Ballyboden St. Endas 1 18 St.Vincents 1 08
The Long Fella Reports… Photos by John Kirwan
There are days when a championship game does not look like a championship game. Sounds simple, but what unfolded in Parnell Park on Saturday at tea-time was almost certainly not what either competing team would have expected. The side’s last meeting at the same championship stage last year produced an enthralling contest that went to extra time before Vincents ran out as easy winners. Reversing the result was exactly what Boden set their store on, and in what was a gradual erosion of their opponent’s resolve, they never looked in trouble over the hour. Boden’s Paul Ryan accounted for 1.09, greater than Vincents sixty-minute tally. But Boden also had other aces on the field. Conal Keaney peeled back the years to deliver one of his best performances in a Boden shirt. Niall McMorrow was another top performer for Boden as was James Madden, Simon Lambert and Stephen O’Connor.
The early exchanges set the tone for the game with Vincents big danger-man John Hetherton coming in for some close attention. On the opposite end Keaney was similarly close-marked, but his class showed up over the hour with some special points and the creation of Boden’s only goal. The resulting penalty was mercilessly dispatched to the roof of the Vincents net by Ryan. Keaney’s game tally was four points.
Vincents opened the scoring off the back of a strong breeze through John Walsh, but Keaney responded with an equaliser off his left. Hetherton put his side in front with a point from close in. Ryan cancelled the lead with the first of his frees. When Rian McBride pointed superbly for Vincents off the side-line, the attendance of sea-gulls and pigeons as well as a few of the human species thought that the 2019 contest was about to be repeated. Ryan and ‘Hedgo’ exchanged pointed frees, before McMorrow, Niall Ryan and again Paul Ryan each pointed and opened the lead that was not pegged back over the game’s remaining 48 minutes. Keaney added further to Vins problems with a classy point, seven to four. Vincents responded well with a brace of points, before Boden finished the first-half scoring with points from McMorrow, Aiden Mellett and James Madden. The latter was showing up well through the half with a Herculean workrate that his midfield marker could not match. Half-time had the score at ten to six.
With the wind at their backs Boden opened the second half in style with four on the bounce. McMorrow, Keaney athletically and about to hit the deck, Ryan and again Keaney after Mellett found him, all pointed to effectively end the game as a contest. But there was better to come when Keaney capped his day with a superb catch when appearing to be well attended. In between Ryan was doing what he does best with three placed balls all splitting thee post. Vincents made some alterations to their attack by adding Conor Burke from the defence, but the result was already decided and even the addition of a goal from Hedgo did not dent the Boden lead sufficiently to give them hope of a semi-final place.
It is difficult to assess the current health of Boden’s squad, given that Vincents never appeared to look comfortable in the heat of battle. Suffice it to say that the concession of just 1.08 meant that defence appeared to be fairly durable. At Mid-field Boden’s combination of McMorrow and Madden moved sweetly through the gears. Boden now await the draw for the last four.
Boden from; Finn McGarry, Luke Corcoran, Sean McDonnell Conal Keaney, Simon Lambert, Shane Durkin, James Madden, Paul Ryan. Paul Doherty, Niall Ryan, Niall McMorrow, David O’Connor, Stephen O’Connor, Conor McKeon, Dean Curran, Aiden Mellett, Conor O’Donoghue, Kevin Desmond, Luke McDwyer, Pearse Christie, Eoghan O’Neill, Paddy Dunleavy, Richie Foley, James Roche, David Curtin, Ken Wigglesworth, Stephen Hiney, Conor McCormack, Conor Dooley, Conor Robinson.