Boden’s Magnificent Nine play key role in Historic Dublin Win
Last weekend marks the 10th Anniversary of a famous Dublin Hurling victory. On May 1st 2011, Dublin Senior Hurlers played in their first League Final in 65 years. It was a remarkable day when a Dublin team, who had been coming, finally arrived in front of 42,030 fans in a bright and sunny Croke Park. What transpired was a famous League title and the first in 72 years.
This victory was all the more special as it was backboned by Ballyboden St. Enda’s. Five Boden players started that day and there were six on the pitch at the final whistle. Another would have been on the pitch but an injury stopped Dublin Captain, Stephen Hiney, from taking part that day. Gary Maguire, Shane Durkin, Conal Keaney, Paul Ryan, Conor McCormack and Simon Lambert all played their part in the final. Finn McGarry was back up for Gary that day and Stephen Hiney, as previously noted, could not take part due to injury. David Curtin was also part of the panel. In total nine Boden players came back to the Firhouse Road with a National Hurling League Medal that day.
Of course, the League was not won on just one day. That year they had 7 group games before the League final. The campaign stated with a draw in Waterford on February 13th. A week later they took on the All Ireland Champions, Tipperary, and took a famous scalp with a last minute point from Conal Keaney. Conal only managed to score 14 points that day out of a Dublin total of 1 16 !!! Victories against Offaly and Wexford followed before defeat to Galway in Parnell Park. That was to be the only defeat of the campaign. A draw against Kilkenny followed and thereafter a one point victory over Cork secured a League final place against the big favourites, Kilkenny.
In the end the most surprising thing was Dublin’s near complete dominance on the day. Kilkenny had rarely been so completely out played in a National final.
It was a bright and sunny afternoon, but breezy, very breezy – and Kilkenny won the toss, choosing to play into the stiff breeze. Dublin seized immediate advantage of the wind, with Ryan O’Dwyer striking the opening point after three minutes. A Paul Ryan free had Dublin two up after six minutes before Kilkenny’s Richie Hogan struck the net on 10 minutes. One might have thought that that was a sign that Kilkenny were about to push on but, amazingly, Kilkenny were held to a further 6 points for the entire game. Dublin were in control all over the pitch and Kilkenny were in real trouble when Eoin Larkin was sent off for an off the ball incident with Conor McCormack. The second half continued in much the same vein and the strong breeze could not assist Kilkenny. The gap widened and the Dublin dominance continued and at the end they were crowned worthy champions on a scoreline of 0 22 to 1 07 – twenty two scores to eight tells the tale. Johnny McCaffrey and the injured Stephen Hiney accepted the cup on behalf of the new champions.
As previously stated, the League was not won in one day. Conal Keaney was Dublin’s top scorer in the campaign with 0 42 from six matches and Paul Ryan had a meagre 2 26 from eight matches – to think that these two boys were still there 10 years later is a testament to their character and skill. Gary deserves special mention as he was an All Star winner for his performances over the year. They were ably assisted by Finn, Shane, Stephen, Conor, Simon and David. (Waterford’s Richie Foley, who played with Boden of late was the top scorer in the the 2011 League with a monstrous 2 48).
It is a sense of huge pride to all Boden supporters that our home grown players had such a monumental part in the victory and a testament to all who promote the game in the club. Whilst it was a source of pride to all in the club, all mentors who had coached these lads from the academy, the schools, underage and senior teams felt especially chuffed that day and will have hurled every ball with them. The pain of 72 years vanished that day and these lads would go on to many more big days with club (5 in a row that year!!) and county but for this weekend the League will do just fine!!
All the boys with their Dublin teammates will surely have a look back this week on the weekend of May 1st 2011 with fond memories and a huge sense of achievement in a job well done.
Thanks lads……….táimid bródúil asaibh.