Wednesday, 15th November 2017 Result: 1-17 to 1-16 Report by Shane O’Brien

Ballyboden St Enda’s survived a thrilling finish to claim the Senior Football Championship Tournament, beating Raheny by the slenderest of margins in St Margaret’s GAA. Missing a host of key players, Boden had Darren O’Reilly’s second half goal, coupled with the point scoring exploits of Conal Keaney and Sam Molony, to thank for their one-point victory; with the pair kicking 14 points between them. Boden had to survive a late onslaught when a stoppage time goal gave Raheny a sniff of rescuing a game that looked out of their reach. But survive they did and victory was a positive way to sign off on what has been a turbulent year for the senior footballers to say the least. Boden got off to a perfect start and three quick points from Sam Molony and Conal Keaney (2) had them three to the good inside five minutes. Raheny, however, led by the exploits of Dublin midfielder Brian Fenton, hauled themselves back into the game and were level by the quarter hour mark at four points apiece, with the Dublin stalwart tagging on two points in the process. Raheny were the better side in the early proceedings, disrupting the Boden kickout and enjoy large spells of territory and possession, although they weren’t able to convert that into scores and the sides were level at seven points apiece as the game approached the interval. With only two minutes left of normal time, however, Raheny finally found their range and tagged on four quick scores to give themselves a healthy buffer heading in at the break.

There was an ominous feeling as the second half began that Raheny could begin to pull away from Boden as the game progressed, but a Keaney free was quickly followed up by Darren O’Reilly raising a green flag to wipe out the northsiders lead in flash. Keaney fed Sam Molony in the full forward line, who turned his man and had the presence of mind to see O’Reilly running off his shoulder. O’Reilly still had plenty to do; but rifled home to the bottom corner to restore parity. Molony the quickly added his third point of the night to restore Boden’s early lead, but the concession of consecutive needless frees saw Raheny regain the lead in a hurry. Substitute Eamon O’Reilly drew Boden level after he finished off a flowing move, but Raheny soon made use of the abundance of space in the Boden defence to pull two points clear. It would be the last time they would score for 20 minutes, however, as Boden exhibited a brilliant gain management to snatch the game away from their rivals.The mercurial Keaney scored 4 points (2 frees, 2 from play) in as many minutes to put Boden two points ahead with 10 minutes to play, before Molony kicked his fourth and fifth points of the evening to put Boden more than a score in front. Eamon O’Reilly added his second in the last minute of normal time to seemingly put the game beyond all reasonable doubt, but Raheny mustered a fightback from somewhere and ensured Boden endured a nervous finale. First, a free was tapped over to reduce the arrears to four, and then deep into additional time they struck for goal leaving the minimum between the teams. With well over four minutes played, the referee allowed one more play off the Boden kick out and Raheny even managed to secure possession. However, they couldn’t convert it into a score and Boden held on to ensure that they ended 2017 with silverware in hand.

Team: Dara Gogan, Naoise McGuire, Graham Heavey, Cathal Flaherty, Tom Hanifin, Dara Nelson, Ciaran Archibald, Donagh McCabe, Simon Lambert, Colly Dunne, Conal Keaney, Darren ORielly, Sam Malony, Ronan Cleary, Robbie McDaid.

Subs: Eamon O’Reilly for Simon Lambert
Subs not on. Alan Flood, Evan Flanagan, Carl Weldon.

Management: Shane Brooks, Dara Walsh, Andrew Kerin