Result: 1 12 to 1 18
Nil Points, But Title Hopes Still Intact ( The Long Fella Reports)
A spirited and encouraging second half performance augurs well as the stepping stone for a semi final place for our Minor championship side on a perfect Mobhi Road surface on Sunday. Their opponents, unlike Ballyboden, had lost their opening game of the series and were under pressure to deliver, watched by a sizeable home support. Their side featured some Dublin Minors and a physically stronger side, whereas Boden fielded a younger side, almost half of whom are still eligible next year.
“Pressure is for tyres”, and Na Fianna were determined to prove that right by opening up in style. They got a grip at midfield and through Cathal Doran they started feeding a hungry attack, where Colin Curry, Gavin King and Donal Burke notched up some fine scores. By the quarter they had chalked up nine points, whereas Boden only had a Conor Kennedy score from out wide and a Michael Boland free to show. Curry was perfect from the frees and with Peter Feeney playing solidly at centre back, Na Fianna looked unbeatable.
But looks can be deceiving and Boden finished the half well enough with well worked scores from Cillian Byrne, Aaron Coffey and Cian Murray. Na Fianna were, meantime, adding to their tally through Curry and Burke. The half time score was 14 to 5. Neither side had created a serious goal chance, showing the domination of the last line of both defences.Some serious talking took place in the Boden circle and they emerged for the second half in a more determined mood, clearly not prepared to allow the home side the kind of space they did in the opening thirty. Neil Hester got a grip of his zone and proved influential in creating space for the men in the scoring area. Within a minute they had worked a fine goal down the wing, through several players, and finished expertly by Boland.
The next ten minutes were Bodens and scores came without reply. Byrne did well from the free line and the overall approach across the numbers was encouraging for the team management. They had introduced John Murphy from the bench and his physical and no less skilful contribution was paying dividends. Then a “sucker blow”, a high ball from the clouds into the Boden square finished in the onion sack and was allowed to stand by the official. The Boden defence clearly expected a free to be awarded in their favour for an infringement, but despite the protests Na Fianna had cancelled out the good work. 1.6 to 1.15.
The home side now withdrew players from their attack and were content to frustrate Boden for the last 12 minutes. Byrne got some chances for frees and converted most of them, Murphy got a fine point from tight space, and Boland got a cracker after some good teamwork. Goal chances came Bodens way but were met by the Na Fianna Team-bus, causing some angst among the Boden following. A few fracases developed and one involved almost all players within a thirty metre radius. The official dealt lightly with the incident, regarding it as case of “les sac a main”.
Boden had outscored the title favourites in the second half, but finished six points adrift, their tally of 1. 12 being a modest total for such fine conditions. That said the team management will be reasonably happy with the showing, hoping for a more rounded performance in the last game of the group against St Brigids.
Side; Conor O’ Donoghue, Kevin Cronin, Luke Corcoran, Karl Weldon, Rob Leddy, Neil Hester, James Holland, Sean McDonnell, Cillian Byrne, Michael Boland, Cian Murray, Aiden Mellett, Aaron Coffey, Luke O’Donoghue, Conor Kennedy, John Murphy, Darragh Byrne, Cian Kelly, Shane Kennedy, Jack Mahon.