22 April – BBSE A Team – venue Lucan Sarsfields

Lucan Sarsfields hosted the group stages of Division 1 on the Saturday and the hospitality extended to all visitors to the Twelfth Lock was second to none, as was the organisation of the entire day.

Proceedings began with a parade of all the teams. Led by a piper who played the national anthem before the marchers dispersed. Then the “real action” began.

 

Match 1 – Skerries Harps

The intention was to “hit the ground running” but that is not how things transpired, as nerves seemed to take their toll on our girls, and the normally assured first touches seemed to desert them. We were playing “catch-up” from the start but the girls never stopped fighting, and actually drew level as the game entered the closing stages, before a dropping ball into our square took a cruel deflection off a defender’s stick and ended up in the net.

Final Score BBSE     2 – 2   Skerries Harps        2 – 5

One match played and a mountain to climb if we were to qualify. We knew this team had character, and that character was now going to be severely tested in the heat of battle.

Match 2 – Kilmacud Crokes

Pressure was on as we faced a confident Crokes, who had already accounted for Good Counsel. The girls upped their performance considerably and chased and harried all over the pitch. Scores were hard to come by, but our defence was rock solid and limited Crokes to a solitary point. At the other end of the field our forwards finished some nice moves with scores, so our Feile was extended to the third match at least.

Final Score  BBSE   2 – 4   Kilmacud Crokes    0 – 1

Then we heard the news that Good Counsel had just upset the form book and defeated the fancied Skerries, meaning that all four teams were all square going in to our last round of group matches.

Another “sudden death” match loomed against Good Counsel.

Match 3 – Good Counsel

As we knew they would, Counsel presented a stern challenge, with no quarter being asked for or given by either side. Our girls continued their improving form and never let Counsel settle into the game. In this game the scores came a little more freely, and our defence continued to protect the goal with a fortress-like mentality.

Final Score  BBSE   7 – 6   Good Counsel       0 – 0

Our attention then turned to the other game in the group. Crokes beat Skerries, meaning that they qualified for the semi-final with us.  We topped the group, by virtue of beating Crokes in the group match, so we faced Judes in the semi-final, in what was a repeat of last year’s championship final. Another epic struggle was expected.

Semi-Final – Judes

This match began at break neck speed, as these neighbouring clubs tore into the exchanges as if their lives depended on it. Defences were on top on both sides, until we managed to make a breakthrough and Julie found the net. Our defence produced another clean sheet, but only when Jennifer took a lovely pass from Erin and fired over a mammoth point with a minute left could we breathe easy.

Final Score   BBSE  1 – 4  St. Judes           0 – 0

The final on Sunday awaited, and it was no surprise when we learned that our opponents would be Lucan.

Final – Lucan Sarsfields

The bank in O’Toole Park was filled with the supporters of both clubs as Lucan and Ballyboden took the field on Sunday.

We attacked the road goal in the first half, and straight from the throw-in we were unlucky not to register a score. The game ebbed and flowed, but scores were proving hard to come by. Then a speculative lob into our square deceived our defence and ended up in the net. Another goal followed, although the ball appeared to have been fouled by the forward in the lead-up. We were not getting the “rub of the green” and another goal went in off the woodwork, leaving us with a mountain to climb at half time.

 

The girls regrouped in the huddle and resolved to leave everything on the pitch in the second half. Try as they might, though, our girls just could not get the goal that they so richly deserved, and they had to be happy with the runners-up medals.

 

There was no shame in this defeat however. The girls were brilliant, just losing out to a superb Lucan side. By general consensus, the scoreline did not do Boden justice, and better days certainly lie ahead.

Final Score  BBSE    3 – 3   Lucan Sarsfields  0 – 2

Sarah had a brilliant week-end. She deputised in goal for the injured Lucy, and her defensive record on Saturday is something that Brendan Cummins in his prime would have been proud of – one point conceded in three matches.

We must give special mention to Lucy. She did everything to try to play on either day, but her injured back was just too severe.

The full back line of Sorcha, Yvonne and Sadie gave a defensive master class over the week-end. Their positional sense and touch-tight marking left many an attacker going down a blind alley.

Michaela defied medical science at wing back – doubtful right up to throw-in with a broken finger – yet starring in every game.

Clodagh Delaney was rock-solid in the centre, while Caoimhe and Leah in turn never gave an inch on the wing.

Mia and Erin won most of the midfield battles and covered every blade of grass.

Holly’s work rate was also massive, while Jennifer was her usual brilliant self – continually turning defence into attack with her forward runs. Clodagh Reid and Leonie fought for everything, setting up attack after attack, and never letting their opponents settle.

Katie was brilliant on the edge of the square and gave every full back she faced a torrid time, while in the corners the work rates of Julie, Alanna and Ellla were amazing. Time and again they were in front of their markers, setting up moves or taking scores.

BBSE B Team – venue Castleknock

Féile weekend started bright and early on the 22nd of April and both Ballyboden teams met at the clubhouse at 8:30 for photos. The girls looked really well decked out in their very smart gear – thanks again to all those who helped with the fund raising, the fitting and the ordering.

The B team then departed for Castleknock who hosted the Division 5 Feile at their Somerton grounds.

The hospitality we enjoyed was superb, and the grounds with their two pitches were fabulous – a superb surface perfect for the day’s games. We contested a three team group along with Setanta and Castleknock.

The first of two group matches was against Setanta. We got off to a great start and early goals settled the Boden girls. Setanta’s no 10 was their main threat and it took a superb effort from our backs to prevent her from scoring. However she rifled a super free from 25 metres to the roof of the net and it was game on with the score at three goals to one. The rest of the half seemed to fly by and Boden kept the pressure on – Setanta defending bravely and in numbers. The second half saw some wonderful skill displayed with some lovely first time striking from the Boden girls. A comfortable win in the end and a great start to our day.

The second match was against hosts Castleknock and this was always going to be a tough test. The early exchanges were very even but Ballyboden again managed to battle their way through to get the early goals to give them a convincing half time lead. Castleknock didn’t give up and kept fighting to the end but all fifteen of the Boden girls defended like tigers closing out any threat while up front superb teamwork created lots of chances. Boden ran out winners to top the group and book a place in the semi-final.

The semi-final was against our neighbours and old rivals Faughs. Faughs were very determined but with a final in sight the Boden girls were highly motivated too. The open spaces of the Somerfield pitches suited our playing style. Space was exploited to the full as the Boden girls put on their best display of teamwork and passing of the day. At half time Ballyboden had built a strong lead, and the second half saw that lead extended – a Sunday morning date with O’Toole Park had been secured – delight all round.

Cumann Baire Caoimhin (Kevin’s) were the opposition for the final having overcome Castleknock in the other semi-final.

 

Kevin’s made some threatening attacks early on but the Boden defence stood strong. The early morning start had not discouraged the always loyal Boden support and the blue and white brigade on the O’Toole Park steps soon had reasons to hope that the silverware would be heading towards the Firhouse Road. As in previous games the Boden forwards made the breakthrough to get the early goals and take control of the game. Kevin’s continued to fight strongly but Boden’s class, speed and teamwork meant they held a strong upper hand as halftime approached. As expected Kevin’s rallied in the second half and it was an evenly contested affair but Boden stood strong, held their advantage and added a goal in the last few minutes to finish the game as Division 5 champions.

There were stars throughout the panel and this was a true team performance where each girl played their part in winning this great competition. We thank our captains for the weekend, Saturday Ella Keane and Sunday jointly Eimear Hayden and Chloe Murphy.