Ballyboden St. Enda’s 0-7
Kilmacud Crokes 1-10
The journey ended in the doom and gloom in O’Toole Park on Saturday 2nd November. After a morning of calm winter sunshine the god Apollo finally succumbed to Zeus, he being of the rain. Zeus ensured that we all knew who was boss this day. While the pre-match dressing room resembled a scene of warriors preparing for battle as Hannah Conway re-attached limbs and stretched aching muscles there was an overwhelming belief that this was our day. We had travelled a long and sometimes treacherous road to be here. We had prepared well for this Intermediate final, last won by the club in 1971.
Crokes, our division 2 opponents, opened the scoring in the third minute cutting open the Boden defence for the ball to be slotted past an oncoming Mark Mc in the Boden goal. The uphill challenge had just got steeper. Boden responded with two fine points from wingback John Murphy. It was nip and tuck for the remainder of the half with Boden adding points from the boots of Mikey Dunne (2), Ciaran O’Reilly and Davy Hayes.
At the break the teams were level 0-6 to 1-3.
Boden were performing well around the middle with solid performances from Luke and Davy. The full back line guarded the goal as the Cerberus guarded the gates of hell (after the early mishap). Fionn, Fergal and Karl were the heads of this mythical dog. Captain Scott Cullen marshalled his defence from centreback aided by John and Keith on either wing. Up front in the true style of a mythical warrior (or in modern parlance on the style of a transformer) Mikey who had reconfigured and re-attached his limbs after last week’s disintegration was performing heroics up front. His principal partner in crime was the ever elusive Ciaran O’Reilly who was slippier than ever. Evan Flanagan was our Pegasus soaring into the sky to firmly fetch the ball which was behaving like a bar of soap in the conditions. Cian, Liam and Ruairi toiled tirelessly in support of their teammates.
The second half had barely started when disaster struck – John saw red and James O’Hara was introduced in place of the unfortunate Cian Bates. Crokes hit a couple of points having benefitted from some strange refereeing decisions. Ronan Cleary was introduced in place of Ruairi and quickly fired over a point from a tight angle. As the game dragged on the fourteen men were being pinned back and continued to battle gamely. An apparently wide shot was eventually awarded as a point to Crokes by the referee on the advice of the linesman. The rub of the green was deserting us.
Darragh Kilduff was introduced for Liam with about 15 minutes to go. And David Leech replaced Keith. The battle for control continued but Boden were unable to affect the scoreboard. Ciaran and Luke covertan immense amount of ground to track and try to regain possession. At this stage it appeared that every Boden attempt to recover the ball or tackle was punished by officialdom. Naoise was introduced for the last 8 minutes to replace Fergal whose legs had succumbed to the encroaching quagmire.
At the final whistle we were in arrears on the scoreboard. The positive first half had become a gallant rearguard action to stem the pressure of a numerically superior opposition.
We were gutted.
Fógra: thanks to Peter Shovlin and Harry Reddy for umpiring. Also thanks to Cliona Mellet for taking photos of the game in atrocious conditions.
Fógra eile: in the cold light of day the takeaway recollection is that this has been a hugely positive season for the intermediate footballers – runners up in the championship and fifth in AFL3. It took a huge effort from the panel over the course of the season to achieve this result along with unwavering support from Jack Nolan and Anthony Rainbow. For this we are extremely grateful. A word of thanks to Neil Brennan and Shane Brooks who kept the squad together in previous seasons.
Mark McNamee, Karl Reddy, Fergal Haran (55′ Naoise Maguire), Fionn Maguire, Keith Sweeney (45′ David Leach), Scott Cullen, John Murphy (0-2), Liam Flaherty (40′ Darragh Kilduff), Luke O’Donoghue, Evan Flanagan (50′ Ciaran Archbold), Ciaran O’Reilly (0-1), Davy Hayes (0-1), Ruairi Kirwan (40′ Ronan Cleary 0-1), Cian Bates (36′ James O’Hara), Mikey Dunne (0-2).
Not played: John McGinn, Tommy Burke, Neil Hester, Oisin Carolan, Dara Shovlin, Brian Kirwan, Cathal O’Dea, Dylan Walsh (with u21 team)
Injured: Eoghan Monahan, Ste McGrath, Sam Lally