Result: 0-12 to 2-12
LATE GOAL BREAKS BODEN HEARTS – MINOR A CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL
Conleth O’Reilly reports
A bilious morning greeted us on Sunday 25th November where our Minor boys took on their rivals Whitehall Colmcilles. The early parts of the first half were frenetic – the exchanging of scores between teams – point matched by point. Frees from John McGinn and a fine point from Mark Walsh were cancelled by Whitehall frees and a fine score from play. Boden’s tremendous backs stood strong; Cian Maher hounding to prompt a Whitehall misplaced pass. The physicality of the game was immense. The hits were hard, even the Hurling Men gasped! The coolest person in the ground our goalkeeper Jake Turley was playing with panache. The fullback line for Boden played with a man marking zeal but as pure footballers they displayed: Desmond, Kirwan and O’Donnell winning, stopping, challenging, emerging with skill and always a pass. Peter Gannon elegantly distributing from corner forward- he stole in for a shot but was inched to the side netting. A relentless O’Reilly frenetically forced his marker to over carry; McGinn pointed the free from the ground – we all thought goal as the Umpire twitched at the green but then held up white.
Back in the thrall Whitehall and Boden exchanged frees. In spite of a tough black card for Pearce Christie – we gingerly convinced ourselves that we could cope with the loss of his combative athleticism and ability to ball carry.The Boden half back line, a McCaffrey, O’Sullivan, McCarthy bloodline with their pace, and athleticism had full and total mastery of the Parnell Park geometry – all angles, straight lines and diagonals anticipated and exploited. Boden continued to keep the opposition in sight. Mach 3 McDwyer a very modern half forward was defending and attacking at hypersonic speeds had a great contest with his marker.
A disappointing goal at the end of the first half was a telling portent. An against the play attack, the ball was covered but somehow regathered by Whitehall …… a half clip and slow motion to goal. The next whistle brought us to half time. The Team returning to the managerial masterminds, McLoughlin, Carter and O’Reilly. The medical mams, Cashman and McDwyer who have tended from Academy through Feile to Minor were at the ready. We anticipated a strong second half showing from our lads.
Boden played majestically at times in the course of that half. Pass after relentless pass, thoroughbred running – Paddy Dunleavy dominating at Centre back. Cillian Wall hit a great score. The first half midfield battle was shared but Boden’s Lowe and Walsh were imperious in the second half, with elegant high catching and hand passing with alacrity – soaring and handling as incarnations of Air and Wilt. Malachy Codd almost pointed – Whitehall could not cope with his movement. The Boden half forward line were turning the Whitehall Maginot half back line inside and out – It was thrilling – two stunning points by Enda Cashman roared us forward. Boden were in command, – McGinn again from the hand. Walsh passing excellently to O’Reilly who ran through the Whitehall backs – foul – McGinn, expert in ballistics – another point. The half thundered on, Boden not quite getting that greater than two point lead. We could overcome a harsh black and an easy first half goal …….. then it came, a moment of brilliance from the Whitehall Darby, a gained possession, quick movement, a momentary thought then the left foot shot ripping the top right corner of Boden hearts.
Devastation, we felt a chilling Ballycullen wind on us, but yet never say ….. this Team ran again, worked the ball thoroughly through to the Whitehall half – Unbelieveable – we dreamed again – an entrenched effort from our lads – two frees won, both hit by McGinn with timing and accuracy but both fell just short allowing Whitehall to clear twice – 34 minutes and finally our Boden men were vanquished.
Whitehall 2-07 to 0-12 – one point. It would be churlish to speak of the cruelty of sports; we simply applaud and celebrate our 2000 and 2001 men. They have been wonderful to enjoy – a truly great Boden team.
Minor A Squad: Enda Cashman, Pearce Christie, Malachy Codd, Kevin Desmond, Joey Donohue, Patrick Dunleavy, Peter Gannon, Conor Hanrahan, Jack Kenny, Cillian Kirwan, Conor Lowe, Ruairi MacMathuna, Cian Maher, Luke McDwyer, John McGinn, John McGuire, Sean O’Donnell, Ciaran O’Reilly, Dean Ralph, Jake Turley, Cillian Wall, Mark Walsh, David Ward.