The Ballyboden bandwagon rolled into Mobhi Road minus the legion of girlfriends that have travelled the length and breadth of the country to see the lads. We were now operating under new rules behind closed doors. Strange times indeed.
All seasons begin with hope and expectation, it is only afterwards that the belief develops as the season progresses following positive results and performances. This season has been rudely interrupted by a public health emergency and we’ve spent the last two months trying to recreate the positivity and belief that all teams desire. Working from a large panel due to the fact that our students are effectively grounded in Ireland the difficulty in providing all players with competitive game time is proving challenging. But to be fair, the players have accepted the challenges and have continued to train and apply themselves. Boden were meeting Na Fianna for the first time since the championship semi-final encounter in 2019 which Boden won with three points to spare. This year Na Fianna had finished top of their group unbeaten which made us more than a little wary.
The game started brightly for Boden who were playing into a strong breeze. And despite opening the scoring Na Fianna had us pegged back to 2 points apiece fairly swiftly. Just when it seemed that the congestion around the Na Fianna goal was going to hinder us Barra found a yard of space peeling off his defender to round the keeper and slot the ball home. A bit of breathing space that was short-lived. The roared back and reeled off the next 2 points to leave the minimum between the teams at the “sos uisce”.
The second quarter witnessed Boden hitting 1-5 to the hosts 0-2. Luke and Truck had secured midfield which gave us a sound launching pad for our offensive probing. The second goal came from some quick interplay that saw Colly finish to the net. At half-time the score read 2-7 to 0-6 in favour of Boden.
Playing with the breeze in the second half Boden continued to pick off scores but so did Na Fianna who, in the space of three minutes scored 1-2 to remind us of the aerial to threat they posed. Na Fianna had significantly upped the tempo and it was up to us to remain calm and respond. After a few positional switches at the second sos uisce Boden restarted the scoreboard through the boot of Barra and then rattled the net following a deft strike from Truck.
The last quarter saw the introduction of Mono and Lewis in the attack and Tommy and Scott in defence. Mono capped his introduction with an aggressive run at goal which finished with him fisting the ball to the net from a 1-2 with Colly.
All in all a satisfying performance from a group of lads who’ve put in a great effort over the last few weeks. This includes the lads who didn’t get on the pitch, namely Ste, Leachie, Batesy, Dylan, Enda, Owen and Jake. Plus a few others who were carrying knocks.
Another good evening’s work on the pitch helped the football chairman celebrate his birthday in some degree of comfort. It also keeps us looking forward to another day out.
Panel: Mark McNamee, Fionn Maguire, Karl Reddy, Conor Hanrahan, Keith Sweeney (Scott Cullen 48′), Paddy Dunleavy, John Murphy (Tommy Burke 48′), Conor Lowe, Ciaran Archbold, Colly Dunne, Barra McGarry, Luke O’Donoghue, Ruairi Kirwan (Eoghan Monahan 45′), John McGinn (Lewis Cawley 50′), Mal Codd (5′ John McGuire)
Not used: Stephen McGrath, Enda Cashman, Cian Bates, David Leach, Owen Lennon, Dylan Walsh.
Mentors: Donal Monahan, Wally Durkin, Daire Walsh, Martin Murphy & Mick Maher
Fógra: táim fíorbhuíoch de Ciaran Maguire, Eoin Dunne agus Mark Walsh as a gcuidiú mar maoir. Agus do Aoife, an fisiteiripeoir.