Minor C Hurling Championship
Ballyboden St Endas B 3-14 Na Fianna B 5 03
After the 5 in a row celebrations for the Dublin footballers the night before it was back to Hurling championship action for our Minor B hurlers at PUM on Sunday morning. A defeat in our opening match meant a win against Na Fianna was the minimum required to keep our championship hopes alive.
The game started in a steady drizzle which made the conditions difficult for hurling but the two teams got stuck in from the start and scores were hard to come by in the early stages. A serious battle around the middle of the field was a feature – Rhys Mulhall and Micheál Manning in our half back line to the fore in the early exchanges. After 20 minutes we were tied at 0-3 points each. Eoin Duignan, who was excellent throughout, with 3 early scores for Boden. The conditions were a significant factor as Na Fianna then grabbed the initiative with two fortunate goals in quick succession. Another Duignan point, followed by one by Oisín King brought us back to a 4 point deficit at half time, 0-5 to 2-03.
The scoreline at half time did not reflect the balance of the game and it was apparent that our lads were man for man the better hurlers. However the scoreboard told a different story and it was up to the lads to correct things over the 2nd half. Gavin O’Kelly and Oisín King got the first couple of scores of the half to reduce the gap to 2 points but then in a disastrous spell of 5 minutes we conceded 3 goals – again the conditions being the main factor. 12 minutes of the second half gone, 11 points down – our championship hopes hanging by a thread.
But this group of lads have shown serious spirit all year and were not giving up without a fight and fight they did. A well struck 65 by Liam Mac Pháidín got us back up and running but the turning point arrived with 15 minutes left. A Gavin O’Kelly pass into Jack Larkin now playing at full forward was superbly caught by Jack who turned his man and buried it in the top corner – only 8 points down and a glimmer of hope. Our tails were up and we were first to every ball. Then super sub Eoin Duffy took over – two balls into the danger zone – two goals for Duffy! Only a point down with 5 minutes to go. We were completely on top across the middle of the park with Charlie Brady and the excellent Richard O’Halloran picking up every ball at this stage. Eoin Duignan tacked on 2 more excellent points, followed by 2 from Oisín King to put us 3 clear. But Na Fianna weren’t finished and came back at us looking for the goal to tie it up. But the full back line of Senan Dwyer, Evan Ryan and Oran Dunne stood firm and anything that got past them was well dealt with by Conor Barnes between the sticks. As Na Fianna became more desperate we managed to break up the field to register 2 more points, the final one being a fine Ruairi Nolan point.
The final score saw us win by 5 points – 3-14 to 5-03 a 16 point swing in the last 15 minutes of the match!
This was a hard fought and thoroughly deserved win for a great bunch of lads whose fighting spirit is evident every time they take the field. Vincent’s away is next up for a place in the Quarter Finals.
Panel: Conor Barnes, Senan Dwyer, Oran Dunne, Jack Larkin (1-0), Rhys Mulhall, Micheál Manning, Charlie Brady, Gavin O’Kelly (0-2), Liam Mac Pháidín (0-1), Ruairi Nolan (0-1), Oisín King (0-3), Martin Mulligan-Lynch, Adam Fisher, Eoin Duignan ( 0-7), Evan Ryan, Eoin Duffy (2-0), Peter Byrne, Timmy Cleary, Darragh O’Neill