Ballyboden St. Enda’s 4-17     Good Counsel Liffey Gaels 1-6

Competitive football returned to Páirc Uí Mhurchú for the first time in 2021 in the form of the opening round of fixtures in AFL Division 3 South.
A gloriously sunny day welcomed the Ballyboden intermediate football team and our visitors from Good Counsel LG. Both teams were seeking to see where they stood after a prolonged winter and spring of quiet preparation which stepped up after the initial opening of recreational activities. All the training and in-house games don’t prepare you for the unique challenge posed by unknown opposition. This was no different – the appetite of the panel was only beginning to be sharpened with the prospect of real opposition.
Playing with a light breeze in the balmy Saturday evening sunshine it was the hosts who started brightly scoring a fine goal inside the first minute. Luke Byrne, the goalscorer, was making his intermediate football debut and with his first touch showed a clean pair of heels to his marker before placing the ball deftly out of the goalkeeper’s reach. This was the beginning of a display that excited his teammates and tormented the opposing defence.
By the first sos uisce Boden had established a commanding position. The forward line was efficient and the defence resolute.
Good Counsel got moving in the second quarter and went toe to toe with the home team. They began taking points and were rewarded with a well-worked goal. Boden continued to tack on points and were in a comfortable position on the scoreboard at half time which displayed score of 3-9 to 1-4.
Tireless running by wing-back Tommy Burke was the abiding memory of the second half. Rarely has the term “he left everything on the pitch” more accurately described his contribution.
The sides continued to notch scores but Boden’s accuracy was of a higher standard and eventually told on the scoreboard. The introduction of Enda Cashman saw a renewed assault on the points tally.
As the game fizzled out thoughts of a cold refreshment drew the weary and thirsty protagonists towards the hospitality section of the carpark where old friendships were renewed with fellow club members.
All in all a very satisfying opening to the 2021 campaign.
We wish a speedy recovery to John McGinn who limped off early in the game (and to John McGuire who was injured in another game) and to the other lads who are struggling with injury at present.
Panel: Stephen McGrath, Conor Hanrahan, Karl Reddy, Fionn Maguire, Keith Sweeney, John Murphy, Tommy Burke, Rob Cullen, Conor Lowe, Evan Flanagan, Eoin Behan, John McGinn, Luke Byrne, Ruairi Kirwan, Mikey Dunne.
Colly Dunne, Enda Cashman, Eoghan Monahan, David Leach, Sam Lally, Scott Cullen, Oisin Carolan, Neil Hester, Emmet Doogan, Daragh Kilduff, Dillon Ward, Mark Walsh, Ciaran Archbold, Josh Kane, John McGuire, Jack Lambert, Dylan Walsh, Eoghan Gannon. (You won’t believe the number of injuries in that panel).