Elusive Boyle the difference in Senior B Semi at Wintry O’Toole Park

Ballyboden St Endas 1 18 Castleknock CLG 2 17

Sunday afternoon drew a sizeable gathering of hardy skins for the semi-final of the Senior B Hurling Championship against the Emmett Carroll managed youthful Castleknock side. The raw facts of the game, Castleknock’s early goals, the influence of Dublin football star Ciaran Kilkenny, or even the fact that Boden had to wait until the closing stages of the game for their only goal chance, clearly ignores the showing of influential Dublin under 20 forward Ian Boyle. As well as scoring more than a half a dozen points, he gave a near perfect performance over the four quarters in conditions that did little to enhance the reputation of the sport. A sticky sod barely dented the first touch and scoring eye of this rising star. Boden played second fiddle from the second minute after Boden led for the briefest of time following Jamie Desmond’s first of five long-range points.

Boden were dependent on placed balls during the opening quarter with Desmond strike-perfect with three long-ragers. Mark Lambert was similarly accurate with his one opportunity, but it was Finnian McDonagh that got the Boden crowd in full voice with a sweet point. However, the good efforts were cancelled out by a sloppy goal conceded to Castleknock after a short back-pass, as well as the first of Boyle’s quality points. Kilkenny chipped in with the first of his 1 02 over the hour.

Quarter two opened with a series of “scrums” into which Mattie Weldon dug deepest for the elusive sliotar. He got his reward with the opening point after bursting through a tight gathering in the middle of the field. Kilkenny followed up quickly with a flicked goal to open the lead to 2 04 to six points for Boden. Darragh Kenny reduced the lead with a pointed free and was quickly followed by a Weldon assisted smasher of a point from wing-man Conor Robinson. Desmond added from a free to bring the margin to the minimum, but Castleknock added three on the bounce with a brace from the increasingly influential Boyle. Kenny closed the half with a brace from frees to leave the score standing at 0 11 to 2 07.

Scoring slowed to a near standstill in the third quarter with Kenny contributing three and Boyle with a brace, but Castleknock increased their lead to three, 0 14 to 2 11. In the last fifteen Boden’s Gavin Corrigan benefited from some hard work from Eoin Behan with a fine point, but Boyle replied quickly with yet another beauty. Kenny continued from the placed balls and kept Boden within reach, but Boyle replied immediately with another special to extend the lead to four. Corrigan chased into enemy territory only to be up-ended for Boden’s only goal chance, a penalty. Kenny’s shot was saved only for the referee immediately awarding Boden a second chance. This time Corrigan shot to the goalman’s left only to see his shot batted away. Substitute Malachy Codd worked his way into the scoring area and used his footballing skills to hoof the ball over the line. Castleknock dug deep to finish the stronger with a closing brace to Boden’s dropped in strike from Desmond that fell over for a point.

Squad; Matthew Nolan, James Ryan, Naoise Maguire, Kenny Wigglesworth, Conor Robinson, Adam Jermyn, Jamie Desmond, Mattie Weldon, Fionn Maguire, Eoin Behan, Conor Kennedy, Darragh Kenny, Johnno Driscoll, Mark Lambert, Gavin Corrigan, Tom Mullin, Finnian McDonagh, Malachy Codd, Tommy Glynn, Jack Lambert, Fergal Ryan.

Thanks to Clíona Mellett and Miriam Doyle for the photos