Senior 1 Hurling Championship Final

Ballyboden St Endas 0 09 Na Fianna 2 19

The Long Fella reports from Parnell Park

And then it happened! Na Fianna won their first Senior A Hurling Championship title. And this accolade is well and truly deserved. Along the way they beat Ballyboden, the champions Kilmacud Crokes, Lucan Sarsfields and Ballyboden for the second time. They arrived at Dublin GAA HQ as red-hot favourites and they truly delivered. As for Boden, the afternoon was a punishing reality check. Young guns will always have an advantage on the sodden surface of Parnell Park. But even the most pessimistic of the Boden support were “downbeat” after the gulf in performance was converted into a sixteen-point loss. Na Fianna now go forward to the Leinster Club championship, while Boden will reflect on a year which included a league win and a championship final berth, not too bad when the record books are updated.

From the early exchanges Na Fianna looked the more accomplished side, as well looking the stronger physically. The Currie brothers Colin and Sean were the main problem for the Boden defence. Sean bagged a brace of first half goals, the first by grabbing a superb pass from AJ Murphy and the second with a ground stroke from close range. Colin was on the placed balls and he piled the pressure on Boden with deadly accuracy, six white flags in the first half alone. As for Boden, their only scores from play in the first half came from Kevin Desmond and Luke McDwyer, Paul Ryan hit four frees to complete a modest thirty minute total as compared to Na Fianna on 2.10, GAME OVER, or well beyond saving.

The second half followed the same pattern as the first, with Boden finding the traffic lanes choked with Na Fianna defenders. Goals were the only hope for the southsiders, but given their failure to find the net in their eighty minute semi-final win over St Vincents, the likelihood of a change in the outcome seemed a far-fetched prospect. Na Fianna added a further nine points, and at times looked like All-Ireland winners in waiting. Boden’s second half scores were greeted with muted applause from the stand.

Looking for crumbs of hope from the ashes of this performance will not be an enviable task for whoever will take on the job, but that will have to be done. James Madden tried his best in the Boden defence and won most of his fifty-fifties. Goalman Conor O’Donoghue saved a penalty at the expense of a converted 65. He had little chance with the Currie goals. As for Na Fianna, they will surely see a bright future for the Currie boys, as well as fancying their prospects in the Leinster campaign. They are worthy champions. Good luck to them.

Squad: Conor O’Donoghue, Sean McDonnell, Stephen O’Connor, Luke Corcoran, Jack Lambert, Simon Lambert, Shane Durkin, Aidan Mellett, James Madden, Conor Dooley, Niall McMorrow, Luke McDwyer, Niall Ryan, Kevin Desmond, Paul Ryan, Paddy Dunleavy, Pearce Christie, Mattie Nolan, Eoin Behan, Timmy Hammersley, Conal Keaney, Darragh Kenny, Robert Leddy, Adam Kelleher, Luke Mulligan-Lynch, Leon Kennedy, Jim Kennedy.

Click here for photos from John Kirwan