Result: 0 19 to 1 18

Weldon power display not enough for the title

A gutsy performance, aligned with an 80 minute individual display of skill and determination from Matty Weldon, fell only marginally short of prime position in a pulsating Senior B Hurling Championship final at Parnell Park on Friday evening. A guttural Boden roar was audible across the Northside as the clock ticked towards the 62nd minute of normal time. Niall Ryan appeared to have run himself into a cul-de-sac in the corner, but he managed to deliver the leather back to Paul Doherty and he pointed to tie the game. The referee blew the final whistle, much to the annoyance of “Holyhayes”, clearly feeling that he was more in time with Greenwich than the man in black.

The extra time of twenty minutes followed the pattern of the first half of the sixty, Plunketts firing on all cylinders and bagging some great scores. Boden did come back in the second period of ten, and through the omni-present Weldon, created a fine goal chance. Plunketts were having none of it and conceded the 20 metre free by bringing Matty to a halt with an illegal challenge. Conor Dooley got two chances to take the free, but he was faced with upwards of ten defenders covering all parts of the goal. The game petered out with players from both sides going down with cramp and worse, after the efforts of the joust.

The opening half was a display of scoring skills from Plunketts and through Niall Murray and Dublin star Cian Boland, they opened a lead that Boden did not pull back until Doc’s last gasp point. Austin Lynch did well from the free line and bagged three in a row. The tactical setup from each side was similar, the “sweeper” plan reducing the point of the attack to two. Weldon and Ronan Cleary worked well together and the latter got his own reward with two fine scores, one a beauty from out on the whitewash. Doherty finished the Boden first half scoring with two points, the first a fine finish after Eoin Small found Stephen Nagle free and his delivery was the perfect length. Half time had it at 7 to 9.

The second half opened with a Plunketts free followed by a “corker” from Brendan Treacy. Next up was the battle of Midfield, Weldon cancelling out Boland’s fine score. Finian McDonagh cut a cracker from the stand line, but the effort was more than cancelled out by Boland, a goal of quality after he caught high and outran the cover to blast past the reach of goalman Dooley. To further torture the sizeable Boden support, Boland added a quality point, opening the lead to 4. The Boden response was decisive and the remainder of normal time was distinguished by quality play. In the mix was a power shoulder by Malachy travers, ditching his marker past a startled linesman. The Boden following were now on the edges of their seats waiting for the follow-up, Doc squaring the affair in the additional time allotted.

When the legs “run out” the result is predictable, and such was the case for Boden during the extra twenty minutes. Try as they did they could not match the scoring from the Northsiders. The referee blew the final whistle and players fell “starfished” to the Parnell carpet. They had given what was in the locker and no more was expected. There is always a silver lining, the injured Sean McDonnell, a minor player, coming on in extra time to bag a fine individual point. As Weldon remarked in the “surgery”, it is all about the contribution to the club as a whole.

The best of luck to Plunketts for the season ahead in the A division.

Well done to the squad and the management on a great showing. Supremo Paul Carley actually excused himself from a family commitment to manage the team for the evening.

Team: Conor Dooley, Eoin Small, Paddy Ryan, Darragh O’Gorman, Stephen Nagle, Donal Butler, Malachy Travers, Ronan Cleary, Mattie Weldon, Naoise Maguire, Brendan Treacy, Finian McDonagh, Adam Jermyn, Austin Lynch, Paul Doherty, Keith McCarron, Jamie Desmond, Niall Ryan, Eoin McKenna, Brian McCarthy Sean McDonnell, Mick McGarry.