The dulcet tones of “Anyone buyin’ r sellin’ a tick-eh”, rang around Sancta Maria as the crowd filtered into the Prunty pitch for this much anticipated 2nd round clash in the Minor A football championship. With match tickets changing hands for upwards €1.25, the touts were having a field day. The minor management didn’t seem to be affected by the scandal of the “missing tickets” but fingers were once again pointed when football chairman, Jack Nolan, was spotted eating a €4 Cornetto.
Forwards coach and washed up has-been, Andy Kerrin, said before the game, “Both teams have won their opening fixture, so a victory for either side should be enough to see them secure a quarter final berth with a game to spare. “When asked about the crowd he said, “Ahhh with the covid restrictions, it’s like O’Dwyers hairline, thin enough.” The cheap shot was a reference to mentor Liam O’Dwyer, whose starting 15 showed 1 change from the team that lined out against Sylverter’s 10 days earlier.
After a very scrappy, tense and physical opening fifteen minutes, Boden were on the wrong side of a 0-3 to 0-4 scoreline and it looked like an upset could be on the cards. However, the sheer physical efforts and ‘never say die’ mentality of midfield duo, Colcough and Lynch, had different ideas. Their ability to challenge for high ball and win secondary possession, sprung the trap for wing forward Luke Mulligan Lynch to bear down on goal and raise the first green flag of the evening, with a finish cooler than the other side of your pillow. This was closely followed by Byrnes’ fisted goal after McGlynn again caused havoc in the Kickhams defence. But in truth, the forward’s success would not be possible if it were not for a well drilled defencive outfit. Leahy, Maguire, Gannon, Donaghy, Gavin & O’Sullivan operate as a unit tighter than Declan Maguire’s selection of Spanx™. Net-minder and defensive coordinator Eoin Donne has a commanding physical presence and a kick out accuracy that provides a solid platform for the front six to thrive. Leading 2-6 to 0-6 at the break, Boden had an impressive 2nd quarter.
At half time we again caught up with ‘yesterday’s news’, forwards coach, Andy Kerrin, “Did I tell you how good I was, back in the day” he piped up as soon as he saw the microphone. Not interested in his past glories we pushed him for analysis for the game in progress. “we have a 6 -point lead, so we need to show our true championship credentials and push on from here.” Inspiring words indeed.
The third quarter was a torrid affair with points from O’Dwyer and Keogh nullifying the opening score from this accomplished Kickhams side. As the game began to break up, Boden introduced fresh legs to try and put this tie to bed. If it weren’t for a few misplaced passes, forgivable under the conditions, Mulligan-Lynch, Keogh and Welsh could have raised another couple of green flags. But minor football is a fickle friend, a slip at one end lifts the opposition and the tide can turn quicker than Lager turns to ?? (If you direct message me, I will tell you the end of that expression but as this is a family publication, we’ll just leave it there). And so it was, Ballymun laid siege to the Boden goal and tapped over 4 quick points to narrow the gap to just 3. But panic not, a breakaway attack led to Byrne being assaulted and he converted the resulting free. The score of the night came from young David Keogh who, due to injury (and no subs left), was officially operating on one leg. Yet he still managed to race past the defender, Keyser Soze style, collect the ball, swing the bad leg at it and split the posts from 25 yards, remarkable.
At the final whistle, we caught up with mentor Jack Donaghy, who is at that age where he has started saying “Goodnight” back to the newsreaders on television. He said, “That’s two hard games and no goals conceded. When the pressure was on in the last quarter, this defensive unit answered all the questions that were asked of them.” He rambled on and on muttering, “We are growing as a collective and tonight is evidence of that. We will now begin to plan and prepare for Cuala in 10 days’ time.” Calm understatement, unlike the trainers he was wearing. When asked about the missing ticket scandal, he said, “I’m not commenting but, I believe that (Jack) Nolan dropped a Euro in the car park and walked on. Normally that would hit him on the back of the head before it had a chance to reach the ground.”
BBSE: 2-10 Ballymun Kickhams: 0-11
The Panel: Eoin Donne, Cian Leahy, Joe Maguire, Eoghan Gannon, Hugh O’Sullivan, Alex Gavin, Harry Donaghy, Harry Colclough (0-1), Daniel Lynch, Eoin Behan, Ryan O’Dwyer (0-2), Luke Mulligan Lynch(1-0), David Keogh (0-2), Conall McGlynn, Luke Byrne (1-5 (4xF)), Daire Sweeney, Ronan Long, Richard O’ Halloran, Evan Welsh, David Keane, Cian Hassett, Kevin Hickey, David Monahan, Daragh Kenny (Inj), Oisin King (Inj), Michael McDonald (Inj).
Next up: Cuala in Dr. Hyde Park – Sunday 9th August at 11am.
Tickets available from Nolan Enterprises – Cash only.