Gizmo reports from Junior A Championship
BBSE 4-11 Fingal Ravens 0-15
A brace of goals in an electric 5-minute period, from the cultured boot of Jimmy Meaney, set the tone for what was an accomplished performance from this maturing group of players. In what was described as ‘Mission Impossible’, the trip out to Rolestown was that bit more arduous in the knowledge that Fingal Ravens were unbeaten at home in more than two years. “We love a challenge. The lads have prepared well, and they have a plan. Let’s see how things develop.” said mentor Declan Maguire who claims to have recently joined a wine club, they meet every morning at 9 a.m. under the flyover by the Dodder. A cultured man indeed.
In a cagey opening quarter, both teams “exchanged pleasantries” but scores were hard to come by, evidenced by the scoreboard that read three points to two in favour of Ravens after 20 minutes. A brace of points from Cashman saw Boden edge ahead as the clock ticked towards halftime. Then we had the 5 minutes of magic that would turn the tie on its head. A laser like kick out from McNamee found Kennedy (Jim) in space who broke at pace and delivered an exquisite ball to Meaney who raised the green flag. Ravens were catching their breath when a 30-yard kick pass from Maguire to Cashman and another to Meaney, who slipped his man and calmly slid the ball under the onrushing keeper. It saw Boden go to the break 2-5 to 0-4 to the good.
“What a great half of football. They just need to stay focused and disciplined,” said football chairman Jack Nolan, or ‘Pothole’ as he’s known around the club ’cause everyone tries to avoid him. But Ravens were not relinquishing their proud home record without a fight, literally. As the 2nd half started, they kicked 4 unanswered points to cut Boden’s lead to just 3. Clearly, Boden needed to get a grip on proceedings. Another laser kick from McNamee found the powerhouse Lynch who released newly introduced Kennedy (Conor) and he took the direct route to goal through the heart of the Raven’s defence and rattled the net. The breathing space that the goal provided did not last long as Ravens came back again with another 4 unanswered points. The game was becoming a little more ‘physical’ and suddenly there were balls dropping all over the place, it was like puberty hitting an all-boys choir.
The pressure cooker of knockout football is at its most intense as the game is coming to a close. That’s when leaders are born. Up steps Kennedy (Jim) and chips in a goal and a point. He was having one of those days where he could put the ball over the bar wearing a pair of purple crocs. McNamee, with ice running through his veins, slotted over two 45’s. Hassett banged over a lovely score from 30 yards as the clock ticked into the red. But it was fitting that the final score of the day fell to the man who opened the scoring some 65 minutes earlier. Meaney’s right-footed effort saw Boden rack up a very credible 4-11 for their day out.
“It was a well-rounded mature performance”, said mentor Brendan Meaney, who judging by his attire obviously got dressed in the dark. The game obviously took its toll on Brendan as he was looking shooker than a hand at mass. “The whole squad are driving each other on. These are special days, let’s enjoy it and tomorrow we’ll prepare for a semi-final. Thanks to everyone who made the effort to support the lads, it means a lot”. He finished up by saying, “I was lying awake last night Gizmo, wondering why do you never see a baby pigeon. Interesting, isn’t it?”. Brendan, philosopher or nutter. The jury’s out.
The Panel: Mark McNamee (0-2 (x45)), David Monahan, Fionn Keating McDermott, Paddy McWalter, Luke Mulligan Lynch, Richard O’Halloran, Joe Maguire, Dan Lynch, Jake Turley, Conor Kennedy, Enda Cashman (0-2), Karl Weldon, Jim Kennedy (1-2), Laurence Murphy (0-2), John McGinn, Jimmy Meaney (2-2), Aodhan O’Reilly, Adam Farrell, Eoin Donne, Eoghan Monahan, Cian Mellett, Cian Hassett (0-1), Colm Humphreys, Karl Reddy, Jack Hucthinson, Joey Donoghue.
Special thanks to Sean Gilheaney (Photos), Mike Dunne & Connell McGlynn (Umpires), Conor Cullen (Linesman)