NUIM Barnhall RFC 25   Boyne RFC 7

A bright opening five minutes on a miserably wet and sloppy day in Parsonstown, was sufficient time to foretell the outcome in a dreadfully one sided affair in this All Ireland League encounter last Saturday.  A dominant scrum, dominant lineout and two knock on’s within a few feet the Boyne line was enough evidence to suggest a home win was on the cards.  The quantity and quality of possession in the opening half for the NUIM Barnhall battlers encouraged the backs to flash the ball about with ease. The conditions however were the undoing of a lot of good work when Gavin Duffy hacked on a loose pass to Mark Kavanagh.

Duffy controlled the ball well as he chased after the loose kick and his final effort across the NUIM Barnhall line only for his brother Eoin to touch down to score an opportunist try under the posts. A simple conversion.  At 0 points to 7. The watching crowd could not believe the score line after the opening seven minutes.  The following thirty minutes was all one way traffic for the home side. The pressure heaped on the Boyne pack and the rampant running of Tom Mckeown , Gareth Murray, Barry and Cormack Dunne and Ray Dufficy forced penalty after penalty out of the Boyne defence.

Simon Gillespie distributed the ball well but poor handling halted any progress until Gillespie’s third attempt on goal from 35 meters out started the score board moving for the Boys in Blue. A tighter control by the forwards and closer passing began to pay dividends and determined running by Adam Hughes had the Boyne defence often making last gasp efforts to prevent a route.  Barnhall really turned on the pressure with great ball carrying by Both McKeown and Conor McDermott.  A chip ahead was collected by Eoin Duffy who only had time to carry the ball over his own line and touchdown to concede a five meter scrum to the home side.  Better control going forward allowed Barry Dunne to cross over and touch down from the dominant NUIM Barnhall scrum and the kick slid past to open up a slender lead of 8 points to seven at the interval.  The score line did not resemble the dominance in any way and harsh words at the break by Coach Denis Bowes was expected.

The second period started with a much better focus from NUIM Barnhall.  A line out gave good possession to Barnhall who lost be gall in contact only to win it back again courtesy of the excellent efforts of Murray. The ball found its way to Barry Dunne who crossed over for a fine try close to the posts. A simple conversion by Gillespie stretched the lead to 15 points to 7 and the team began to play with more composure and structure.  Rob Holt picked up a knock again in the second half and Rob McGrath took to the field to assume the scrum half role.  Continuity was uninterrupted and the supply of ball to the backline continued unabated. On fifteen minutes Boyne again conceded a penalty I the middle of the park about 45 meters out. An excellent kick put NUIM Barnhall a further three points ahead at 18 points to 7.

The last 20 minutes of the game was quite a bad tempered affair as frustration became deeper for the Boyne players.  The attempts to break out of the Boyne half proved fruitless and the home side pushed hard for further scores.  The effort to force the extra scores gifted a penalty to Boyne mid way between the 22 and the Boyne line and somewhat unbelievably Boyne decided to run the ball.  McKeown, Murray and Barry Dunne kept the pressure on the Boyne backs and the possession was soon snapped up by the home side. A five meter scrum was a carbon copy of the first half efforts and the ball was difficult to control as the scrum moved forward so quickly towards the Boyne line. Tom McKeown touched down again close to the posts and Gillespie has a straight forward conversion to increase the lead to 25 points to 7. Boyne did try a last gasp effort to put some points on the board but the effort merely prevented NUIM Barnhall from progressing to achieve a bonus point in the closing minutes of this dogged encounter.  This Vital Win see’s NUIM BARNHALL RFC stay in 3rd spot and every chance of playing in division 2A next season.

Next game see’s the Blue Bulls away to Navan.

Hope to see you all there.



Position Name

1 Jim Nolan

2 Gareth Murray

3 Ray Dufficy

4 Roger Young

5 Conor McDermott

6 Tom McKeown

7 Cormac Dunne

8 Barry Dunne (c)

9 Rob Holt

10 Simon Gillespie

11 Mark Kavannah

12 Michael Brown

13 Farrell McManus

14 Adam Hughes

15 Rob McGrath

16 Padraic Beatty

17 Conor Harding

18 John Campbell

19 Kevin Conroy

20 David Carey

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