Result: 1-07 to 0-09
After weeks of hard grafting in the pre-season, the time had come to open our 2018 league adventure. We were away to a formidable force in Portobello, never an easy encounter for sure. Conditions were not great but it was the same for both sides. The ground was heavy under foot and a light trinkling of rain set the scene.
The JBs have had an injection of new blood, six new players were about to make their mark. At exactly 12 o clock the referee threw the ball up, our new campaign had begun. Hugh Ruddy in the midfield was first to react, breaking the ball down for James McTiernan. The Boden half forwards led by Niall Bradley were tuned in and were unlucky not to register the first score. That was to fall to Portobello who split the posts after some fine play. Ian Clarke helped settle some early nerves with some clinical passing and a great understanding with one of our new recruits, Dermot Manley, also helped supply our forwards with some excellent balls into space. Dermots reading of the game and tackling is a sight to see and he never gave his marker a second to settle. Shane Kelliher was making an impact up front and registered a fine point of his own. Our penetrating play was causing all sorts of problems for Portobello and we were awarded a free just outside the area which Ciaran Murphy calmly slotted over. In fact he took his tally to three points in the first half, two from frees. Our defence was excellent, knocking back the Portobello attack and setting up our counter attacks. Indeed our goal came after Portobello were dispossessed and the ball was played out of the back line at pace and Donal Mccarthy ran into space, collected an unbelievable cross ball and rifled the ball into the back of the net. We went into the break with the score at 1-4 to 0-3 in our favour.
This was not a time to stand back and admire our work so far. We still had a job to do, the opposition would come out of the blocks and put us under massive pressure. Instructions were given, oranges were eaten, composure was needed. Another new addition to the squad, Alan McQuaid came on for young Kelliher up front. Mikey Ryan was moved into full forward, Alan was to use his pace and power. The opposition did not disappoint, they made subs of their own and put us under pressure straight away. They quickly registered two points, we were now in a battle Royale. Backs to the wall stuff. Rian Cannon was breaking up their play time after time, a warrior. Young Ruddy was busting a gut and his deft touches were gladly accepted by our half forwards. His hard work rewarded with an excellent point of his own. Alex was a man on a mission, rallying his team-mates and making runs from the half back line. Donal McCarthy summed up our play when he lost pocession of the ball and rather than stand and watch, he must of sprinted what looked like 50 yards to put in a block when a score looked inevitable. Conor Dunne, another new addition, came on for the injured Murphy and his pace and power was instrumental in our attack play. A great prospect for sure. Alan McQuaid was unlucky not to get on the score sheet himself, just shaving the post from the tightest of angles. Mikey Ryan caught a high ball in, turned and shot but their keeper pulled if a cracking save. Alan Keane in goal was shouting instructions and kept us in the game with some amazing saves of his own. Portobello came from behind to go two points up. With six minutes left on the clock, no need to panic but we had to make inroads into their half. Hugh got us level, two minutes left. Portobello were trying their best, our defence was immense. Adrian Minnock was giving his all, at corner back. Dermot worked a one two with Ian who found Niall Bradley in space at the half forward line. He took a step forward and with his trusty right foot sent the ball over the bar. There was an intake of breath for a second. We had to win their kickout which we did. Seconds to go, keep possession was the shout. Work the ball around, play it down. The referee brought the game to an end.
The JBs are up and running. It’s a long season but we have set down a marker, no team will get an easy game against us. Up next is a home game v Kilmacud. That game is now our focus. A massive thanks to the lads who gave their all, they can be proud of that performance.
Boden Abu! Report by Martin O Donnell.