Result: 1 18 to 0 17
It is not every day you get to line out against an All-Ireland winning team and an even rarer occasion when you cross the finishing line ahead by four points. That is exactly what Ballyboden Senior hurlers accomplished on Saturday evening 29th April in Parnell Park.
This was a first round opener in the 2017 Championship and Boden, playing with a strong breeze, started well with points from Paul Doherty and a brace from Simon Lambert. A couple of wides were also registered before Cuala got on the scoreboard and this was an encouraging sign for the blue and white supporters in the crowd. More encouraging still was the level of workrate shown by Boden that seemingly took them to the breaking ball first and when possession was lost, the intensity with which the forwards in particular sought to recover the ball. This yielded spectacular results at the start of the second quarter when Boden rattled off five points without reply from play – Niall Mc Morrow, James Roche, Aidan Mellett, Lambert and Conal Keaney – all contributing fine points from distance. This proved to be a significant spell for Boden and gave them a cushion that they would not subsequently relinquish. Cuala pressed hard but the defence led by Shane Durkin, Cian Mellett and Stephen Hiney in particular, limited the Dalkey men to long-range points and the occasional free. When the sides went in at half-time with Boden ahead by three (0-10 to 0-7), we looked forward eagerly to the second half.
“Nothing is so contagious as enthusiasm” wrote Coleridge and this was very evident in the third quarter. While the scoring was low, the effort and quality of play was excellent by both sides. Lambert, Keaney and Kenneth Wigglesworth in particular led the team with fine puckout wins, interceptions and passes. Into the final quarter and the effort expended began to take its toll, with a few injuries, particularly in the forward line. Cuala had inched their way back with a series of frees from marksman David Treacy also at this time. On came Niall Ryan, Eoghan Ó’Néill and David O’Connor and they certainly made their mark. All three contributed points and O’ Connor showed for three excellent puckout wins when the pressure was on towards the end. A high ball into the goalmouth as the match entered injury time fell for Keaney – no better man to find himself with an opportunity like this and the ball nestled in the Cuala net. Shortly thereafter the final whistle went and Boden had prevailed on a scoreline of 1-18 to 0-17. A very satisfying result and on now to the next round on Friday 5th May against Crumlin.
Team Photo Back Row l to r : Eoghan Ó’Néill, Cian Mellett, Niall McMorrow, Rob Leddy, Eoin Small, Luke Corcoran, Simon Lambert, Kenneth Wigglesworth, Niall Ryan, David O’Connor, Sean McDonnell, Conal Keaney,
Front Row l to r : Finn McGarry, Paul Doherty, Conor Robinson, Shane Durkin, Stephen Hiney, Dean Curran, Malachy Travers, Aidan Mellett, James Roche.