Skerries Harp out of tune with Bullish Boden – Gizmo reports from the opening round of the minor football league

Being so far up into north County Dublin, this game could easily have carried the tag of being an International. “I have kept my petrol and toll receipts.” said the notoriously tight-fisted Liam O’Dwyer, the new manager of the 2020 Minor A footballers. He went on to say, “Do you think I could claim a lunch allowance as well.” When pushed on matters football he said, “We have a good bunch of lads and we will try and give everyone substantial game time throughout the league.” He added, “Skerries is a difficult place to come to, so let’s see how the group get on with their first taste of competitive Division 1 football. It is about the first-year minors adapting to the pace and physicality of the game and how the overall team dynamic works out”.

With 7 first year minors in the starting 15, the team looked like they were playing together for years as they raced into an early lead. Aided by a wind stiffer than Jack Nolan’s wallet clasp, the Boden lads battled hard and laid siege to the Skerries goal. Ryan O’Dwyers’ nerve settling 2-2 laid the platform for a dominant first half. A blistering 15 minutes spell saw Luke Mulligan Lynch add 1-1 and Luke Byrne 1-2 to the score board. David Kane and Evan Welsh capitalised on the hard graft of the midfield duo of Harry Colcough and Michael McDonald jnr., whose father still dons the Boden Jersey for the Junior C’s, (an inspiration to the rest of his friends in the Active Retirement group). Leading 4-9 to 1-3 at half time, mutterings of “That’s a ten-point wind….” and other such trivial statements could be heard rumbling through the travelling Boden support.

On the way to the dressing room we caught up with Andy Kerins, the team’s skill’s coach, he said, “O’Dwyer stiffed me for half the petrol money on the way out here, fifty bleedin’ Euro. There were only fumes in the tank.” When asked for a reaction to the game, he said, “I am happy with how things are working out. We will make a few changes now and give everyone a good run.”

The introduction of fresh legs gave Boden a new impetus as they bagged the opening score of the second half, a cracking goal from the boot of Eoin Behan. Tireless work from Long, Donaghy, Leahy and O’Sullivan attempted to stem the tide of Skerries attacks. As they grew in confidence, Boden just needed to get their hands on the ball and build from the back. And that they did with a seasoned professionalism, patient build up’s with off the shoulder running created multiple opportunities for the inside forwards to put this tie to bed.

Running out winners on a score line of 5-11 to 2-10, this was a bright start from a team that is still finding its feet. “Apart from the score line, what impressed me the most was the honesty and work rate from the lads. A team is nothing without a solid work ethic.” said Jack Donaghy who, along with being O’Dwyer’s personal financial adviser, is also a key member of the coaching ticket. “We still have a lot to work on, me especially, as I have to get Liam’s expenses claim lodged by 5pm.”

Next game is Sunday 8th March at home to Kilmacud Crokes.

The team: Eoin Donne, Ronan Long, Richard O’Halloran, Alex Gavin, Hugh O’Sullivan, Harry Donaghy, Cian Leahy, Harry Colclough (0-1), Michael McDonald (0-1), Luke Mulligan Lynch (1-1), Evan Welsh (0-1), Eoin Behan (1-0), David Kane(0-1), Ryan O’Dwyer (2-3 (2xF)), Luke Byrne (1-3 (1xF)), David Monahan, Cian Hassett, Oisin King, Conall McGlynn, Daire Sweeney