The U14C team made the trip to our hosts, Lucan Sarsfields, arriving there at 10.00am. 19 hurlers fitted out in Ballyboden colours, ready for action. With pride and some nerves, the team paraded around the pitch in advance of the first round of games. Division 6 was a 10 team division, 4 matches were guaranteed for the weekend.

The first match was against our hosts Lucan Sarsfields.  After a slow start where our opponents came out of the blocks scoring two quick points, we settled down.  A goal from Ronan Kealy followed by two quick goals in succession from John McSharry gave us a 4-4 to 0-3 advantage at half time. Knowing that our hosts were not going to lie down without a fight we still had the courage to take the game to Lucan. This earned us two penalties which Ronan Kealy had the composure and maturity to take points.  Lucan applied pressure in the latter part of the half but thanks to tremendous goal keeping from Kevin O’Donoghue, staunch defending from our two Cillians (West and Larkin) as well as the work rate of Alex Stewart and Robbie O’Reilly in the middle, we restricted Lucan to two goals. A fantastic start to a wonderful day!

Match 1 – BBSE 4-7 (19) v 2-4 (10) Lucan Sarsfields

We knew the second match was going to be tough. Castleknock had been unlucky to be beaten by Lucan in their first game. Both teams, in the heat, locked horns in a game which would turn out to be frantic and hard fought. Points and goals (one more from Ronan Kealy and Stephen Ormsby firing a great pick up and shot to the net) were exchanged in the first half. Castleknock ended the half 3-1 to 2-1 in front. In the second half we peppered the Castleknock goal. Cormac Hayes, Dylan Timbs, Myles O’Sullivan all creating chances but were stopped by a formidable Castleknock goalkeeper, who in the end would be the difference between both teams. One of the most memorable plays of the day came in the second half when Sean Langan picked the sliotar up on the half way line, soloed to the 20m line and from an acute angle hit a magnificent point. Castleknock scored two late goals which in the end did not reflect how close the game and how even the teams were.

Match 2 – BBSE 2-3 (9) v 5-3 (18) Castleknock

Our third match came after the lunch break. In hindsight, it is clear the rest broke our momentum and we struggled to get going. Trinity Gaels who were the only participants represented with their first team, stole an early lead and never looked back. Even with Jason Callaghan fighting for every ball and John Claffey marauding down the right, we found it difficult to lift our game.

Match 3 – BBSE 0-1 (1) v 1-8 (11) Trinity Gaels

At this point the heat and injuries were beginning to take it’s toll. Ronan Kealy was side lined with a torn hamstring. Eoin McCormick who had covered every blade of grass struggled on with a hand injury which unfortunately was shown to be broken the following day. Knowing this was the last game of the day the lads found it in themselves to lift their levels and spirits one more time. Darragh O’Nuallain was like a man possessed, winning every ball and driving through the middle. With Conor Smith doggedly fighting for every ball up front and Niall Reddy making right corner back his own, it was clear this game was going to the wire.  Tim Giblin replacing Kevin O’Donoghue in goal made some great saves. In the end the lads fell one puck of the ball short.

Match 4 – BBSE 0-4 (4) v 1-2 (5) Naomh Barrog

This panel, as mentioned, consisted of 19 players. We were the only club that fielded 3 teams in the Feile. Our 3 U13’s were immense. 6 players of the panel had not played hurling at U13 level the previous year. Based on the fore mentioned it was incredible the level of skill, desire and ability that was on show at the weekend. We were the only team to beat the group winners Lucan. The mentors and parents (who were also fantastic and supportive) were walking a foot higher leaving Lucan than when they arrived.

Mentors: Mark McGrenery and Tom O’Donoghue

Team: Alex Stewart (Capt.). Cillian Larkin, Cillian West, Conor Smith, Cormac Hayes, Darragh O’Nuallain, Dylan Timbs (U13), Eoin McCormick, Jason Callaghan, John Claffey, John McSharry (U13), Kevin O’Donoghue, Myles O’Sullivan, Niall Reddy, Robbie O’Reilly, Ronan Kealy, Sean Langan (U13), Stephen Ormsby, Tim Giblin

We would like to thank Lucan Sarsfields for their hospitality and for hosting Division 6 Group A. A big thank you to the Ballyboden Feile committee, to Ciara Hayes who on the day relayed results back to the club, Kevin Nolan who took fantastic photos and all those (too many to mention) who participated in one way or another. For more photos, see here

Boden Abu