Round up

There was plenty of football action over the past week with all 4 of our adult teams playing double header fixtures.

Seniors: The Seniors had two very difficult home games against Brigids and Ballymun and it’s fair to say both were intense affairs. The old adage of goals winning games was particularly evident against Brigids who were clinical in their finishing to take the points last Wednesday despite a late rally by the lads. Saturday saw Ballymum have the better of the first half against us but a rousing second half performance saw us gain a deserved point in PUM. Reports from GrassRootsGAA on both games below.

Boden 2-11 Brigids 4-09

Report courtesy of GrassRoots GAA Stephen O’Meara;

The knife-edge effect which can come with attacking in waves from the half back line was exposed to Ballyboden in a somewhat cruel nature on Wednesday evening as the very thing which served as the basis of their noteworthy comeback proved their ultimate undoing in the final quarter. The game had somewhat stumbled and stuttered along for much of the first half before a resurgent Ballyboden brought more life to affairs as they began to attack in waves from the start of the second half and finally began to look like they might actually win. But just a couple of minutes after they had drawn level in the 45th minute, a seemingly unlikely feat having trailed by 1-4 to 0-1 after 15 minutes, the very thing which had spring-boarded their resurgence proved their downfall. Attacking in waves from the half back line, they had overrun Brigid’s for a significant number of their attacks to this point, but if there’s one key element to attacking in waves, it’s that you want to be confident that you’ll put the ball dead at the end of the attack. Their failure to do so with two attacks in the space of three minutes left them exposed to two counter-attacks where, on both occasions, there were a mere three on three in the Ballyboden half, and each of the two attacks ended up with the ball in the net. To be fair to Ballyboden, on both occasions they had actually managed to get some extra bodies behind the ball before the counter-attacks had reached scoring distance, but on the first occasion, on account of some textbook play by Brigid’s, and on the second occasion some sheer opportunism, both ended up in the net. By the time GrassRootsGAA Star Man Philly Ryan had scored his third goal in five minutes, the game was beyond doubt. I say that the “somewhat” cruel nature of attacking in waves was exposed, not because the potential for Russian Roulette type swings isn’t maximised where you have two sides attacking in waves, but because you couldn’t help but get the impression that the game was viewed more as a training exercise than a competitive match by all and sundry. At least that’s the impression I got from the two sets of supporters on either side of me. Upon enquiry to the Brigid’s men to my right as to why they were missing so many regulars, I was informed that four were in Thailand (four more were injured or on Dublin duty). “Sure fair play to them. Better there than here”, I was gleefully informed. You didn’t get the impression that the value of these gentlemen’s respective evenings would be overly swayed by the result.

As for the Ballyboden supporters to my left, despite shipping four goals and trailing by eleven points at one stage, the most animated that any of them got was when one supporter correctly pointed out that the black card shown to a Brigid’s man in the second half, should have been a yellow or red, but certainly not a black. We mutually agreed that a yellow would easily have been due punishment. Another enquired as to who Boden were playing in the next round of the championship. “Sure that won’t be played til October” retorted another, his tone suggesting that we’ll have to put up with these warm up games until then. At least they’ll be there. Spare a thought for Kilmacud Crokes who you can only imagine will trudge their way through the remainder of the league and what Bernard Brogan, speaking from experience, described as being in “the hole there” of the “B” championship. Whatever cutting edge may have been missing from this and other recent league fixtures, at least the respective Mc Entees in charge of each side in Wednesday evening’s clash can view these games as preparation for the championship.

The first 15 minutes belonged to Brigid’s as they ran up a 1-4 to 0-1 score-line. Much to my surprise, considering Brigid’s manager Tony Mc Entee won both club and county All-Irelands under the stewardship of Joe Kernan and the blanket defence, Brigids’ style of play was man on man, having much more in common with the Cork style of play under Conor Counihan. Men coming at pace off the shoulder, frequently taking the ball at 45 degree angles, lots of “give and goes”, the cross-field runs of the frequently two man full forward line of Lorcan McCarthy and Philly Ryan and quick direct, frequently cross field balls, into the two of them being the basis from which they attacked. And it was the direct cross-field ball which found McCarthy in the second minute, his man losing his footing as he tried in vain to get a hand on the ball, which allowed McCarthy to go one on one to place the ball nicely home and open up the scoring with a goal. Wing forward Daire Plunkett was to the fore in the opening quarter, frequently carrying the ball from the “65” into the attack, and it was he who was fouled for Brigids’ second score, a pointed free, before scoring their third after intercepting a sloppy hand-pass. By the time midfielder, Sean Murray, managed their third point, inadvertently making use of the rugby style “Garryowen”, having initially skied a pointed effort only to catch it 15 yards further up field, one player was standing out. There was clearly a touch of class about Leitrim forward Emlyn Mulligan. Combining pivoting towards the midfield to collect ball where necessary with holding a more textbook centre forward’s position as well as occasionally dropping closer to the full forward line when it looked like there might be space to exploit inside, he gave a master class from start to finish. His poise, vision and accuracy on the ball were top class as he was frequently the fulcrum of the Brigid’s attack.

Boden for their part were having to work harder for their scoring opportunities. A lot of their moves were breaking down before they reached the full forward line and even where their inside forwards did manage to win primary possession they were under considerable pressure upon receiving it. This was the primary factor relating to the fact that Ryan Basquel’s seventh minute point was the only one of Boden’s first four efforts which would split the posts. To be fair to Boden’s efforts, Basquel had also hit the post having gone one and one with the Brigid’s keeper after ten minutes. Apart from excellent man marking by most of the Brigid’s defence, the role which Barry Cahill was playing at centre back was crucial too. Whenever Boden’s centre forward, Bob Dwan, drifted suitably far out field as not to be perceived as being an imminent threat, Cahill was dropping back quickly in front of the full back line, denying space in front of Boden’s inside forward line. From a Brigid’s defensive point of view, this may well have accounted somewhat for the swing which would come to affairs from  the 16th minute, as the dynamics began to force Cahill to hold a more textbook number six position. From a Brigid’s defensive point of view, this may well have accounted somewhat for the swing which would come to affairs from the 16th minute, but to give Boden their dues, from this point on they would get to grips with the game and start to attack in waves. From 1-4 to 0-1 after Philly Ryan would open what would be the first from play of a rather large tally, Brigid’s would only score one further point in the next 21 minutes. Two turnovers in the Brigid’s half back line in as many minutes saw Boden begin to turn the screw as both turnovers resulted in a point, firstly from wing back, Daragh Nelson, before Andy Kerin pointed from a 45 yard free after Darren O’Reilly was fouled. With full forward, Ronan Cleary, finally seeing the opportunity to have direct ball put in front of him without Cahill covering that space, he won primary possession and put his name on the score sheet with a point. It was, however, the near goal which Boden “scored” in the 24th minute which would serve as the example for the type of attacking play which would drive them on for the next 15 minutes. A surging run from the half back line would see wing back, Nelson, break the line before Kerin would go one on one with Shane Supple in the Brigid’s goal. A hand-pass which I assume was intended for Nelson to volley home with the fist, lobbed over Supple’s left hand shoulder but fell directly to the net, resulting in a free out for Brigid’s. Warning had been served to Brigid’s. In fact, had the referee not correctly adjudged Cleary to have fouled his hand-pass which set up a goal a few minutes earlier, this could have been Boden’s third goal (also counting Basquel’s earlier effort had it gone in and not hit the post). As it was, one more pointed free from Kerin after Basquel was fouled left Boden trailing by 1-4 to 0-5 at the break. Attacking in waves, Boden would continue to dominate the third quarter scoring three points to Brigid’s one in that period, one particularly noteworthy long distance free from Kerin, leaving the scores level at 1-5 to 0-8. Brigid’s edged in front in the 47th minute when Mulligan pointed a free from distance which the Boden men, perhaps justifiably, felt was harsh, before the key score of the game came two minutes later. Boden, once again attacking in waves, saw Brigid’s turn over possession in their half back line. A quick pass or two saw wing forward, Plunkett, in space wide on the left. A driving run saw him gain 50 odd yards from the half way line before Boden had diligently managed to get some bodies back. Where others may have panicked, he played it back to Mulligan who gave a microcosm version of his game in this one play in creating a top drawer goal.

Facing what was now blanket defence he picked and poked, threatening to penetrate one way then the other before a sublime ball took out the whole Boden defence and found Ryan on the edge of the square who rounded his man and placed the ball low past the keeper. From start to finish this goal was top drawer, textbook football. The initial penetrative run, the poise to bring the ball back when faced with numbers, the probing this way and that, the ball in, Ryan’s turn and then finish! Whichever side were recording the game on the far side of the field could do well to show this goal at coaching workshops in the future. It was as perfect a goal as can be. If Ryan’s first goal was sheer class, he could hardly have believed his luck when the ball landed in his lap inside the box two minutes later. Following Boden being caught on the break again with numbers up-field, a long ball into the box was dropped into Ryan’s lap and he rounded the man between himself and the goals to net and put seven between the sides. Ryan must have thought he was in Wonderland when he got out in front of his man and won a ball played in front of him three minutes later, rounded his man and placed it low past the keeper to record a hat-rick in just five minutes. 4-6 to 0-8.

To be fair to Boden they didn’t lie down and scored 2-3 to Brigids’ 0-2 in the last five minutes plus a perplexing seven minutes of injury time, once again illustrating the type of power play they are capable of attacking from the back, particularly when midfielder Declan O’Mahony blasted home a superb goal which had been worked from one end of the field to the other. When the ref blew the final whistle, however, a bizarre seven minutes into injury time, they were still three behind at 2-11 to 4-8.

What could be read into in terms of championship prospects for the respective sides remains to be seen with so many missing from both sides. Regardless of what personnel were unavailable, however, you can only imagine that both sides will be concerned by the amount of goals conceded (in Ballyboden’s case) and goal chances conceded (in both sides’ cases). Brigid’s could well have shipped three in the first half and Boden could have been on the wrong side of two or three more in the first half had Brigid’s been a bit more clinical or not taken the safer option of a point on two occasions.

Admirable and effective when it worked as both sides’ all out attacking football was from an attacking perspective, considering how often each side’s defences were left exposed three on three at the back, it’s unsurprising how many goal chances there were. You’d have to wonder how such set ups would fair if they were to face trios of number 11, 13 and 15 including Alan and Bernard Brogan, Diarmuid Connolly and Mossy Quinn, and Dean Rock and take your pick of Ballymun pace merchants up front.

Personally, I’m not convinced by the wisdom of sending so many men forward at any given time without leaving one surplus at the back to eradicate the swathes of space left, no matter how fluid the attacking is. The risk of exposure at the back on the break, as illustrated in abundance tonight, simply seems too great. Perhaps the respective Mc Entees fancy their chances at outscoring oppositions with “total football” regardless, or perhaps they’ll have considered this defensive element as something that went wrong on the night. As the Ballyboden supporter suggested, we’ll hopefully have until October to find out.

Boden 1-14 Ballymun 0-17

By Cilian Murphy GrassRootsGAA

Ballyboden St Endas and Ballymun Kickhams played out an entertaining draw in this AFL1 clash in Pairc Uí Murchu this evening. Although championship is still months away from its resumption, both sides approached this game from the offset with intensity and determination, a refreshing change from some recent AFL1 match-ups with a more casual feel about them. Ballymun led by five points at the break having put together some superb attacks along the way. Boden had played quite well themselves with the majority of their scores, however, coming from placed balls.The second half was a far cagier affair, with both sides considerably adding to their wide counts and tempers threatening to boil over and eventually doing so resulting in the dismissal of two players, one from each side.

Ballymun have been extremely impressive in the league up to this point with a draw against St Pats Donabate the only blotch on their copybook. Boden have had a mixed campaign with four wins and three defeats to their name. It was the home side who got the scoreboard ticking over first, Kenny Naughton dispatching a free after Darren O’ Reilly had been fouled following a strong run up the dugout touchline.Mun weren’t long in getting themselves into gear either and they rattled off three consecutive points through Ted Furman and Jason Whelan (2), the last of which was a superb Whelan effort from 45 metres out after the impressive Ronan Noonan had done the donkey work and laid the ball off. The sides then traded points three times through Andrew Kerin (2 frees) and wing back Cathal Flaherty for Boden, GrassRootsGAA Star Man Derek Byrne, Alan Hubbard and the impressive Michael Brady doing the honours for Mun. Ballymun were enjoying the lion’s share of possession, largely thanks to Sean Currie’s accuracy from short kickouts, often directed into the space in front of his side’s half forward line for them to gather with relative ease.

Points from Naughton (free) and Hubbard once more kept the tit for tat nature of this game in sync. Boden then notched up two points on the trot to reduce the deficit to two. John Small was having a fine game for Ballymun at centre back and his turnover resulted in a Jason Whelan score after the ball had been worked through six Mun players. Derek Byrne and Brady tagged on two more as Mun stretched their advantage leading up to half time. A Kerin free for Boden was cancelled out by another effort from Byrne right on half time, again as a result of strong work from Small further back. With only three wides in total having been registered in the opening period, the half time scoreboard in Pairc Uí Murchu read Ballyboden 0-8 Ballymun 0-13. Boden’s Robbie Mc Daid was switched from full back to midfield on the restart and that decision paid dividends within 20 seconds of the referee throwing the ball in for the second half. His now midfield partner Aran Waters made a surging run at the Mun defence, gliding past a couple of tacklers before unleashing a powerful effort which cannoned off the crossbar only for the waiting Mc Daid to palm into the net to give Boden the ideal start to the half. The game reverted back to type for the next 10 minutes with the sides trading points through Byrne and substitute O’ Donovan for Mun while Andrew Kerin (1 free, 1 45) applied the finishing touches for the home side. Kenny Naughton, who was starting to have a greater influence on the game, had a strange few minutes. The powerful corner forward pointed on 42 minutes to reduce the deficit to one, before being sent off two minutes later for a second yellow card. Mun kicked on at this juncture with two excellent points from Byrne and Karl Connolly. Kerin pointed for the home side to reduce the gap once more before the playing numbers were evened up; Jason Whelan seeing the line after receiving his second yellow from referee Senan Finucane. With seven minutes remaining, and both teams down to 14 men, it was Boden who kicked on with two points through Sam Molony and another Kerin free to level up the match right at the death, after Ryan Basquel had been fouled on the 21.

An entertaining match in Pairc Uí Murchu finished, Boden 1-14 Mun 0-17.

Ballyboden St Endas Squad List:

C Smyth; D Manley; R Mc Daid (1-0); M O’ Sullivan; S Cullen; T Hannifin; C Flaherty (0-1); A Waters; S Keane; D O’ Reilly; R Cleary; C Dunne; K Naughton (0-4, 3 frees); R Basquel; A Kerin (0-8, 5 frees, 1 45); D Gogan; S Molony (0-1); B Dwan; A Flood; C Archbold; D Buckingham; D O’Brien.

Inters: Our Inter team travelled to Naomh Fionbarra on Friday and in a full blooded tussle looked ready to secure their first league points of the season, leading by 5 points going into the final stages, only to be denied by two late goals, one a debatable re-taken penalty. A tough defeat to take but the lads must lift themselves again for their upcoming visit to St. Marks. Please support. A special word of thanks to the minors who aqquitted themselves greatly in the game.

Junior A:

June 10th: Ballinteer St. Johns 1-11 Ballyboden 2-8

As expected, this local derby was a very competitive game . No quarter was given or taken. The game went down to the wire and it needed a Damien Kenny free to share the spoils. A draw was a fair result in the end.

June 15th: Ballyboden 1-3 Craobh Ciarain 3-13

Playing in Ballycullen, the home team were well beaten by a physically stronger Craobh Ciarain team. The game started even enough but 3 quick goals mid-way through the first half had the Boden lads on the back foot. The home team rallied with a fantastic goal by Conor Deane however Craobh Ciarain pulled away to win well. Many thanks to the minor footballers for their ongoing support of the Junior A team. The experience will stand to them as they prepare for their upcoming championships

Junior B: Thursday saw them in action at home to Geraldine Morans and again claim victory on a scorline of  4-14 to 1-10. They are surely sick of the sight of us having lost the last 3 games against John Whites men. Sunday they were away to AIB in DCU but came up short losing by 1-05 to 3-07.

Upcoming fixtures:

21/6/14 Loving Cup: Inters V Trinity Gaels 18.30pm PUM

22/6/14 Sheridan Cup: Junior B V Beann Eadair 15.00pm PUM

22/6/14 MFL Div.1 Minor A V Ballymun 11.00am Pairc Ciceam

22/6/14 MFL Div.3B Minor B V St.Annes 11.00am Bohernabreena



Thanks to Liam Cunningham and Kevin Maguire for the excellent photos from the Senior matches.