Result: 2-17 to 3-08
Minor D Championship Final BBSE 2-17 St Pauls 3-8
It is often said that when St Paul wrote all those letters back in the day to the Thessalonians, the Philippians and their like, that the latter never bothered to answer him. It was ironic then that last Sunday morning in O’Toole Park, St Pauls had no answer for the skill, intensity and brilliance of the Ballyboden St Endas Minor Bs.
As stated in these annals before, this team has worked extremely hard all year to get to this final point. Many of them had played in the Minor D Final last year while others had played in U-16 and U-15 finals, where the result wasn’t always the desired one. Dogged determination would be an understatement as the starting 15 took to the park, with some of the team playing what would be their last hour of minor football. They weren’t going to leave anything behind. Nerves can be a factor in any game but more so in a final and it was the Northside amalgamation who started the better. Slowly but surely, ‘Boden got a few points on the board to draw level at 3 points apiece, before Sean Flaherty struck from 21 yards out to raise the green flag.
St Paul’s were strong around the middle and had some fine players in the forward division. As the half went on however, the ‘Boden backs and midfield began to gauge their individual tasks and take the upper hand against their respective opponents. Ball to the forward line wasn’t as plentiful as one would have liked, but what was sent in was put to good use. By half time, ‘Boden were 3 ahead but under no illusion that the 2nd half was going to require a huge effort if the title was to be ours.
The second half was about ‘Boden dominance. This team has tried to learn from each game, and the lesson from the semi final was the age old adage, to take the points and the goals will come. This is what they did with the score board ticking over following scores from Patrick Molloy, Aidan Garvey and the energetic Adam Kelleher. This team believes in making life interesting however. To this end, St Paul’s were gifted a goal by a few ‘Boden backs (no names – you know who are!!!), the generosity of which would make Santy himself blush. The goal gave the O’Tooles/Scoil Uí Chonall combination some hope and they pushed on only to be met by the Ballyboden hard border. Some last ditch defending by Dare Lynch and an immense catch from Jack Lambert showing how defending should be done.
When the ref finally blew the whistle, there was no doubt about who the better team was. A sense of both relief and delight was present among the ‘Boden players. One would have to feel sorry for the County Board Representatives who missed an enthralling contest and never showed up with a cup!!! Despite this, our lads can call themselves Champions. It has been a fantastic year for these lads. Those of them that are gong on to Adult football, we wish them the very best. Every one of them has the makings of a very good footballer who will serve ‘Boden well in to the future.
For those that are minor again next year – we’ll see ye all in January on the Hills of Ballycullen.
Players win matches but some credit must go the management team of Tony ‘Work lads work’ Duffy, Cormac ‘Did I tell you the one? O’Farrell, Ray ‘They’re fierce big sliotars’ McKenna and Statman Karl ‘What’s the score?’ Woods.
Also thanks to Linda for First Aid. ‘Boden abu!!
Team: Adam Farrell, Alex Craven, Jack Lambert, Ciaran McDonnell, Daire Lynch, Feargal Ryan, Conor Cullen, Robert Cullen, Evan Cullen, Joe McGrath, Adam Kelleher, Kevin Kirwan, Aidan Garvey, Sean O’Flaherty, Patrick Molloy, Conor Woods, Brendan Kavanagh, Daragh O’Neill, Eoghan Duffy, Cian Corcoran, Tommy Farrelly, Ciaran O’Neill.