Heroic effort ends in extra-time defeat for Minor A hurlers

This was minor hurling at it’s best, though not one for the feint of heart! Never before did the old saying on “so near yet so far…..” ring true in Ardscoil Ris on Sunday morning as our Minor A hurling team battled ferociously and bravely against a strong St Vincent’s team who, despite never leading in the game until extra-time, deservedly roll on to the final in two weeks time. The winning margin of 7 points certainly doesn’t tell the whole story.

On a perfect morning for hurling, the sizeable crowd were entertained from start to finish by two excellent teams, neither of which were willing to yield even a square inch of the tightly mown field, and in doing so served up a bountiful mix of physical attrition combined with first class score taking. If only hurling matches were 59 minutes long!

Both teams met in the round robin stages of this competition where the well organised St Vincent’s outfit outplayed Ballyboden with their running and passing game to take the win on that occasion, so it was no surprise to see the Ballyboden forwards intent on closing that down this time. From the throw in, they hunted in packs, forced turnovers and put the opposition onto the back foot and under extreme pressure. To a man they were brilliant, and well deserving of their short lead at the 1st water break.

Refuelled and rehydrated, both team resumed where they left of, with Ballyboden looking like they were getting on top and had stretched the lead to 4 points and were asking serious questions of the home team, and the silence of their support at this point suggested that they too were starting to worry. A goal for the home team against the run of play came at the right time for them, and the status quo was retained at half-time with Boden up by a single point.

The second half was more of the same, and the teams traded points and frees as legs were starting to tire and as the half wore on, the question was whether the single point lead would be enough to see us home. In the dying minutes, St Vincent’s push for an equaliser bore fruit as they were awarded a free which was well struck over and after having the beating of their opponents for almost the entire game, Boden needed to regroup and set themselves up to do it all over again. Sport is cruel sometimes!

In extra time, St Vincents came out  buoyed by the momentum you get with last minute equalisers, and started extra time the stronger, and in the blink of an eye they had 4 frees converted before the turnaround, and when another couple of points followed to put 2 full scores between the teams, the writing was on the wall. To the immense credit of the Boden team, they hunted goals and scores, but the huge effort expended in the first half spent containing the St Vincents running game started to take its toll, and they simply couldn’t create the chances needed to turn things around. 

Hard luck to the players and management, but congratulations on a great performance – if you have to lose, then to lose with your best performance is the only way, and you certainly died with your boots on. Well done on that, and thanks for giving us a great year.

Final Score: St. Vincent’s 1-22 Ballyboden St Endas 0-18

Squad: Eoin Mac Phaidín, Matthew Ormsby, Alex Gavin, David Gannon, Josh Corcoran, Barry McGuire, Jim Kennedy, Setanta Sudway, Rhys McDonnell, Connell McGlynn, David Keogh, Leon Kennedy, Mick McDonald, Hugh O’Sullivan, Oisín Byrne, Thomas Culleton, Ciarán Kiely, Seán Bury, Evan Welsh, Conor Casey, John Farrington, Cian Kelly

Thanks to Clíona Mellett for the photos. For more, see here