Boden Dig Deep to Bring home title for first time since 2011

BBSE 0 18 St. Vincent’s 0 14

Worsdworth reports from Páirc Naomh Uinsíonn

Sean O’ Donnell accepts  the Under 21 A trophy 

A county final in December is a great way to shorten the winter. Boden supporters had been looking forward to this U21 final since the shootout against St Judes in the semi-final a couple of weeks ago. St Vincents were the opponents in this title decider scheduled for an afternoon throw-in on 4th December 2021 in Pairc Na Uinsionn.

 Boden started well with the opening point from Kevin Desmond. The Vincents reply was immediate and the crowd could sense this might be the pattern throughout the 60 minutes with these two well-matched teams. Playing against an icy, diagonal breeze Boden then used the ball wisely with points from Pierce Christie and Rhys McDonnell resulting.  In fact, Christie was a constant threat in the first quarter and was ably assisted by his midfield partner, Eoin Behan who scored a brace of points following good runs into space. Of course, there were threats at the other end too and one fine catch by goalkeeper Matthew Nolan was particularly noteworthy. Captain Sean O’Donnell was leading by example at centre-back and swept up nicely to thwart a few Vincents’ attacks. A Darragh Kenny point saw Boden ahead at the water break by 7 points to 3, all from play.

 If the first quarter saw some great points from play, the second fifteen was the quarter of the frees. Boden’s period of dominance was stemmed by the home side, who got more into the match in this spell. St Vincents did not take full advantage however and left three or four short of the target. Nolan and Luke Mulligan-Lynch in particular, took care of those and sent the ball upfield. A huge free from Fergal Ryan was followed by three more from Darragh Kenny. The accurate corner forward for the opposition kept Vincents in touch to leave the half-time score Boden 11 points to St Vincents 8.

 The sizeable Boden support on the hill seemed content with the first half performance and were further encouraged with a bright Boden start to the second half. Two fine pointed frees from Mc Donnell and Ryan saw the visitors edge further ahead but the expected St Vincents response was about to arrive. They scored the next three points, with two fine scores from out on the right by their influential wing forward. It could have been more serious for Boden but for two key interventions by Nolan, the first being when he stretched and caught a ball expertly from a long-range free. Shortly afterwards, he pulled off the save of the match, guiding a goal-bound short away to the safety of the corner where it was dealt with by Joe Maguire. This gave the team and support a great lift and left the scores at the second water break Boden 13 points St Vincents 11.

 Fergal Ryan had been deployed further upfield for the last quarter and this move paid rich dividends when he struck an inspirational point just after the restart. With ten minutes to go, Eoin Behan broke free from the pack and raced towards the Vincents’ goal. His shot was good and low but the keeper, to his credit, reacted well and deflected the ball out for a 65. Ryan stood over the ball, composed himself and sent another ball over the bar, his fourth in the match. Yet again, the home side responded and accurate free-taking brought them to within a point with six minutes to go. At this point, Boden won a sideline ball. Darragh Kenny had been striking these well all through the match and accordingly Vincents’ were organising themselves to receive a high ball into the forward lines. These are the moments that make a difference and quick thinking from Kenny (with a prompt from JK!), saw him tap the ball to the unmarked wing-back Hugh O’Sullivan. He moved into space and sent a missile over the Vincents’ bar – a very important score that put two between the teams as the clock ticked down. A fine score from Christie and the final insurance point from a Ryan free were the last significant actions of this well-contested final that saw Boden win the U21 title on a scoreline of Boden 0-18 to St Vincents 0-14. Captain Sean O’Donnell was gracious in his victory speech and thanked St Vincents for a fine match, his team-mates and the management team. Boden abú.

Squad : Matthew Nolan, Joe Maguire, Fergal Ryan, Luke Mulligan-Lynch, Hugh O’Sullivan, Sean O’Donnell (captain), Paddy Dunleavy, Pierce Christie, Eoin Behan, Rhys McDonnell, John Maguire, Darragh Kenny, Malachy Codd, Kevin Desmond, Cillian Kirwan, Ryan Dwyer, Davy Keogh, Eoin Deuignan, Enda Cashman, Jack Kenny, Matthew Ormsby, Sean Murphy, David Monaghan, Conal McGlynn, Cian Hasset, Jack Lambert, Peter Gannon, Adam Fisher.

Click here for photos from John Kirwan

Click here for photos from Miriam Doyle

Thanks to Wordsworth for the report