“This Castleknock side have won every major honour and raffle since under 10. They are a special group of players that have set the benchmark in juvenile football. Today our lads showed an incredible maturity to overcome adversity, control large parts of the game and win the one that matters most “, said a reflective Liam O’Dwyer after the game. Liam is very much a man of the people, if those people are angry dads that drink too much. When rifling through the pre match stats, this Hack discovered that Boden have only ever beaten this Castleknock side twice in nine competitive meetings over the last six years, so the odds were very much stacked against them.
Following early points from O’Dwyer and Byrne, Castleknock showed their star quality by evening up the match at 2 a piece before catastrophe struck. A freaky defensive mix up allowed Castleknock’s Matthew Lynham in behind for a clear shot on goal. Even a magnificent save from ‘net minder’ Eoin Donne wasn’t enough to prevent the resulting ‘tap in’ and the first green flag was raised. The second green flag came five minutes later, following a bursting run from midfield by Castleknock and Dublin under 20’s-star, Luke Swan. With 3 Boden players hanging out of him, the referee felt somewhat obliged to award a 20-meter free. The resulting ‘training ground move’ saw the net being rattled again by Swan himself.
“Six points down at the water break while playing with the wind. Lesser people would have said we were done for. But we have been with this group of players since the Academy and know they have the mental strength”, said Mentor Declan Maguire. It takes a bit of time to get to know the real Declan and a degree in criminal psychology would assist.
Trojan work from the midfield partnership of Kenny and Colcough was supplemented by the foraging abilities of Lynch and Behan. Boden began to impose their own game by scavenging more ball around the middle. Further points from Behan and Byrne were pegged back by one from Castleknock. Then, up steps O’Dwyer with four beauties that truly rattled the reigning champions. The pick of the bunch being…. 35 yards out and not able get the ball to an inside forward, he decides, “Sod this” and strokes it over himself. “He’s twice the player his aul fella ever was”, said proud Grandfather Eddie O’Dwyer (who wished to remain anonymous). A scathing reference to his son and current Minor manager. Christmas dinner will be a tense affair in the O’Dwyer household this year.
Boden went to the break only two points adrift 0-8 to 2-4
Cauldron of silence:
Following the new Covid restrictions, the much clichèd “16th Man” was missing from the ground. But we spotted some Boden supporters with a newfound interest in tree climbing, fence peeping and loitering in high viz vests. We spoke with some of these supporters who would only be identified by their Twitter handles……[email protected]Muirenn-houseinCharleville said, “This Social Distancing is a farce. If parents can’t stand close to the side-line, how will coaches know what to do.” @Fifi-30grandChinJob said “I heard Mick is turning the bar into a Spa and Yoga centre. It will be so super conviens, ya know like ya.” While @Hugo-RangeRoverEvoque said, “Dealz!! in Rothfornham. Good Lord. As if having a Tesco wasn’t bad enough.”
Following the unfortunate start, the back six of Mulligan-Lynch, Maguire, Gannon, Donaghy, Gavin & O’Sullivan were imperious. They closed down Castleknock’s man mountains, shifted some heavy tackles and reduced the opposition to uncontrolled snap shooting.
“The thing that impressed me most was the maturity and composure shown by such a young team. When the defenders won possession, they calmly and patiently moved the ball forward and from side to side awaiting the right opportunity”, said Boden veteran Tony Shields, who happened to be cleaning the gutters of the clubhouse at the exact same time as the match.
Sandwiched between two frees from the boot of Luke Byrne, came the ‘Wonder Pass’ (for those of you in attendance, this has officially been reclassified as a ‘Pass’) from centre back Alex Gavin. Alex perfectly executed the dying art of the 45 yard, two mile high in the air ball, targeted to land on the fingertips of the Boden forward, who incidentally, was busy reading the newspaper waiting for the ball to return from the sky. Thankfully, O’Dwyer put the crossword down just in time to palm the ball into the net. And with that, Boden took the lead that wouldn’t be relinquished.
Controlling the Game:
The introduction of Sweeney at half time was pivotal in linking the play and giving options around the 25-meter line. Playing into ‘Cremorne end’ and with an ever-stiffening wind in their favour, Castleknock began to throw everything at it. Moving Swan into full forward, high balls began to rain down on the square only to be met by a back three that were never going to be panicked. For each block down or enforced snapshot, the Boden lads got more and more confident that they would get the job done. Reducing Castleknock to a single point in 30 minutes of football, while playing with the wind, was a phenomenal achievement. “This is not an upset or a shock result,” said weather beaten mentor Jack Donaghy, “we were fully confident of winning here today. Granted, we didn’t plan on conceding 2 goals in the first 10 minutes, but I never had a doubt in my mind. It’s on to game five now and the preparation for that will begin tomorrow.” Stirring words indeed.
Final Score: BBSE 1-12 Castleknock 2-05
The Panel: Eoin Donne, Luke Mulligan Lynch, Joe Maguire, Eoghan Gannon, Hugh O’Sullivan, Alex Gavin, Harry Donaghy, Harry Colclough, Daragh Kenny, Daniel Lynch, Ryan O’Dwyer (1-5 (1XF)), Eoin Behan (0-1), David Keogh (0-1), Conall McGlynn, Luke Byrne (0-5 (4xF)), Daire Sweeney, David Keane, Cian Leahy, Ronan Long, Richard O’ Halloran, Kevin Hickey, Evan Welsh, Oisin King, Cian Hassett, Michael McDonald (Inj), David Monahan (Inj)
Next up: A home semi-final against Kilmacud Crokes, Sunday 6th September @11am. The tree pruning service will commence at 10.55am