Result: 1-09 to 1-04

The JBs will be operating in division 7 next year after gaining promotion in a very cagey encounter against a very strong Stars of Erin side. This is now two promotions for the JBs, an amazing achievement by the entire panel. I can’t be more proud of each and every one of them. All their hard work has now been rewarded, slogging away at the pre-season up in the Kickstart Gym and then out in all weather conditions, hail, rain or snow. Our plans and structures that we put in place from the start would account for nothing if the panel had not risen to the challenge set down. For that I will be forever grateful.

This is not just a team that turns up and goes through the motions, we are a tight unit. We have each others’ back, brothers in arms you could say. A bond for life I hope. We win together, we lose together. We have a family atmosphere and we may have differences from time to time but the respect is always there. After plenty of training sessions were finally had a date for our playoff. We were as ready as we could be. Morale was high, we were focused on the job we had to do. Selecting a team is never easy, people are undoubtedly left disappointed but everyone is thinking of the greater good and in this case it was promotion. Every single player has had a hand in getting us to this final and they all can be proud of that.
The game itself was a tense affair at times for both sides. Stakes were high and the build up play from Boden was very laboured at times. In the first ten minutes or so, a single point was registered from the visitors. The Pairc Ui Murchu pitch had a soft dew on the surface and the ball seemed to be skidding around the place. Carl Molony was first to split the posts to get us on our way. After a Stars counter attack was broken down by the sturdy Boden defence, Ian Clarke dispatched the perfect pass to Carl who calmly slotted over. Further scores from Andrew Kerin and Kevin O’Reilly helped Boden to get into the flow of the game. Brian Fitzgerald was given the job of man marking their corner forward and he more than rose to that challenge. Stars were trying to feed him with the quick diagonal ball but Brian stuck to his task and was a thorn in his side throughout. Liam McNamara was having the game of his life. We are blessed to have him and his reading of the game is immense. Out in front and reading the flight of the ball to perfection, he was taking the ball out of defence and feeding the forwards time and time again. It was a quick one two with his fellow defender Dermot Manley that led to Bodens goal.
Stars were dispossessed and Liam worked the ball out to the half way line with Dermot. However, Dermot was not stopping there. Another one two with Cormac Smyth and he found himself in front of goal. He saw the opportunity and let fly with a powerful shot that smashed the back of the net. Cormac Smyth at centre-half forward was his usual dogged self. He was instrumental in our attacking play time and time again. Ian Clarke was delivering ball of the highest quality to Adam Carney at corner forward. Ciaran O’Brien and Niall O Connor at midfield were now making good inroads into the Stars backline. By the time the referee blew for half time, Boden were 1-4 to Stars’ single point.
Management reminded the team that they could not rest on their laurels. Stars were hurting and were going to come flying out of the blocks in the second half. Alex Murphy came on for the injured Michael Dunne. Stay focused and we will see the job through. Stars certainly did not disapoint. They quickly registered two points of their own. Now we were under pressure, no time for reckless challenges and silly frees. Ciaran in midfield was winning the high ball but we were a wee bit wasteful up front. It was this lack of concentration that led to Stars scoring their goal. Latching on to a lacklustre clearance, the Stars’ forward let loose a rasping shot that found the top corner of the Boden net. We were jittery but Ian Clarke brought back a sense of composure that we badly needed. Andrew scored yet another point to help get our footing back. You look to spring lads of the bench to make an impact and Brian Kirwan and Ross Traynor did just that. Brian imposed himself straight away and was rewarded with a well taken point. Ross chipped in as well to keep our scoring ticking over.
The time came to run down the clock. All we had to do was keep possession of the ball now. In that spell Adam sent the ball over the blue spot. Ciaran won the resulting kickout and fed Brian who cleverly spread the ball to a team-mate. With the ball in a Boden hand the referee blew for full time. We had done it, we had gained promotion yet again. All the hard graft had payed off and I couldn’t have been happier for each and every one of the lads. It is a phenomenal achievement, to stay competitive for so long takes huge mental strength. To win two promotions is something to be proud of. Congratulations Men.
I would like to thank my brothers David and Keith for their help in making this happen. It has been a long road but we got there. Thanks Lads! Also to the Football Committee a huge thanks. No request was ever refused and the JBs are forever grateful. To the minors who were called upon in our time of need and had a huge say in this promotion, thank you. To Peter Hanrahan and the other minor managers, thank you. To the entire JB panel, thank you so, so much.
Last, but not least, to my wife Tracey and family. Tracey treats this team as if it is her own family, from washing the tops to the admin…the list goes on. This is as much for herself and I know she is proud of the JBs achievements. To my family who listen to my rantings from time to time if we have lost a game, they are getting very good at asking  that awkward question, ” did ye win Dad?”
Well, we did win. We done good, we done good.
Boden Abu! JBs Abu!
Report by Martin O’Donnell.