Gizmo reports from a dark room
“I’ve a head on me like Oliver Plunkett”, said Junior A Player / Manager David Gilheaney when we contacted him for comment the day after a historic win for his Junior A side. “I think I got a bad pint last night, I’m hangin’. The first 12 pints were grand but the last one tasted ropey enough.” Gilheaney and his fellow players were celebrating their semi-final win over Na Fianna, to make it into the first-ever Junior A Championship final in the history of Ballyboden St. Endas. “It was an incredible, well-rounded team performance that got us over the line. The scoreline doesn’t reflect how good the game actually was”, he said as he picked bits of dried kebab out of his hair.
A well-drilled Na Fianna side took to a heavy pitch in Mobhi Road and started the brighter of the 2 teams. Dominating the first 15 minutes they registered the first two points in a low-scoring affair. In a rare Boden attack, Kennedy (Jim) got Boden off the mark. Boden settled into the game and their defensive structure frustrated the Na Fianna attack. Reynolds, Keating McDermott and Monahan worked tirelessly to cut off Na Fianna ball down the channels to their two inside forwards. Na Fianna registered another brace of points and the game looked to be slipping away from Boden. On the flip side, Boden attacks were snuffed out by the 13 Na Fianna players behind the ball. Meaney slotted a point on the stroke of half time, in a rare sortie behind the Na Fianna cover.
Trailing 4 points to 2 at half time we caught up with mentor Paul Dolan for comment, “We are still in this game. McNamee is giving us a fantastic attacking platform. The back 8 are working as one and we will get our rewards for their efforts. In fairness, Turley has scant disregard for his own personal safety and is marauding around the field like a starving lion with the scent of injured prey in his nostrils. They can’t handle him and I’m not sure I can either.” He went on to say, “I’m sick of listening to Maguire (his fellow mentor) and his bleedin’ statistics. He’s the Pol Pott of pie charts. The man’s an idiot, I have a gas cooker with more certificates than he has”.
Shooting into the scoreboard end in the 2nd half, Boden began to move the ball faster and wider and started to create all types of problems for the Na Fianna defence. A brace of points from the Cashman brothers saw Boden draw level on the 40-minute mark. Na Fianna edged ahead again with a fine long-range effort. Not to be outdone, O’Reilly drew Boden level once again with a lovely strike from 35 yards out. Boden edged ahead for the 1st time with a free from McGinn as the clock ticked into the last 10 minutes. In a frantic spell, Maguire (Joe) was dragged to the ground on the Na Fianna 21-yard line (what he was doing up there is anyone’s guess) and Cashman, with ice running through his veins, slotted the resulting free to give Boden a 2 point cushion with 2 minutes remaining.
Na Fianna threw the kitchen sink at it and got it back to within a point. The game looked to be heading to extra time when Na Fianna were awarded a 21- yard free on the left side of the field. But pressure does funny things to people, and incredibly the free went wide on the right. You could feel the energy being sucked out of the Mobhi Road side and being intravenously pumped into the Firhouse team. With a new impetus, Boden ran the length of the field and McGinn restored the two-point cushion in the 2nd minute of injury time.
When the final whistle sounded the players were elated, having achieved something that in 54 years, no other Boden team had. Can they go the extra mile and bring the cup back to the Firhouse road? Only time will tell………….
Final Score: BBSE 0-8 Na Fianna 0-6
The Panel: Mark McNamee, Mark Reynolds, Fionn Keating McDermott, David Monahan, Luke Mulligan Lynch, Joe Maguire, Richard O’Halloran, Dan Lynch, Conor Kennedy, Enda Cashman (0-2 (1xF)), Karl Weldon, Jim Kennedy (0-1),
John McGinn (0-2 (1xF)), Jimmy Meaney (0-1), Jake Turley, Aodhan O’Reilly (0-1), Adam Farrell, Eoin Egan, Ciaran Cashman (0-1), Laurence Murphy, Jack Hutchinson, Eoghan Monahan, Cian Hassett, Joey Donoghue, Connell McGlynn, Colm Humphreys, Paddy McWalter,
Special thanks to Cliona Mellett for the photographs and to Mrs.Cashman for her emergency running repairs on one of the lads just before the game. Fair play, you saved the day.
For more photos, see see here.