The Dundalk Rugby U12 Sharks side made the short journey up the M1 to their neighbours Boyne on Sunday morning for a very enjoyable joust with the hosts and Skerries.
The beautiful sunshine and the perfect underfoot conditions conspired to produce a fantastic feast of rugby from all the participating sides.
It was agreed that a "Babarians" side would be assembled with players from all sides to ensure an even number of matches and that all kids had as much involvement as possible. The four Dundalk volunteers for the combined side were Eoin Purton, Oran Rafferty, Joe Cassidy and Calume Lambe.
The lads performed absolutely brilliantly and emerged as true leaders within their team. (Their only remit was to go easy on the Dundalk lads if they came up against them!)
The Sharks began their day's proceedings with a match against Skerries. Bobby McCaul and Max Valentine got the lads on the front foot from the off with strong and direct running. Cian McGuinness repelled the Skerries' attacks with some thunderous tackles which in turn allowed Jacob Dunlevy and Liam O Connor dictate the play.
The scrum was turning into a potent weapon for the Sharks as Rory Wallace magnificently stole two balls against the head which allowed the lads to spin the ball wide for Ewan Kelly to glide into the corner for a super score. Skerries did up the ante in the second half but Euan McArdle was in a bullish mood and constantly knocked them back with some fantastic aggressive counter-rucking.
Boyne were the opponents in the second match and their greater physicality posed some questions to the Sharks' rearguard. Cian Jones and Enda Dooley performed admirably in the front row which gave Donal Lavery and Daniel Gregory the platform to execute some very stylish backs moves.
A great move involving the backs and forwards, resulted with Jake Kenny breaching the Boyne defence with some blistering pace. Him and the ball were held up by three defenders but fortunately for the Sharks, Jack "the Ripper" Mullen was on hand to pilfer the ball and then throw his customary dummy which bambozzled the opposition and allowed the Dundalk man to drive through the heart of the defence to score a fantastic try under the posts.
As the match wore on, DD Reilly really came into his own as he orchestrated his side's play with great aplomb and panache. But as Boyne pressurised late on, they were met with the Sharks' inspirational leader on the day, Conor "Bone Crusher" Whyte.
He repeatedly knocked physically bigger lads back with some shuddering hits which formed the yardstick for his comrades to follow.
Last match of the season is next Saturday away to Mullingar.