Result: 3 21 to 0 16

Understaffed Cuala come up well short at HQ – The Long Fella Reports 

A sharp easterly breeze took the soft sheen off a fine evening on Boden’s home turf for Wednesday’s visit of All-Ireland champions Cuala in round four of AHL1. The club had prepared well for their visit with a guard of honour comprising a mix of our Seniors and a fine gathering of our under 9 boys.

The home preparations took a slight backstep when the game got underway, with the visitors opening up in style with two fine points from Colm Cronin and Shane Stapelton. But the next action set the tone for a gutsy first thirty minutes from Boden. Cuala broke through the home cover and had only Gary Maguire to beat for an early tally of 1.02. Our goalman not only got his hurley to the low shot, but also managed to interrupt Cuala’s follow-up effort to thwart them for no reward. This incident set the tone for a very competitive first half which Boden eventually claimed, even though they were playing into the fresh breeze from the Cremorne end.

Niall McMorrow showed some subtle touches in the middle third and contributed two fine points. Cuala responded well for twenty or so minutes with Cian Waldron bagging one of their best. Aiden Mellett also looked sharp and matched McMorrow’s tally. The last ten minutes turned out to be a preview of what the fine attendance were to expect in the second half. The period was capped with a well worked team goal by Conor McCormack. James Roche also played his part with a brace of fine points and a number of fluid passes into useful spaces.

Half Time 1.10 to 0.06.

Cuala like in the first half, opened well for the second thirty. Cronin was again their main threat and bagged one on their early brace. However he met his match in Paul Doherty, who not alone equalled the Cuala-man’s scoring efforts, but also dominated Boden’s right side of the attack. His star act was his control of a high pass and follow through from sixty metres for the point of the evening. Mellett all but ran riot in the increasingly open affair and added a further goal and four points to his earlier brace. His pace became Boden’s main target and he kept his ‘waste’ to a minimum to be Boden’s MVP. Another to shine was David Curtin who ‘rolled back the years’ with a finely finished point in between an overall polished performance. The home defence stood firm, especially when Cronin and Nicky Kenny ran at them, with Dean Curran, Malachy Travers and Luke Corcoran proving stubborn and resilient. Late on Conor Dooley came good and set up some good chances, one of which he kept for himself. Eoghan O’Neill came in as a late replacement and announced his arrival with a good finish to the Cuala onion-sack. Cuala tried hard to lift themselves, but Boden were all but rampant and ran out east winners to guarantee their top spot in the league table.

Boden Squad: Gary Maguire, Luke Corcoran, Dean Curran, David O’Connor, Malachy Travers, Stephen O’Connor, David Curtin, James Roche, Cillian Byrne, Niall Ryan, Paul Doherty, Conor McCormack, Aiden Mellett, Conor Dooley, Niall McMorrow, Rob Leddy, Sean McDonnell, Eoghan O’Neill, Conor Robinson.