Ballyboden St Endas 1 14   Kilmacud Crokes 0 14

(Chief correspondent, The Long Fella, reports from PUM)

The expression ‘put the hand down’ was the order of the day on Sunday morning when Boden’s senior hurlers met Crokes in Round 2 AHL 1. The players and a small gathering of support adopted the in fashion practise of ‘elbow glancing’ in replacement for the normal robust handshakes. Mind you that is where the gestures ended and the audience was thereafter delivered with an hour of physical exchanges interspersed with some good skills that perhaps best suited players who played it ‘simple’. Each side had star performers, Simon Lambert for the home side and Alex Considine for the Stillorgan visitors. The contest was decided by how well each side could make best use of the considerable wind blowing towards the clubhouse goal end.

Playing with the advantage in the opening half, Boden aided with the in-form Lambert chalked up a healthy nine-point lead by the thirty. The scoring opened with Niall McMorrow expertly controlling over his head and flashing the sliotar over the black spot. The more fruitful second quarter produced the best of the scores with Eoghan O’Neill finishing to the net after Aiden Mellett produced the telling final pass of a move that started in the half-back line of Lambert, Shane Durkin and Sean McDonnell. The two big men Conor Dooley and Conal Keaney both contributed important scores, along with a bang-in-form James Roche. The passing was sometimes intricate on this tight pitch, but that was what was required in order to break down a stubborn Crokes defence. Crokes faced the difficult challenge of getting past the crowded middle where McMorrow and O’Neill competed fiercely for every ball. Crokes Ross O’Carroll opened his sides account and was followed during the half by Dublin stars Fergal Whitley and Caolan Conway. Another Crokes forward who grew into the contest was Fionn O’Ceallaigh. He was to continue his good work into the second half. For Boden, David Curtin bagged a fine score as well as Lambert from out in the sticks. Half time had it at 1.10 to 0.04.

Wind assisted Crokes opened the second half with a flurry of quality points. Considine stood out as a top marksman but he was joined in the spree by Shane Veale, Whitley and Conway. With the Boden lead down to a goal, Dooley stopped the rot with a pointed free. Durkin fed Keaney…point. Considine then cancelled this out with a smasher of a score. O’Ceallaigh followed this with an equally fine effort, back to a goal difference. McMorrow and Lambert grafted well to keep the home side raiding into Crokes territory. The reward was a close-in free on Niall Ryan which Dooley used as a goal attempt. The saved effort gave Crokes renewed hope of the goal which they badly needed. However, Boden’s inside line commanded by full-back Stephen O’Connor held a tight grip on affairs and saw out the time to the concession of points from O’Ceallaigh and Conway (f). Best wishes to Shane Durkin and Aiden Mellett who sustained injuries in the second half.

This win acts as a ‘bounce-back’ for Boden after their opening loss to league new-comers Naomh Barrog. Joe Fortune and his mentors will hope to build up some momentum towards the championship in a few weeks’ time. Let us hope for all concerned that these games will be, for the most part,  played in Parnell Park where ‘social distancing’ will prove easier than more basic facilities. BTW, Fresh out of the under-age ranks Malachy Codd made his senior debut and fitted in well to the defensive formation.

Squad….Finn McGarry, David O’Connor, Stephen O’Connor, Conor McKeown, Sean McDonnell, Simon Lambert, Shane Durkin, Niall McMorrow, Eoghan O’Neill, Conor Dooley, David Curtin, Niall Ryan, Conal Keaney, Aiden Mellett, James Roche, Keith McCarron, Luke McDwyer, Paul Doherty, Paddy Dunleavy, Malachy Codd.