CLUB IN FOCUS: BOYNE RFC
December 2, 2014 12:00 am client
18 years ago, a combined force was formed to take on the challenge of bringing Rugby to the next level in Drogheda…
Boyne RFC saw the coming together of Delvin RFC and Drogheda RFC, both of whom had been extremely successful at underage level.
Up until 1997, Drogheda had two rugby clubs; Delvin Rugby Football Club situated on the towns southside at Bryanstown, whilst Drogheda Rugby Football Club was situated on the northside of the town at Shamrock Lodge on the Ballymakenny Road. Delvin RFC was originally based at Mosney on the site of the Butlins Holiday Camp before moving north to the outskirts of Drogheda.
Both Delvin and Drogheda were regular guests in the winners circle when it came to youth rugby from the late ’80’s in what was truly a golden era of youth rugby. Both clubs had proud pasts but the need and desire for one club in the town of Drogheda began to strengthen in the mid ’90’s when the professional era of Rugby Union was starting to come to the surface.
For all their underage success as separate entities, numbers and bases were slipping at adult level and something needed to be done to make the town a force. Whilst both clubs were producing title winning teams at youth level their adult playing bases were diminishing.
In April of 1997, plans came a foot to thrash out a proposed joint venture. Delegates from both clubs met to discuss the move and after several previous attempts had ended in failure, this time, there was to be no stumbling blocks and the outcome ended in both clubs holding special meetings to effectively disband and form a new club, which would later be named Boyne RFC.
Boyne Rugby Football Club came into being at the start of the 1997/98 season when they played their first match as a club against Skerries RFC at Bryanstown. Boyne lined up in the first division of the Leinster League that season and played Kilkenny RFC in their first competitive fixture.
Since their inception, Drogheda and surrounding areas have benefited from the level of Rugby that has been brought to the table. The Provincial Towns Cup is one of the most prestigious cup competitions in Junior Rugby and Boyne had the distinction of winning it back to back in 2009 and 2010 when they beat Tullamore in both finals in Ashbourne and Naas respectively. They came close to the three in a row the year after but a fired up Tullamore beat them in a semi-final before Dundalk went on to win the final.
Years of close shaves in the Leinster Junior League Division 1A were put to one side in the 2010/2011 season as Boyne clinched the title before going on to the senior ranks the following season. They played their first game in the senior ranks away to Sligo and came out winners 21-20 to get the perfect start to the season. They now apply their trade in the All Ireland Senior League Division 2B after a few years of consolidation.
Like every club, their adult teams are just one facet of their identity. Boyne RFC also put massive work and pride into their underage teams. From Under 7’s right up to youth level, the club is brimming with players all hoping of one day going on to represent their club and province at senior level.
Shane Horgan, Niall Ronan and Mark McHugh have all gone on to represent Ireland having come through the loop in Boyne while they also were extremely proud to see former player Grace Davitt, who commenced her rugby career with Boyne RFC ladies, clinch a grand slam with the Irish Women’s team back in 2013. Davitt’s first cap for Ireland came when she was still playing with Boyne.
Shane Horgan in particular is a player who really sprung to prominence and was a Leinster and Ireland stalwart during his outstanding career. The winger boasts 170 caps for Leinster while finishing up with just shy of 300 points for the province.
Grounds: Ballymakenny Road, Drogheda, Co. Louth.
Club Colours: Green and yellow jerseys, black shorts and green and yellow socks.
Division: All Ireland League Division 2B.
Youths: Under 7 to Under 19.
Club President: Phoebe Leonard.