Under 14 Hurling team – Dublin Féile na nGael Runners-up 2007

Back Row: Mícheál Ó Dúill, Andrew Mahon, Joseph Johnston, Lorcan Mullany, Adam Jermyn, Donal Butler, Oliver Barrett, John O’Flaherty, Paul Doherty, Jamie Desmond, David Ryan, Conor Dooley, Ben McEntee.

Front Row: Thomas McGrath, Conor Robinson, Luke Normile, Noel McNamara, Gavin Corrigan, Brian McCarthy (Captain), Conor O’Riordan, Alan Flood, Eoghan O’Neill, Naoise Greene, Eóin McKenna

Niall Desmond reports

Ballyboden’s U-14 hurlers came so close today in Parnell Park when they were beaten by one point by their arch rivals, Castleknock, in the Dublin Féile final.  Having lost to the same opponents in the last two county finals, it was hoped that there would be some compensation today, but it wasn’t to be.

On Saturday, the clouds held off as we hosted Group A of Division 1 in Páirc Uí Mhurchú.  Our visitors were local rivals Ballinteer St. John’s and Lucan Sarsfields.  The fine attendance from all sections of the club, which turned out to offer support, added greatly to the occasion.

Our opening group game was a tough encounter against Ballinteer St. John’s.  The opening exchanges were tense as the teams exchanged points.  A goal before half time from corner forward Naoise Greene helped to open a gap between the sides.  Boden led at half time on a score of 1-4 to 0-2.  The second half opened with two long range points from centre back Jamie Desmond, followed by another goal and a point from the in-form Greene.  The game finished on a score of 2-9 to 0-2.

The team was generously sponsored by John Desmond, MD of Cygnum Timber Frame Homes, Macroom, Co. Cork, seen presenting a set of hoodies to captain Brian McCarthy of the team. Also present were Jamie Desmond, Thomas McGrath, Andrew Mahon and Conor Robinson.

Next up was a very close battle against Lucan Sarsfields.  Lucan led by three points to one after ten minutes and seemed to be in control until Conor O’Riordan drove a bullet to the roof of the opposition net to leave us a point up at half-time. Some ‘gentle words of encouragement’ at the break from manager Paudie O’Neill seemed to inspire the troops as they raised their performance in the second half.

Having topped our group, we earned home advantage for our afternoon semi-final against Kilmacud Crokes.  Our boys gave a fantastic display of hooking and blocking which repeatedly frustrated the opposition.  Points from placed balls from Eoghan O’Neill and Conor Dooley (2), and a long range score from midfielder Lorcan Mullany, gave us a half time lead of four points to one.  The second half started with a tonic of a goal from Naoise Greene and from there to the end, Kilmacud were chasing the game.  The incredible skills of goalkeeper Gavin Corrigan, who saved us time and again, were a sight to behold.  Final score 1-5 to 0-4.

The final on Sunday was a titanic battle.  Both sides played some excellent hurling and when Eoghan O’Neill snatched a goal for Boden after 10 minutes, the fine turnout from the Firhouse Road was ecstatic.  However, Castleknock were adding points and got their own goal before the interval to leave the score 1-1 to 1-6.  The second half started brightly when full forward Conor Dooley scored a super goal.  Castleknock added a point and then super sub Thomas McGrath finished a goalmouth scramble to the net – draw match.  It was end to end stuff for the last ten minutes, the only other score, a point for the winners.  Final score 3-1 to 1-8.

Every single Ballyboden player can be very proud of a terrific weekend’s hurling.  These young men are fine ambassadors for their club and have bright sporting futures.  Very few teams in the club can boast of having so many parents sharing the workload of running their son or daughter’s team – thanks to each and every one of you.  We wish Conor O’Riordan a speedy recovery from his injury picked up against Kilmacud.  Finally, thanks to everyone in the club for all the support we received over the weekend.

A special word of thanks to our sponsors – Nutgrove Veterinary Hospital and Cygnum Timber Frame Homes, Cork.