Defiant defence conquer Crokes 
“At least I know I don’t have a heart condition” said minor manager Liam O’Dwyer, “the front six put in a shift in the first 30 minutes and the back six did their bit in the second 30 minutes. So, all and all, a good day’s work. Sometimes you must win ugly. Look at [Declan] Maguire, he won a face full of ugly.” O’Dwyer was commenting after the game that propelled Ballyboden St Endas into the 2020 minor A football championship final by the slenderest margin.  A semi-final that will be remembered as much for the pre-match hullabaloo as it will be for the football.
The ‘Brew-ha-ha’ surrounding the last-minute change of venue from PUM to O’Toole Park, and thus denying Boden home advantage rumbled on, on the run up to the game. “It’s the worst call since casting Russell Crowe in Les Misérables,” said forwards coach Andy Kerin, whose knowledge of musical theatre borders on the obsessive.
Fast Start:
Playing into the road goal and with the assistance of a slight breeze, Boden shot into a 4-point lead thanks O’Dwyer, Byrne, Keane and Behan. A couple of Crokes points were answered with a beauty from Byrne and saw Boden hit the water break with a two-point lead. A glorious five-minute spell in the 2nd quarter saw Boden smash home 2 goals. The first came from the boot of O’Dwyer, who unleashed a pile driver after a beautifully intricate passing move. The second came from Keogh, who, after collecting loose ball on the dressing room side, ran laser-like straight through the Crokes cover to lift the net from the stanchions. Leading 2-8 to 0-5 at half time, Boden were in the ascendancy. What could possibly go wrong.
Crokes took to the field after halftime with a renewed sense of purpose and unleashed the type of vengeance that is only comparable to the last act of a dying man. A six-point run was punctuated by two frees from the boot of O’Dwyer and a shell-shocked Boden couldn’t get to the water break fast enough. “We made a number of adjustments to the set up and redefined a few roles,” said mentor Donaghy who is affectionately known within the camp as ‘Budda’, not for his zen like calm but because he has put on so much weight.
Coronary Care Unit:
The last quarter was a somewhat tense affair with the back six retaining better possession. Mulligan -Lynch, Maguire and Gannon were unflappable while assisted by Behan playing between them and Donaghy, Gavin and O’Sullivan. Although Boden were playing behind the man, Crokes were reduced to pot shots from 35 yards. When a couple of those “Chancy Ones” found the target, the margin was down to a solitary point. Extra time was beckoning when Maguire, Gannon and Donaghy played a game of keep ball on the golf course side, frustrating Crokes and giving at least 2 parents aneurysms. But it was enough to run down the clock and send Boden into the final. “We are delighted to be back in the final. We last won it in 2010 but have lost their last three visits to finals in 2011, 2015 & 2018. This group of lads will do the club proud and represent the crest to the best of their ability” said mentor Andy Gardiner, who has a voice that would remove the enamel from your teeth.
We caught up with football chairman, Jack Nolan. Who, with hair like cattle trampled straw would scare the flies off a corpse. He said, “The lads made a gangster movie out of that one. Such a palaver.” It’s always nice to catch up with Jack but if he was 5% less intelligent, he would need watering.
Club chairman Ciaran Maguire, who was recapping the wall behind the goal and, as good fortune would have it, at the exact same time as the game was on. Asking him for his thoughts on the match, he said, “To be honest, I’m just happy to be out of the house. The highlight of my weekend is bleeding the radiators and hoping for an airlock.”
Final Score BBSE 2-8 Kilmacud Crokes 0-13
The Panel: Eoin Donne, Luke Mulligan-Lynch, Joe Maguire, Eoghan Gannon, Hugh O’Sullivan, Alex Gavin, Harry Donaghy, Harry Colclough (0-1), Daniel Lynch, Eoin Behan (0-1), Ryan O’Dwyer (1-3 (3xF)), David Keogh (1-0), Conall McGlynn, Luke Byrne (0-2 (1xF)), David Keane (0-1), Daire Sweeney, Darragh Kenny, Ronan Long, Richard O’ Halloran, Cian Hassett, Kevin Hickey, David Monahan, Evan Welsh, Oisin King, Cian Leahy (Inj), Michael McDonald (Inj)
Next up: Ballinteer St. Johns in God knows where – Sunday 20th September @11am. Fingers crossed they change the rules and tickets will be on sales from Ticketmaster and all the usual outlets.