Gizmo reports from Junior Championship
“We have to take one game at a time”, said club stalworth Danny O’Connell, a man with all the warmth and charm of Vladimir Putin. Playing away to Whitehall, in Round 2 of the Junior A Championship, this game was always going to be an uphill battle. Following a spell of both teams feeling each other out, Boden got off to a dream start and broke the deadlock while stunning the opposition with two well taken goals in the first three minutes. “We have to control the tempo”, said O’Connell in an attempt to convince himself that he knows what he is talking about. Further points from Lynch and Murphy saw Boden race into a 7-point lead.
The game was on a knife edge, when Cashman again penetrated the Whitehall defensive cover, releasing Kennedy with a deft flick. One on-one, with only the keeper to beat, Kennedy’s low shot was saved by the keeper’s feet and the resulting follow-through effort was cleared off the line by the Whitehall fullback. He’s going to have nightmares about that one because if it was on target, it would have been a goal and, after all, goals win games. (3 in one sentence)
“This game needs to be put to bed”, said armchair pundit O’Connell. He went on to say, “There are no easy games at this level, the lads just need to focus on the fundamentals.” Recently retired Garda Danny, who was renowned in the force for being the only detective who couldn’t even find overtime, just completed a night course in ‘Stating the Bleedin’ Obvious’.
Whitehall were never going to lie down and put on a masterclass of long-range point-taking. Their Shot to Score ratio was a sight to behold. Reeling Boden back in, it was now game on. A fine point by Cashman saw Boden head to the break all square 2-3 to 0-9. “What do ya make of that Danny?”, I roared in his general direction, as close communication could lead to a severe case of boredom and sometimes even a conversational coma. “Well,” says he, “the intricate passing is giving the forwards acres of space. But it’s at least a 3-point wind out there and you have to remember, a wind and a hill never won a game.” Jesus, spare me.
As the second half got underway, Boden needed to be more efficient with the ball and show more conviction on the pitch. The Boden back six worked in unison, masterfully conducted by McNamee, whose kickouts could find Shergar (that’s a reference for the older reader, like Donagh O’Farrell, who was surprisingly sober for 11 O’clock on a Sunday morning). “That Joe Maguire is a no-nonsense player. He has the characteristics of his father, a f@@king savage, but he’s our savage”, said mentor Paul Dolan, who’s a fantastic communicator considering English is not his first language. In a second half of cat and mouse Boden dominated possession and were two points ahead with 40 minutes gone. Reeled in again, Whitehall took the lead, for the first time in the match, on the stroke of 56 minutes. As Boden pressed for the equaliser, a turnover ball saw Whitehall stream forward and in the resulting shemozzle Whitehall were awarded a penalty that they dispatched with aplomb. A well-taken consolation point from O’Reilly brought it back to a one-score game or just a kick of a ball in it. But unfortunately, Boden simply ran out of time. In truth, Whitehall got out of jail and Boden were masters of their own downfall.
But the final word goes to the cure for insomnia, O’Connell. “Both teams were playing at a high level, but we have a long road to travel to learn how to close a game out. I’m happy with the way the lads performed today, they gave 110%. Unfortunately, we’re not quite there yet, but we’re getting closer. The only thing is at the end of the day it’s a learning curve.” As my life ebbed away, I thanked Danny for his insightful contribution and realised that the reason I drink so heavily is to make other people seem interesting.
Final Score: BBSE 2-7 Whitehall Colmcilles 1-13
Special thanks to Sean Gilheaney (Photos), Richie Connell (Umpire) & Tony Hassett (Umpire and senior antagonist)
The Panel: Mark McNamee, Mark Reynolds, Richard O’Halloran, Charlie McPartland, Paddy McWalter, Joe Maguire, Jack Hutchinson, Dan Lynch (0-1), Conor Kennedy, Luke Mulligan Lynch, Enda Cashman (0-4 (3xF)), Karl Weldon, Jim Kennedy (1-0),
Ciaran Cashman, Laurence Murphy (1-1), Jack O’Connor, John McGinn, Jimmy Meaney, Aodhan O’Reilly (0-1), Eoin Egan, Joey Donohue, Barry O’Donnell, Eoin Donne, Adam Farrell.