Day Two of Ballyboden St Endas Feile adventure had begun with a fine win over our hosts Castlebar Mitchels. However it will be the stunning last gasp victory over an excellent Westport team that will remain in the memory of all those present.
It was a fantastic win that illustrated the grit, skill and determination of the Ballyboden team. When congratulating the Boden team afterwards, the Westport management mentioned that their team had not been beaten since they started playing together at Under 8.
Ballyboden had started the match well with a trademark goal from Luke Grady. Mark Walsh added a fine point to add to Bodens great start. Westport came back with a point before a Conor Woods goal further extended Bodens lead. Westport came back with a goal before Adam Farrell pulled off the first of many fantastic saves. Westport added two further points before the break to leave the score Ballyboden 2-1 Westport 1-3.
The second half began with Westport piling on the pressure. They scored a point to level the game before an Enda Cashman free put Boden back in front.
There followed an incredible defensive performance from the Boden boys. Westport firmly in the ascendancy were constantly pressured when shooting and racked up a number of wides. Boden had their chances too as they broke from the back but failed to take them. Westport finally equalised and looked likely winners as the clock ticked down.
Boden stood fast , tension increased, heart rates on the sidelines rose steadily . . . . then John McGinn scored a magnificent point to give Boden a single point lead. The Boden crowd erupted with delight and relief. The ball was kicked out Westport went on the attack, Ciaran O’Reilly won possession and then the final whistle was blown.
Ballyboden had won an epic battle. 2-3 to 1-5 . The crowd ran on the pitch, the boys hugged each other, the crowd hugged, parents hugged their boys.
Boden were still in the competition and wouldn’t be going home…..
Instead they face Nemo Rangers in the Connaught GAA Centre of Excellence in the semi final on Sunday morning.
Match Report by Alan Kinsella