Ardee Rugby Club suffered their fourth straight Leinster League defeat on Sunday afternoon at Athboy FC having passed up the opportunity to play for a ‘winning’ try – on the referee’s advice.
Confusion reigned at the Athboy venue, Townspark to Ardee’s Townparks, when the visitors were awarded a late penalty in front of the Athboy posts. As far as Ardee were concerned – and their hosts thought the same – they trailed 18-14 and needed a try in the last play of the game to win.
However, the referee claimed the score was in fact 14-12 in favour of Athboy – meaning a successful kick would earn three points and an Ardee win. Ben O’Brien successfully put his effort between the posts and referee Jason Le Lievre declared a 14-15 win for Ardee.
However, rightfully, Athboy objected and after a conflab, Le Leivre changed his mind and declared an 18-15 win in favour of Athboy. That score is still incorrect – with both clubs confirming since that the score was in fact 18-17.
Ardee’s try scorers on Sunday were Jason Monaghan and James McSwiney, while O’Brien converted both of those.
The 18-15 scoreline has been officially logged with Leinster Rugby and the points and scores have been applied to the league table. The win brings bottom side Athboy to within four points of Ardee in seventh.
It is still possible the club could appeal the result and the game could be replayed. This is the second blow to hit the club in their league campaign after they were docked five points for fielding an underage player in their away win at Balbriggan back in November.
The Leinster League Divison 2B now takes a hiatus until March. Ronan O’Brien Jnr’s charges have one remaining home game in the division against Balbriggan before they wrap up the section away to Wexford Wanderers.