The Minor A Football Championship campaign began on Sunday morning with the visit of reigning champions Na Fianna to Pairc Úi Murchu. Conditions were bright with a strong breeze blowing towards the Cremorne end. Ballyboden won the toss and elected to play with the breeze. Two superbly taken goals inside the first 5 minutes from Conor Hanrahan and John McGinn gave the home team a great start. Na Fianna replied with 2 points before John McGinn finished a flowing move to the net for Ballyboden’s third green flag. Mark Walsh and Conor  Lowe were doing very well in midfield dominating possession with Jack Kenny and Luke McDwyer working very hard at wing forward. Na Fianna then began to come more into the game and scored goal and a point in quick succession to narrow the gap. Jake Turley in goal made a superb save to deny Na Fianna and the Ballyboden defence worked very hard to deny any further goal chances with Kevin Desmond, Cillian Kirwan and Sean O’Donnell covering superbly in the full back line. Points from Ciaran O’Reilly, Malachy Codd and John McGinn added to the home team’s advantage. A quickly taken free by Malachy Codd set up Ciaran O’Reilly who finished calmly to the net to leave the half time score 4.5 to 1.4 in favour of Ballyboden.

Na Fianna had the wind advantage for the second half but the entire Ballyboden team worked extremely hard to limit any clear cut chances. A combination of frees and well taken points saw Na Fianna reduce the deficit but points from Ciaran O’Reilly, Malachy Codd and Enda Cashman kept the home team in front. Luke McDwyer and Pearce Christie covered many kilometres to provide assistance to the defence with Cian Maher and Conor Hanrahan using their great pace to break from defence. The introduction of Jacques Dalton, John Maguire and Dean Ralph from the bench greatly added to the team effort in the second half. The final whistle blew with Ballyboden 2 points ahead to the delight of the large home crowd.

Great credit is due to both teams for the spirit in which the match was played. The next championship match is away against Cuala on Sunday September 23rd.  Thanks to the parents and Boden supporters who gave great encouragement to the team throughout the match.

Special thanks to the club members responsible for the maintenance of the pitch which was in superb condition.

Team: Jake Turley, Kevin Desmond, Cillian Kirwan, Sean O’Donnell, Conor Hanrahan, Enda Cashman, Cian Maher, Mark Walsh, Conor Lowe, Jack Kenny, Ciaran O’Reilly, Luke McDwyer, Pearce Christie, John McGinn, Malachy Codd, Jacques Dalton, Joey Donohue, David Ward, Dean Ralph, John Maguire.

For more great pics, click here