U11 hurlers were invited down to Maynooth for an 8-team tournament last Sunday morning. There were 2 teams from the hosts, Naas, Athenry, Young Irelands Gowran, Faughs, Kilmacud Crokes and ourselves. A wonderful opportunity for the boys to test themselves against top quality opposition.

First up were the local team Maynooth White. Boden boys battled hard against the wind in the first half. A magnificent defensive display by our backline kept the score very tight. Rory O’Donoghue pulling off a great save to deny Maynooth a goal while Alan Gannon and Ailin-Roch Geraghty were immense in defence. Boden went in one point up at halftime. Boden pushed on in the second half with a few points from Fiachra Codd. Score of the game was a lovely taken point by Adam Boland off a slick Matthew Norris hand pass. Alan Delaney had a goal bound shot cleared off the line but Josh Mooney popped up with a late score to close out the match for Boden at 0-5 to 0-1.

The boys had a rest and enjoyed some refreshment before they were off again against Young Irelands. Once again Boden were against a strong wind but that didn’t stop a lung bursting effort from our boys. We were very unlucky to hit the side netting on the stroke of half time. A goal then would have been massive against the wind but Boden went in at the break trailing by only 2 points. Young Irelands struck early to push their lead out to 3 points in the second half. Our boys looked dead and buried when Young Irelands struck a goal. However, Boden rallied hard. Daire Bermingham kept Boden in the game with a great save and Fiachra kept us in touch with a great point. Boden kept the pressure on with ferocious tackling from Conor Byrne, Isaac Barry, Matthew Casey and Charlie White. The much needed score finally came from the hard working forwards as James Norris latched onto a hard won ball and buried an unstoppable shot to the back of the net. Only 2 points in it as the match came to a close. Lady luck was not on the lads side. An unlucky free conceded pushed the game out to a 3 point deficit. That was followed by the dynamic Josh Mooney being unfortunate to be penalised as he broke though for what looked like could be a goal equalising opportunity. A magnificent performance but we fell short by the one score. It finished 1-4 to 1-1.

Next up was Faughs. Some early pressure was soaked up by Boden but Rory stood strong in goal to keep Faughs at bay. Fiachra Codd settled the nerves with a nice point before a great burst from Conor Byrne led to a Josh Mooney goal.  Matthew Norris was unlucky to see a goal bound effort well saved. Conor Byrne combined well with James Norris to set up Josh for his second goal. A third goal direct from a free from Fiachra put the game to bed as Boden closed it out 3-1 to 0-3.

In the play-off game we got to play Athenry. Boden soaked up some early pressure but the 2 Alans were clearing our backline very well in combination with Isaac and Matthew Casey. Jack McNair was very unlucky to see his goal bound effort sneak wide after a huge effort to burst through. Athenry struck late in the half for a decisive goal and went in leading by that goal at halftime. Boden rallied magnificently in the second half. Matthew Casey twice won magnificent frees inside his own half and Ailin-Roch Geraghty twice converted from a huge distance. James Norris popped up with a lovely equalizer after a titanic battle to secure the sliotar. Athenry rallied back and edged ahead with a fortuitous free from close in. The drama was not over as we moved into overtime. As the ref blew the final whistle the sliotar broke to Fiachra who lashed it over for what the boys thought was the equalizer. However, the whistle had clearly gone and we lost the match by the narrowest of margins.

All the coaches were very proud of the effort the boys put in. It was wonderful to see all of our players demonstrate such great commitment to the tackle and to keep battling right to the very end of every match. Many thanks to all the parents who gave lifts to the boys and came down to support. Big thanks to Pat, Ray, Jim and Brian for coaching the boys. Well done boys – a great day’s hurling.

Many thanks to Brian Delaney for the photo.