Result: 2 15 to 0 16
Big guns battle it out for bragging rights
The penultimate round of the adult hurling league saw the meeting of Kilmacud Crokes and Ballyboden St. Endas at Silver Park. However, some of the status of this annual fixture was consigned to the ‘academic’ due to the positions each side held on the league table. The visitors had all but qualified for the league final with a fine tally of points coupled with a substantial score difference. Crokes were mid-table, virtually assured of staying up, but not in a position to challenge for the title. Boden fielded without Simon Lambert following his recent nuptials and celebration in the ‘garden county’.
A number of the usual Boden supporters gathered in small groups to witness this joust, well aware that the big questions were still to be asked and answered when the Senior Hurling Championship would resume sometime soon. ‘Holyhayes’ held court with another regular ‘The Liberated’. Both of these devotees hold strong Premier claims, although the latter has in the past (and not under the influence of stimulants) admitted that he has strong connections to the Treaty County.
‘It’s been a bad year’.
‘In the business Ger?’.
‘Not at all Dan…….the county Dan….the County!’
‘I missed none of them….the games……and sorry that I have to admit it…..but there were times when we could’nt hurl snow off a rope……you saw it yourself…..’.
‘You’re right Ger…..players in the county shirt and not delivering……there’s a few of them there that need to consider their positions…..in the heat of battle they could hardly hit the head off a seeding piss-a-bed’.
This type of conversation is not unusual after the exit of the county from the All-Ireland. However, to hurling folk of the calibre of these two supporters there is always a silver lining. It falls into the category of….. LINEAGE…..in other words…..BLOOD LINES…..Tradition.
‘The right half back has Tipp connections……his mother is from Ballycahill….good camogie and hurling family….. a few of his cousins has county medals…..Intermediate I think.’
‘You can’t bate blood…..an ounce of breeding is worth a ton of seeding…..or is it feeding’.
‘The Liberated’ thought for a moment and in a manner purely to keep the chat going, he changed tack, only to rejoin the line of discussion.
‘Did you see the programme on RTE last Monday….’The Game?’.
‘Glued to it I was Dan…..great stuff…..makes you see the big picture’.
‘They made a big deal of the O’hAilpiin’s….Sean Og….and his story of coming from the Phillipines…..or was it Samoa….or wherever…..and starting to hurl at eleven…..and captaining Cork to Liam’.
‘Figi……twas Dan…..Figi….so it was….’.
‘You’re not getting me Ger……his father is from somewhere up north and his mother is from FIGI……no tradition there….no hurling blood there…..is there?.
‘Dan……that’s Cork……that’s different…..different.
Where’s that you’re from Dan…..?’
‘You’d miss Simon…..you would….so you would….’.
Boden claimed the bragging rights after a game that was largely dominated by both defences. The physical exchanges in the opening half were at times over-zealous and referee Chris Mooney had to be well up with the play to keep order on proceedings. Boden had their stars in Shane Durkin, David O’Connor and Dean Curran, all of whom won the lions share of the possession in their patch. For Crokes Fergal Whitely looked sharp and pointed early on as part of his own trio of scores. Mark Howard also did well for the home side from frees and added four valuable scores.
However, it was the opportunism of Boden’s forwards that provided the seminal scores early on. Aiden Mellett was the quickest to latch onto a ball off the upright and squirm his shot to the Crokes net. He followed up with a rasper of a shot that almost smashed the crossbar, only to ricochet into a Crokes hand. Conor Dooey was ever-present in attack and his slick touches and deliveries caused havoc for the home defence. One of his best deliveries finished in the hands of Paul Ryan, and off his favoured left side he flashed the sliotar to the corner of the Crokes net. Dooley, Paul Doherty and Durkin added further woes to the Crokes faithful and resulted in Boden opening up an early lead which they were never to relinquish. Bodens Niall Ryan cancelled out Seanie McGrath’s fine point and with Whitely again on the mark, the half time score came to 2.09 to 0.7.
The second half was very broken with frees and the accuracy of Dooley and McGrath from the resultant points became the highlights. There were some good scores from play, the best of them from the hurleys of Niall Ryan and Fergal Whitely. In general play, we saw some good work from Niall McMorrow who won good ruck ball and put it to use for his side. Another who did well was Crokes Michael Roche who bagged a few good scores. In defence the O’Connors, David and Stephen were always working hard and another who got ‘stuck in’ was David Curtin. The game petered out with a series of frees from McGrath which put some gloss on the Crokes tally.
Boden line-out was Gary Maguire, Malachy Travers, Dean Curran, David O’Connor, James Madden, David Curtin, Stephen O’Connor, Shane Durkin, Conal Keaney, Niall McMorrow, Conor Dooley, Paul Ryan, Aiden Mellett, Paul Doherty, Niall Ryan, Conor McCormack, Adam Jermyn, Eoghan O’Neill, James Holland.