Monday 18 December 2017

Melville out for revenge as underdogs Tullamore take on Boyle


Holders Boyne will be bidding to make it two-in-a-row in Naas tomorrow and, in doing so, complete a double over Tullamore, whom they beat 27-21 in a memorable decider last season.

The Offaly men, last season's AIB Junior Cup winners, have been plagued by injuries this term and managed only a third-placed finish in the league.

Their cup run has provided them with some comfort and they overcame Carlow, Arklow, Portlaoise and Dundalk en route to the final.

Boyne are hungry for successive crowns and they've overcome Tullow, Enniscorthy and Cill Dara, whom they beat 36-11 in the semi-final, to set up the 3.30 rematch tomorrow.

Tullamore will be forced to do without their influential captain and out-half, former AIL player Gearoid O'Grady, who is a long-term injury victim.

The sudden death of stalwart Ronnie Walsh rocked the midlands club earlier this year and there will be a sense of doing it for 'the Keg' tomorrow, while revenge is on the mind of New Zealand-born coach Andy Melville.


"They took one off us last year so we want revenge on that," he said.

"You have to keep reminding the boys that although we had one last year and we have one this year, you may not get another for five or six years.

"You have to take the opportunities that come along. We have to step up and take it and show we want it more. If we do, I believe we have what we need to win the game.

"There is a lot of experience within the team and a lot of the leaders have stepped up, especially over the last two weeks against Portlaoise and then Dundalk, when we really needed them to calm things down and concentrate on our patterns. They have done that and because of that, we have come through games."

Boyne will be looking for the likes of full-back Niall Kerbey, centre Harry Kennedy and captain Craig McGrath to get their backline moving freely as they did against Cill Dara in the semi-final.

Up front Cillian Duffy and Brendan Muldowney will look to make the hard yards and set the platform for the attacks.

With all of their problems, getting to a final seems like an achievement for Tullamore as Boyne should be celebrating once again.

Verdict: Boyne.

BOYNE-- N Kerbey; C McGann, B Duffy, H Kennedy, B Howell; B Collins, C McGrath (capt); C Duffy, B Muldowney, P Cooney; C Walsh, P Muldowney; N Vorster, I O'Reilly, E Collins. Subs: J McKevitt, J Kinsella, A Sherrard, D Moore, S Campbell.

TULLAMORE -- N Geraghty; M Whelan, I Scully, K Scally, R Deverell; A Deverell, R Hughes; E Brady, C Feighery, A Bracken, D Hanlon, I Deverell, David Milne, R Connor (capt), A Hanley. Subs: K Browne, R Scally, Donal Milne, C Finnerty, M Fox, P McNiff, P O'Grady, I Dunne.

Irish Independent

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