Result: 0 18 to 0 17

Boden top Crokes in high quality joust.

Come September, ask around on who the winner was in this April league fixture and you may find out that few can recall. Ask again on who won their first round championship match in the same month and many will easily recall. The home side “owned” about 60% of the hour, but kept Crokes in the game by the concession of many frees, Seanie McGrath the beneficiary. The Boden performance was more balanced than the Stillorgan visitors and their scoring was well spread across the numbers. Overall both sides will be satisfied with the evening, having kept all players available for selection for the championship week.

Early doors, Collie O’Neill and James Roche got the scoreboard going, before McGrath slotted a free, the first of many. David Curtin added a free, before David O’Connor, working overtime, angled a beauty over. A minute later, it was Doody to Roche and a fine score. Finn McGarry was upended illegally and Curtin did the rest, 6 to 1.Next up was Finn McDonagh from a sideline, a bullet of a point.

At the other end, our full back line of Dean Curran, Kenny Wigglesworth and the impressive James Madden were in good control of the Crokes attack. McGrath added again from the spot, before Stephen Nagle found free space off Naoise Maguire and his score. McGrath got his third free, before Deano diagonally placed Roche in space and the score, 9 to 3. McGrath got his fourth before Stephen O’Connor angled two over in quick succession off his favoured left side. Three of the last four scores of the half came from Crokes, O’Riordan, McGrath and Oisin O’Rourke, Bodens solitary score came from O’Neill, a pass from Doc. Half time was 12 to 7.

Crokes opened the second half with purpose, Rob Murphy landing a fine effort. O’Neill responded quickly, before great defending from Madden prevented a Crokes goal chance. Crokes Barry Mulligan was next up, before McGrath ran into a “Wigglesworth”, and spilled the ball. James Doody got into open country and added his score, before McGrath added yet another free. McDonagh got one off the whitewash and was cancelled out by O’Riordan within a minute. Eoin Small was felled illegally and from eighty yards, Dooley landed the score.

Barry O’Rourke made it 16 to 13 and from the next play, MVP Madden set up McDonagh for a point. Crokes had their best spell and four in a row, McGrath, twice, Murphy and a fine effort from Mullally. The game was now at championship pace and tied, 17 each when Dooley was asked to again point a free. Despite some savvy gamesmanship, he kept his cool and sent Boden to the dressing room with victory.

Boden,  Conor Dooley, Kenny Wigglesworth, Dean Curran, James Madden, Eoin Small, Stephen Nagle, Naoise Maguire, Stephen O’Connor, Finn McGarry, David Curtin, James Doody Collie O’Neill, James Roche, Finn McDonagh, David O,Connor, Paul Doherty, Michael McGarry,