Senior football championship v Clontarf, Páirc Uí Mhurchú, 25 July 2020

Ballyboden St Endas 4 – 20   Clontarf 2 – 8

This was a unique occasion in many ways – a senior football championship match, played in July, on home turf, players togging out under gazebos while the rain pelted down.

The club grounds, pitch, car park and surrounds and indeed the clubhouse were resplendent after recent improvement works as the match got under way. However, Clontarf were not interested in the surrounds and within a minute had the ball in the back of the net, quickly followed by a point. Ross McGarry pulled a point back a minute later but two more points by the visitors, and another effort off the post, had the home team wondering what had hit them. Conal Keaney and Clontarf shared 4 points in the next five minutes (one of Clontarf’s points clipped the upper side of the cross bar and could easily have been another goal) and just before the water break, Colm Basquel had his first point (free). Conal Keaney pulled back another point just after the break to leave a goal separating the sides. Then Clontarf hit with another goal. This seemed to have woken the county champions from their slumbers as, in the remaining 8 minutes to half time, they scored 1 – 4 to Clontarf’s one point to leave the half time scores level, 1 – 9 to 2 – 6. The goal was a cracker, just a minute after Clontarf’s goal, and was scored by Warren Egan after some intricate passing moves among the forwards. Colm Basquel converted three of the points (2 frees) with Conal Keaney scoring the other from a free.

The second half started with Ross McGarry popping over the first two points before Clontarf got one back. Two more points by Declan O’Mahony and Colm Basquel were followed by what turned out to be Clontarf’s last score, to leave Boden two points ahead, half-way through the second half. Colm Basquel scored the next two points (1 free) followed by another from Ross McGarry before Darragh Nelson was in the right place to prevent Clontarf from raising another green flag. The game was ended as a contest when Colm Basquel coolly converted a penalty after Conal Keaney was fouled in the small square. Colm then added another three points (1 free). Tom Hayes got on the scoreboard with a point as the clock ticked towards full time. However, there was still time to improve the teams scoring difference with goals from Warren Egan (his second), after good work by Alan Flood, and Simon Lambert, from a neat pass from Tom Hayes. Clontarf didn’t give up without a fight and Darragh Gogan had to be alert to make a good save on 60 minutes and he followed up with another save when Clontarf went for goal from a close in free.

So, unlike our two previous clashes with Clontarf in the championship in recent years which ended with late one and two point wins, this was a more comprehensive win to give the team confidence as they face what will inevitably be a tough contest against St Vincents in the next round in Páirc Naomh Uinsionn on Wednesday 5 August at 7.30pm.

TEAM: Darragh Gogan, Kieran Kennedy, Shane Clayton, Cathal Flaherty, James Holland, Robbie McDaid, Darragh Nelson, Michael Darragh Macauley, Darren O’Reilly, Colm Basquel, Warren Egan, Conal Keaney, Ryan Basquel, Ross McGarry. SUBS USED: Alan Flood, Donogh McCabe, Brian Bobbett, Tom Hayes, Simon Lambert. Other panel members: Mark McNamee, Stephen O’Connor, Ciarán O’Reilly, Shane Durkin, Josh Hayes, Cian Murray.

Photos by John Kirwan.

Posted by BodenGAA on Saturday, July 25, 2020