Senior football league v Cuala, Páirc Úí Murchú, 26 June 2019

Ballyboden St Endas 3 – 15  Cuala 1 – 7

Over the last 4 meetings, Boden managed to win just one match against this opposition (2017). So, on this occasion, the home side needed to avenge some of the previous setbacks. Cuala were never going to be an easy touch and they got the score board ticking over on four minutes after some cagey play by both sides. It took the home team 10 minutes to get on the score board when Alan Flood popped over a point and he repeated the feat a minute later. Cuala brought the sides level as we approached the midway point of the first half. Boden gained the upper hand as Darren O’Reilly and Darragh Gogan (free) pointed and then, following a good turn over, Darren O’Reilly fed Alan Flood who finished clinically to the net. Mikey Dunne fired over to add to the home side’s advantage. However, Cuala were not going to give up so easily and, in the remaining 10 minutes before half time, they scored a goal and two points to leave the home side just a point up at half time, 1 – 5 to 1 – 4.

A tight second half was anticipated and in the first two minutes there was an exchange of points with Mikey Dunne scoring for the home side. Ryan Basquel, returning from injury, had replaced the injured Sean Gibbons just before half time, and he quickly put his mark on the game by popping over a free on three minutes of the second half. Then, Donagh McCabe launched a ‘Hail Mary’ ball in towards the Cuala square and Tom Hayes managed to knock the ball down from the clutches of one of the Cuala backs into the path of Luke O’Donoghue who blasted to the net. Huge pressure continued to be applied to every Cuala kickout and points followed without reply from Ryan Basquel (2, I free), Darren O’Reilly, Tom Hayes (a good effort by Alan Flood was saved by the Cuala goal keeper into the Tom’s path), Mikey Dunne (2), Alan Flood and Lewis Cawley before Ryan Basquel scored one of the goals of the year when blasting a great shot across the Cuala goal keeper but beyond his reach. During this period of dominance, Darragh Gogan made a great save to prevent Cuala getting a goal back. In the last few minutes, Cuala did manage to score two points (1 free) to leave the home side winning convincingly to retain their position at the top of the league.

So, this was a very satisfying win for the home side after set-backs in recent years against the same opposition. Another minor player, Conor Hanrahan, made his senior debut with a confident display.  Jake Turley, another minor, was available to make his debut as sub goalie, if needed.

TEAM: Darragh Gogan (0 – 1); Bob Dwan; Shane Clayton; Cian Murray; Brian Bobbett; James Holland; Cathal Flaherty; Donagh McCabe; Declan O’Mahony; Darren O’Reilly (0 – 2); Alan Flood (1 – 3); Luke O’Donoghue (1 – 0); Mikey Dunne (0 – 4); Sean Gibbons; Tom Hayes (0 – 1). SUBS USED: Ryan Basquel (1 – 3); Lewis Cawley (0 – 1); Conor Hanrahan; Johnny Murphy; Ronan Cleary. SUB NOT USED: Jake Turley