Result: 5 16 to 1 11
This knock-out game in the Senior B Hurling championship pitted the big guns against each other at Firehouse Road on Saturday evening. The ”tie of death”, as it may have been described, should have produced a competitive affair, but it became all too easy for the home side. Apart from the first ten minutes the game was somewhat uncompetitive and resulted in a feast of fine scores from across the numbers.
Crokes opened sharply and bagged the first two scores, the ageless Fergal Armstrong from a free and Alex Considine from play, a fine effort. Mattie Weldon, at midfield, was getting onto a lot of ball and he marked his presence with a score from outfield. After Armstrong pointed again from a free, Eoin O’Neill made his first impact by cleverly setting Paul Doherty through for a goal. The battle for midfield was falling in Bodens favour with Naoise Maguire and Weldon working well together. At centre back Donal Butler was setting down his mark and further up Brendan Treacy was relishing the battle with Donnacha O’Murchu.
Building on the lion’s share of possession, Boden slowly pressed home their advantage and over the next ten minutes proceeded to build up a lead. Austin Lynch matched Armstrong from placed balls and the tally was further boosted by Sean McDonnell and Ronan Cleary from outfield. Good teamwork and accurate passing added scores from Maguire twice, he found space out wide. By half time the writing was on the wall for Crokes, aware that they would have to face the freshening wind and the setting sun for the second half. With Lynch on 5 points the score stood at 1.10 to 0.9.
The first ten minutes of the second period decided the affair and goals from Conor Dooley (penalty), after Adam Jermyn used his height advantage to catch Dooley’s delivery from a free, and Stephen Nagle, the faintest of touches after Lynch threaded a ball into the scoring area. Add in the O’Neill and Treacy combination and Boden were out of sight. By the 45th minute Boden led by a dozen points, Crokes failing to add to their tally. Jermyn got his reward for workrate by finishing to the net a Lynch and O’Neill move. O’Neill himself got one of the best scores from outfield, a quality point after Boden interpassed with ease through the midfield.
The home management introduced Malachy Travers in an unfamiliar role, corner forward, and he crowned a good team performance by goaling at the second time of asking. Crokes sought some late pride by pressing for goals and they notched one, O’Murchu on the end of several good passes. A measure of Bodens dominance was that they only conceded 1.2 in the second half.
It may be difficult to assess Boden after this game, but assuredly the management are well pleased to have a date in the semi final over the next few weeks.
Team: Conor Dooley, Mattie Weldon, Brendan Treacy, Ronan Cleary, Eoin Small, Mike Clifford, Darragh O’Gorman, Stephen Nagle, Donal Butler, Naoise Maguire, Eoin O’Neill, Austin Lynch, Paul Doherty, Sean McDonnell, Keith McCarron