Result: 3-12 to 0-09
Senior football league v Ballymun, Páirc Úí Mhurchú, 18 February 2018
It is often difficult to predict how the first league game of the season is going to pan out. When the Dublin county players are made available by Jim Gavin, when Collie Basquel is injured and unavailable, when Michael Darragh McAuley can play only half an hour, when all the Ballymun county players are lining out, when our dual players are not available, when we are missing a number of other players, the odds against a home win would probably be high.
However, our new senior football manager, Anthony Rainbow, and the players that were available did not read any other script but the one that says we go out and give it our all, and this is exactly what they did. From number 1 to 15 and the six subs who came on, this was a great performance that produced some lovely attacking football and brought a result that was fully deserved. In the first minute Ross McGarry showed why he was an All Star minor last year by firing over an early point. Ryan Basquel followed with two similar scores, one free. Darren O’Reilly, operating from the half back line, brought the score to four points to nil in the seventh minute. The backs were giving no room to the Ballymun forwards and it took ten minutes before they got their first score, a pointed free by Dean Rock. Ryan Basquel popped over a free before James Madden, making his senior league debut, fired to the back of the net after 14 minutes. Stephen O’Connor continued to attack up along the left wing, and after one such long run, he expertly found Ryan Basquel heading towards goal and he made no mistake in scoring our second goal. This seemed to waken Ballymun from their slumbers and they scored the next four points, three frees by Dean Rock and a point from play by Paddy Small. With two minutes to go to half time, Declan O’Mahony stopped the rot by hitting a point to leave the half time score 2 – 7 to 0 – 5 in favour of the home team.
The second half started with Michael Darragh McAuley taking over from Declan O’Mahony in mid-field but play continued as the first half ended with the home team again in control. Ryan Basquel hit two points, one free, before a great move ended with Simon Lambert finishing to the net after 10 minutes. Dean Rock scored two points, one free, before Cathal Flaherty, operating from full back, got up to score a point. Dean Rock, again from a free, cancelled this out. The management emptied the bench but it did not weaken the team as we continued to dominate with Ryan Basquel and Barra McGarry pointing frees and Ballymun getting one back, their third from play in the whole match.
So a good start to the league with a good win and, equally importantly, a very good performance.
Next up is Kilmacud Crokes in two weeks time, away.
TEAM: Conor Dooley; Cian Murray; Cathal Flaherty; Stephen O’Connor; Tom Hanafin; Darragh Nelson; Darren O’Reilly; Simon Lambert; Declan O’Mahony; Colm Dunne; Ryan Basquel; Donagh McCabe; James Madden; Sam Molony; Ross McGarry. SUBS USED: Michael Darragh McAuley; Alan Flood; Barra McGarry; Brian Bobbett; Sean Gibbons; Robbie McDaid. NOT USED: Darragh Gogan.