Last Saturday Morning (13th June) in Sancta Maria, Ballyboden Under 9 hurlers Section 1 and 2 played each other in a close fought encounter. With not enough section 2 players present, the teams were split so it became an amalgam of players on each team.
Teams divided, two teams donned orange bibs and the other two kept wore their Ballyboden kit.
Your reporter covered the game at the far end of the field.
The Ballyboden team in question lined up with the following players. The ever enthusiastic Conor Lowe, the battling James Kinsella, the harrying Patrick Riordan, the tough tackling Jim Feehan, the ever alert Robert Lambert, the excellent Sean Lambert, the versatile Michael Lovett, ever improving Sean Keogh and the
fantastic Matthew Fitzpatrick. Masterminding them on the sideline was the ever modest Alan Kinsella.
As ever the team was cheered on by a fine crowd of parents, siblings, friends and other wellwishers. Of course there were plenty of dogs present too. Amongst them at least two West Highland Terriers one of which ‘Billy’ is a regular attendee (as is the other whose name I don’t know).
The referee threw in the ball and the game was on. Ballyboden started well with pressure being put in the Bibbed Ballybodens defence. It wasn’t long before the excellent and might I say very brave, Sean Keogh blasted an excellent shot past the bibs goalkeeper to give Ballyboden the lead.
The game wore on with both Ballyboden and the Ballyboden Bibs finding it hard to score. This was due to some fine goalkeeping at either end and some excellent tackling all over the field. The excellent Robert Lambert and Sean Lambert were harrying the opposing defence as the midfield of the brilliant Michael Lovett and battling Matthew Fitzpatrick intercepted and broke up play well. The other midielder the wonderful Jim Feehan was then rewarded for his tenacity with a point for a block.
At the back Conor Lowe who just gets better each game and the ever reliable James Kinsella kept harrying and making some wonderful clearances. An array of goalkeepers including the fine Patrick Riordan who did very well and the excellent Sean Keogh who made a number of good saves as well as showing the practice hes been doing by making some fine puck outs.
Indeed it has to be said that Cian McCarthy in the opposing goal is one of the most improved players this season, he made a few excellent saves and his puck outs were mighty too.
Towards the end of the half the excellent Sean Coughlan landed a fine point to give the bibs a lead before Joshua Perry landed a fine goal for the bibs to extend their lead. However just before half time, the red booted wonder Conor Lowe having switched to midfield scored a piledriver of a goal.
Half time and Ballyboden Bibs were ahead by 4 points to 3.
Second half and Ballyboden made a number of switches. The excellent James Kinsella and the fantastic Patrick Riordan both went up front. The goalkeeping duties were rotated regularly and the wonderful Michael Lovett was sweeping up things at the back.
Within minutes the switches worked as the excellent Patrick harried and hustled the Bibs backline to gain possession and score a fine goal. It was Hotshot Patrick who added another great goal a few minutes later to put Ballyboden back into the lead.
With the dynamic Robert Lambert,energetic Sean Lambert and excellent Matthew Fitzpatrick patrolling the midfield and a very solid defence of the excellent Michael Lovett, skillful Conor Lowe and battling Jim Feehan clearing and tackling well as well as a variety of good keepers Ballyboden were dominating the game against their bibbed counterparts.
Micheal Lovett was then unlucky when a wonderful free went just under the bar for a goal when it had looked set to clear the bar. The excellent James Kinsella then got his first goal of the day with a fine shot before hatrick hotshot Patrick Riordan added a rather fine third goal for himself.
The final whistle blew and Ballyboden were 8 points to 4 winners over their bibbed counter parts.
Ballyboden: James Kinsella (1-0), Patrick Riordan (3-0), Jim Feehan (1 point for block), Robert Lambert, Sean Lambert, Michael Lovett (1-0), Conor Lowe, Sean Keogh (1-0), Matthew Fitzpatrick.
Well done to all the boys and other attendees,