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Wow! Finishes don’t come much tighter that this; with the last play of the game, Lansdowne touched down for a try which was converted to sneak home by 1 point over Boyne RFC in the John Ward Plate Final in Malahide RFC.  Final score, Lansdowne FC 39 – 38 Boyne RFC.

First, we need to roll back the clock as the game wasn’t panning out like this in the first half.

Lansdowne were 20 nil up after 19 minutes with tries from Michael Whelan, Harry Stone, Jack Browne and Cian Maloney. Lansdowne were dominant in all aspects of the game, Oscar O’Brien was taking easy line out ball, JJ Hession, Dylan Ryan and Canaan Ryan Dalton were rampant and the outlook for Boyne was bleak.

Then on the 20th minute Boyne made 4 substitutions that changed the entire course of the game. Boyne clawed their way back in to the game and with the exception of a Hugh O’Kennedy intercept try, the half time score was 25-19. Boyne trailed by just 6 points. The game was very much there for the taking.

Games as tight as this pivot on special moments and within 1 minute of the restart, Cian Moloney muscled over for a try which he duly converted. Lansdowne now led 32-19.

Boyne didn’t lie down, they scored two ties and converted one of them to trail by one point. Then in the 28th minute Boyne scored and converted to give them a 6 point lead. Boyne now led 32-38 and they pressed hard only for Lansdowne to rise to the challenge and move the ball downfield, ever closer to the Boyne line.

The game was stopped for quite a time as Jack Browne received treatment for a bad ankle injury. The coaches, players and club wish Jack a fully and speedy recovery.

Subsequently, Lansdowne, as the team in possession, were awarded a scrum and from that a penalty for an offside infringement on the Boyne 5 metre line. From the ensing tap and go, JP O’Riordan powered over to make it 37-38. Up stepped Cian Maloney and he slotted the conversion to give Lansdowne a 1 point lead and the game.

There can only be one winner and one thing is for sure, the victory for Lansdowne was hard earned and therefore far more the rewarding.

Thank you to Boyne RFC for a fantastic game.

Thank you to John McCourt, the Leinster Branch U17 coordinator and to Malahide RFC for the use of their pitch and facilities.

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