Result: 2 11 to 1 11
Two great clubs, two great teams, one grim afternoon! – The Shepherd Reports
Although these ‘Boden and Na Fianna teams have met several times over the past years, neither team could claim ascendency over the other. Today’s clash was billed as the decider before all of these young lads head off to the adult sections of their respective clubs. However, the weather scuppered any chance of a great game as the rain and wind and cold left us all feeling like a tribe of Inuits grappling with the wrath of a vexatious and vengeful god.
The first half was a turgid affair with long spells where neither team could get a score. Cillian Kirwan was particularly unlucky not to rattle the onion sack but the Na Fianna ‘keeper pulled off a double save. We were not so lucky at the other end when Micheál Murphy put one past our defence to add to his personal first half tally of 5 points from frees. Half time saw the Mobhi Road outfit up by four points but down a man. We had secured six points, Feargal Ryan had scored two frees and one 65. Seán O’Donnell and Ciarán O’Reilly picked off two more and one unidentified southsider got the sixth (this mathematically challenged reporter asks your forgiveness for this omission in factual reportage). Much to their credit, young Joe Maguire, Conor Lowe and Ciarán Mc Donnell battled bravely in the full back line against the Northsiders and the driving wind and rain to keep the score at 1-7 to 0-6 at the eagerly awaited break.
The second half saw Joe Mc Grath operating as the extra man doing a superb job sweeping up the loose ball in the half back line, ably assisted by a tireless Ruairí Mac Mathúna and Patrick Dunleavy. The game picked up a small bit as the excitement built (or maybe we were just looking forward to getting back into the cars and away home!). Darragh Kenny came on for Enda Cashman up front just before the end of the first half and bagged a brace of points for his debut at Minor level. How and ever, Na Fianna played with a greater intensity as our lads found the conditions and the ferocity of the blue and saffron outfit hard to handle. Murphy scored twice from placed ball and they got only two more from play as our defenders got the better of them as the half progressed. Our luck turned when Cian Corcoran kicked one to the net. Luke Mc Dwyer added a point which kept a bit of momentum in it. Substitutions were made as tired legs needed to be replaced with fresh ones. Pearce Christie came on for Peter Gannon who had played his heart out. Soon enough Pearce added his name to the score card with a deft point. Matthew Fitzpatrick came on for Ciarán Mc Donnell, and Ciarán O Reilly made way for Adam Kelliher. No matter how difficult the conditions were the lads in blue and white stayed the course and stuck to their guns. Persistence and a Luke Mc Dwyer scorcher sealed the deal in the end. ‘Boden finished up winners at 2-11 to 1-11 (we had outscored our opponents 2-5 to 0-4 in the second half!). In truth Na Fianna will be justifiably disappointed not to have come away with a point from this tie but that’s sport – to the victor the spoils.