Gizmo reports from Intermediate Championship

“I picked the wrong day to give up sniffing glue”, said a perplexed [Team Manager] Donal Monahan after a tumultuous affair in Mobi road. His head still spinning after the Intermediate footballers came out the wrong side of a ding-dong battle against Division 2 opposition. “What?, How?, Why?, Where? Ahhhh feck it!!!”, he muttered as he reached for a handful of Xanax and a swig of Tequila, which he always has with him, in his “Special” water bottle. Reminiscent of one of Monahan’s infamous binge sessions in Itchy Feet in the ’90s, this game was filled with ‘Uppers’ and ‘Downers’ which would be expected come Championship time.

After controlling the first 5 minutes the Boden forwards registered a couple of nervous wides. However, the team were dealt a hammer blow early on when captain Cullen (Scott) had to retire due to injury. In the ensuing reorganisation, Na Fianna took full advantage of the defensive confusion and registered 1-2 before the lads could catch their breath. But Boden battled back and on the 20-minute mark, there was only a green flag separating the teams. With Na Fianna on the back foot, Boden broke quickly down the left flank. “The Beast” single-handedly beat three defenders and found himself 1 on 1 with the keeper. Somehow managing to miss the massive net from 5 yards, the ball shot over the bar with the ferocity of Monahan keying a bag of the old ‘White Lady’ before a night out on the tiles. A relieved Na Fianna goalkeeper, along with the two umpires raised their arms to acknowledge the point. However, the referee waved it wide. Cue carnage. The roars and shouts from the supporters were only surpassed by the now bear-chested Monahan shadow boxing along the opposition bench.
But it was a momentum shifter, and Na Fianna registered the last 2 points of the half to go into the break 1-7 to 0-5 to the good. Mentors Maher & Young reorganised a thing or two and, in fairness, there’s a real “meanness” about this team that sets them apart. This is not to be confused with the “meanness” of the management, who wouldn’t buy you a drink if you were perishing with the thirst, that’s a different kind of “meanness”. Steely determination would probably be a better description. (Again, not of the management’s unwillingness to spend a few bob in the bar, that’s a given, I mean the players……… The steely determination of the players).
As Bob Dylan said, “When you’ve got nothin’, you’ve got nothin’ to lose”, and the Boden players took the game to Na Fianna in the second 30 minutes. Imperious defensive performances squeezed the life out of the Na Fianna attack. Lad’s, who will remain nameless, (well they must, as Douglas Hurd is enforcing another broadcasting ban (Private Joke, apologies)) put their bodies on the line. The passion and heart reverberated around the team and the front six were bouncing around the place, like “Monahan – The Rave Years.” There are a few key ingredients that make up a successful team – Ability, Commitment, Skill, Fitness, Communication and Game Management. And although the two teams were inseparable throughout, Na Fianna probably had the edge in the Game Management department. Evidenced by the fact that 60% of Boden’s second-half total came from free kicks. 
As the frenzied spectacle entered the SIX minutes of injury time, there was just a solitary point between the teams. The teams traded scores on three occasions, but Boden just couldn’t get the equaliser. With immense pressure on the Na Fianna back six, akin to Monahan’s arteries at an all-you-can-eat buffet, Na Fianna cleared a long ball from defense, which happened to find their only two players outside the 45, and they bagged a goal with the last kick of the game. The result was not a fair reflection of the game particularly considering the unregistered point from “The Beast” in the 1st half. However, with Monahan’s synthetically induced heightened state of anxiety, it was probably for the best.
Final Score: Na Fianna 2-13 BBSE 0-15
Team: Josh Kane, Conor Hanrahan, Jack Lambert, Callum Grey, Scott Cullen, Oisin Carolan, Eoghan Gannon, Rob Cullen (0-1), Neil Hester, David Leach, Conor Lowe, John McGuire (0-1), Robbie O’Reilly (0-1), Daire Sweeney ((1-3 (2xF)), Ciaran Duggan (0-1), Michael Dunne (0-6 (2xF)), Colm Dunne (0-2 (1xF)), David Keogh (0-1), Stephen McGrath, Evan Flanagan, Keith Sweeney, David Keane, Malachy Codd