AHL Division 1 

Ballyboden St Endas 0 19 Faughs 0 19

(Long Fella Reports from PUM)

Mr. VAR was nowhere to be seen as near neighbours Ballyboden senior A hurlers and Faughs met at HQ in the hurling league division 1. Also absent was his first cousin Ms. Hawk-eye, perhaps flying towards Semple Stadium for the Saturday hurling. Conditions were excellent with a welcome setting sun and a soft wind towards Curtin’s back-door. The sides produced an exciting joust, sporting to near-gentlemanly, but controversy clouded the evening. A late attack on Boden’s goal led to claims from Faughs forward division that goalman Conor O’ Donoghue had committed a technical foul and should have been penalised, an opportunity to get the winning point. Much earlier a Boden shot for a point was registered as a wide, much to the annoyance of the shooter. So, there’s the pity of it all, you just cannot get the technology when the controversy is greatest!

The opening half was peppered with frees and a good scatter of wides. Darragh Kenny opened the scoring with a free, after Luke McDwyer had been upended. Faughs James O’Brien levelled with a free, before team-mate Liam Mostyn created a goal chance, only for O’Donoghue to race from his area and put his body on the line. O’Brien converted the 65. Kenny added from a free, but Mostyn restored the Faughs lead with a quality effort. The free-takers exchanged again, followed by a second goal chance for Faughs met with the same result as the first. The visitors went further ahead when Scott McConnell pointed, but Boden’s Niall McMorrow struck a sweet one by swivelling in tight space. He continued his good work with a good pass to Niall Ryan and the white flag. 5 to 5.

Boden then had a great goal chance after McMorrow worked to create for McDwyer, another bit of good goal-keeping kept the ball wide of goal. The home side then went a brace up. A Darragh 65, followed by a David Gleeson point from wide, he first to react to a Jack Lambert free out of defence. Faughs hit back, but Gleeson was again on the mark, Lambert again the provider. Boden then opened to three after Ryan found McMorrow in space and Luke Mulligan-Lynch stylishly hit a quality point. The gap then grew to four after Simon Lambert capitalised on loose Faughs passing. Mostyn closed the half with a tasty brace to bring the score to 11 to 9.

The second half opened as the first with McDwyer possession and a point on the run. The pace lifted and Faughs hit three on the bounce, O’Brien followed by a brace from Ciaran Nagle. In the mix here was an elegant lift from McMorrow. More good play followed from Boden, particularly a Stephen O’Connor catch and feed to Ryan, adding the point from wide to the rail. 14 to 14. Faughs struck again, but Boden hit back through substitute Kevin Desmond, a block and a looping shot. Simo struck his second of the evening, but Faughs matched his contribution. Into the last ten minutes Faughs looked the more likely winners, but another Boden substitute Paul Ryan showed why he holds inter-county scoring records by pointing a brace of frees from long range. Mostyn and Lee McConnell bagged response scores to keep the scoring even. The final act was orchestrated by good interplay through Faughs lines, and a point would have done the trick for them. They chose the goal option only for controversy to break out, interrupted by the final whistle.

This was the last competitive outing for the home side before the championship. The management will take some comfort from in-form players such as Niall Ryan, Sean McDonnell and O’Connor, all of whom looked the part. O’Donoghue was steadfast in the goals and without going Derryesque on it, he made himself available to take passes when the space allowed. However, the concerns may centre around the number of loose turnovers, some long range shots going directly to the opposition.

Squad; Conor O’Donoghue, Luke Mulligan-Lynch, Rob Leddy, Stephen O’Connor, Sean McDonnell. Jack Lambert, Barry McGuire, Luke McDwyer, Eoin Behan, Fergal Ryan, Simon Lambert, Niall Ryan, Niall McMorrow, Darragh Kenny, David Gleeson, Jim Kennedy, Kevin Desmond, Paul Ryan, Lee McConnell.