Junior A Football League 5, 06/03/22 Ballycullen

Richie Connell reports on The Battle of the Saints, pics by Sean Gilheaney (More here)

Ballyboden St Enda’s 2-13 St Brendan’s 1-9

Like the Saint before them St Brendan’s navigated their way to the promised land of Ballycullen in search of their first 2 league points. Unlike the Saint before them they left empty handed. Boden will know they made hard-work of this one.

Playing into a strong breeze in the first half Boden knew the visitors had come to play. Three quality points from long range had the Boden defence stretched. Up front, scores from the boot of Sweeney and the hand of Kenny cut the margin to a minimum. This game was going to be tight. “I knew we should have gone to mass last night, said Cashman. The LORD is angry at St Enda’s and he is channelling HIS anger through the ref.” Tadhg had a point. The ref decisions were about as predictable as the Irish weather. Half time came 1 minute early (another Irish weather decision) and the teams were level at 5 points each. Credit must go McGrath in the Boden goal who diverted a point blank Brendan’s rocket at full stretch past his left hand post for a subsequently wasted 45. Huge boost for Boden.

The sense was that Boden would have too much in the second half with the wind in their sails. The half time team talk was a Novena led by Father Duffy. The books were balanced.

From a Boden point of view the second half was scrappy. Quick start, slow middle and fast end. With an opening salvo of 1-2, with points from the excellent Murphy and Gannon book ended by a  nerveless finish to the Brendan’s net from the industrious Keogh, Boden were five points to the good and coasting. The Gods were smiling. Connell was smiling. Traynor was smiling. Duffy was smiling. Seeing the smug faces the LORD intervened once more with one bad call after another. In the midst of the mayhem Brendan’s crashed over 1-2 of their own, including a clear wide waved over by our unflappable chair, the LORD clearly blinding his view as the sun broke through the clouds. Boden were back in hell. All square as the clock went red.

From then on and credit where due, Boden seized control and owned it, kicking 1-4 from play, with another 2 points from Sweeney, 1 from Monaghan and a gem from Hestor, the ref correctly making a pick up allowance for his dislocated finger. Fair play ref.

15 scores, 8 different scorers, 20 lads with game time. Another step taken.

Boden Scorers: Daire Sweeney 0-6, Davy Keogh 1-1, Dean Ralph 1-0, Eoin Gannon 0-2, Damian Kenny 0-1, Larry Murphy 0-1, David Monaghan 0-1, Neil Hestor 0-1.