Result: 2-10 to 2-07

Junior A Football Championship Qtr Final

Ballyboden St Endas 2-10  Raheny 2-07

Ballybodens Junior A footballers advanced to the semi final of the competition after a hard fought win against a tough but wasteful Raheny side.

This was an epic battle as the home side had to fight back from a hefty six point in arrears at the half time break.  Playing in to the houses end, Boden struggled to find any rhythm and it was clear from early on that this was going to be a tough evening for the home side. The visitors piled on the pressure and in Ryan they had more than average full forward.  He was given a supply of good ball from his team mates further out the field. They deservedly goaled after some real good play on the 10th minute and followed that up with a neatly struck penalty 5 minutes later, giving them a handy cushion going in to the break. Disaster also struck for the home side as Heavey rolled his ankle and had to leave the stage. That battle was turning in to one of the many sideshow of the evening. Rory Jordan deputized and rolled up his sleeves.  At the other end it was clear that Carney was not firing on all cylinders and his injury was holding him back.

Halftime BBSE 0-04  Raheny 2-04

The Boden management were happy to hear the ref halt proceedings for the half time break and they took stock. Hoar was sent to edge of the box and Boden took the field more with a more determined look about them. The motivation was clear, now could they match that with a performance.

Initially the second period opened much as the first closed,  with the visitors dominating the proceedings.  But Boden gradually began to gain a foothold in the game. Battling for every ball and fighting for every scrap, the home side managed to get some flow in to their game and with Keller at centre back they found a great launching pad. Not happy to defend he added value by driving forward at each and every opportunity. But this game turned on a piece of individual brilliance. The towering Flanagan took a neat pass in his own half back line and he set off towards the road goals waiting to deliver a pass to his inside forwards. No one came or went to him as he picked up speed; His long legs carried him on and on and on before finally crashing an unstoppable shot to the roof of the net. Game on. Boden went for the jugular. A couple of more points before the limping Carney nipped in for Bodens second goal and suddenly the home side found themselves in front. As Bodens stock increased the visitors visabilly shocked, wilted. Carney unfortunately had to be replaced. Could Boden keep going ?

Boden went all out and while the visitors did fight back to level it, Boden kept the foot on the accelerator and drove forward. Boden introduce Dylan Walsh and he made an impact right away with a towering effort from 45. In fact the home side’s entire bench made a massive contribution. Right at the death Jack Mahon stole a ball he had no right to, when the home side were looking at conceding an equalizer.

This was a victory for guts, courage, commitment and hard work. And a fair bit of skill.  After the game you could see that these lads had nothing left to give. Make no mistake this was a win for the squad. Their replacements made a telling impact, no more so than Kevin Cronin who had a stormier when introduced.

It would be wrong to pick out any individual as there were many heroic performances. Boden didn’t look fit and didn’t play well for long stretches. On top of that the visitors were very wasteful. But when the chips were down the Boden lads responded well. This was a victory for guts and commitment.

So like last year, it is semi final time and once again they will have a mighty battle on their hands. With these lads you know what you are going to get.