Result: 2 15 to 0 16

Boden Top Group

With Storm Callum well on its way, the sun shone brightly for this top of the table and final group game in Shankill.  These teams have become very familiar with one another over many years of underage hurling and we knew this would be a nail-biter.  Early points from Luke McDwyer and Kevin Desmond settled the nerves.  Following Cuala’s only score from play in the first half, McDwyer struck for a fine goal after five minutes and the signs were looking good.  With Joe Maguire being deployed as an extra defender, our backs had everything under control in the early exchanges and keeper Jack Lambert was hardly threatened.  Our full back line of Joe McGrath, Conor Lowe and Sean O’Donnell showed great composure in clearing their lines.  Fergal Ryan read the play cleverly and sent numerous clearances out of the danger area.  Enda Cashman can be very pleased with his hard work in containing Cuala’s best player, Liam Murphy.  Unfortunately injuries have been a major issue for this squad in 2018 and after seven minutes, Darragh Kenny had to be helped to the side line with a recurring ankle injury.  He was replaced by the energetic Eoin Behan who pointed shortly afterwards from a long delivery by Jack Kenny.  Adam Kelleher joined the scoring with two from play in the first period and two from frees, both following hefty challenges on the industrious Ciaran O’Reilly.  Kelleher’s 100% strike rate from placed balls is noteworthy.  Our midfield duo of Cillian Kirwan and Pearce Christie are developing a fine reputation for their massive work rate which they continued in style today.  Cillian pointed on the run before half time.

Half time: Ballyboden St. Enda’s 1-8    Cuala 0-5

As expected, Cuala came storming back and three points from Liam Murphy brought the margin to a goal within five minutes of the restart.  A superb individual goal from Kirwan, following a block, solo and beautiful strike to the Cuala net, steadied the Boden ship.  Our opponents continued to add points and managed to bring the margin to just two.  However, when our forwards began running at the Cuala defence, scoring opportunities opened up and some fine points followed with Kelleher (3), McDwyer (2), Desmond and Ryan adding to the scoresheet.

So we’re through to a county minor semi-final having topped the group.  That game, against St. Vincents, won’t happen for a few weeks, with football group stages to be completed and a bank holiday rest in between.  This team has shown an enormous capacity for hard work.  A lick of polish is all that’s needed before we face the stern tests of the knockout stages.

Scorers: Adam Kelleher 0-7 (4 f), Luke McDwyer 1-3, Cillian Kirwan 1-1, Kevin Desmond 0-2, Eoin Behan and Fergal Ryan 0-1 each.

Team: Jack Lambert, Joe McGrath, Conor Lowe, Sean O’Donnell, Jack Kenny, Fergal Ryan, Enda Cashman, Cillian Kirwan, Pearce Christie, Luke McDwyer, Kevin Desmond, Adam Kelleher, Ciaran O’Reilly, Darragh Kenny, Joe Maguire.  Subs: Eoin Behan, Peter Gannon, Ciaran McDonnell, Cian Corcoran, Luke Mulligan Lynch.