went to Malone at the front and the Balbriggan pack started to maul towards the line. Veteran Des O’Connor who had only just joined the action controlled the forward motion and Balbriggan kept the maul moving for another veteran, hooker, Johnny Davis to ground the ball for what looked like the match winning score.
The match wasn’t over and Boyne had the opportunity to kick off. From the ensuing ruck on the 10 metre line a Balbriggan hand pulled the Boyne scrum half into the ruck and gave away a penalty. After consulting with the ref, Boyne were told it was the last play of the game so had to go for the posts. The kick fell short and Balbriggan had got out of jail.
A win is a win but coaches O’Sullivan and Phelan will not be too happy with the two tries conceded.
The win puts Balbriggan up to third in the league and next week they play Ratoath, who are a point behind them.
The Balbriggan U15 side had their first outing of the season on Friday night when they just edged out Liberty Saints.