Result: 3 14 to 2 15

Ballyboden Senior B hurlers travelled the short distance to O’Toole Park on Saturday 12th September 2015 for their Championship semi-final against Naomh Fionnbarra.

On a bright, sunny afternoon and on a very good playing surface, Boden played with a strong breeze and got off to a flying start when Paul Doherty goaled after a couple of minutes. A good ball into the forward line and a deft flick by corner-forward Finn McDonagh set up Doherty to strike the ball cleanly to the net. He followed this with a fine point and after six minutes, raised another green flag, much to the delight of the sizeable Boden following. A long-range point by Conor Dooley followed by a superb point from out on the win by Eoghan O’Neill put plenty of daylight between the teams. This was reduced on 11 minutes by the Cabra team as their full-forward broke through for a fine goal. A feature of the first half was the workrate of the Boden players, none more so than Adam Jermyn who, following a fine block, won back the ball and sent it over the bar. Points followed from the hard-working Naoise Maguire and Austin Lynch, but Naomh Fionnbarra had the final three points of the first half to leave Boden 2-7 to 1-5 ahead at the break.

The northside team scored the first two points of the second half to leave just a goal in it. A free by Lynch registered Boden’s first score as the leaders on the field stood up to the challenge. Mattie Weldon led the way in this regard, in a man of the match performance, constantly blocking, winning breakdown ball and distributing wisely to his forwards. Another to show well, winning tough exchanges and sending the forwards clear was Brendan Treacy at centre-forward. After five minutes a ball won by Jermyn was passed to Doherty who spotted a McDonagh run. Finn’s square pass found Austen Lynch who drilled the ball to the net – this was the best score of the match so far and signalled Boden’s intent not to be caught. Points were exchanged over the next ten minutes, the pick of Boden’s resulting from a fine block by Eoin Small followed by a direct pass to Maguire who scored a great long-range point. Score after 20 minutes Boden 3-12 to 1-13. At this stage, Naomh Fionnbarra decided to send the ball in high to the forwards and aided by a bright sun, caused problems for the Boden defence. With six minutes to go they goaled again to set up a tense final few minutes. A point followed and left the minimum in it but stout defence by Small, Michael Clifford, Stephen Nagle and Ronan Cleary, who had a superb game marking the Naomh Fionnbarra dangerman, Eamonn Dillon, held out against strong pressure. Two further points by Lynch, one from out on the wing, sealed the victory on a scoreline of Boden 3-14 Naomh Fionnbarra 2-15. A noteworthy feature of the match was the introduction, as substitutes in the second half, of Niall Ryan and Brian McCarthy, both of whom are back after long recoveries from injury. Well done to the team and management for this fine campaign thus far – Boden await St Oliver Plunketts Eoghan Ruadh in the final in a couple of weeks.