Ballyboden St Endas 2 18 Faughs 0 18

Long Fella Reports from PUM

A fluent third quarter of workmanlike hurling paved the way for a good win over neighbours Faughs in the semi-final of the U21A Hurling Championship at a well-attended HQ on Saturday afternoon. The pivotal score was a well-taken goal from Fergal Ryan after Boden’s corner-back Luke Mulligan-Lynch ran fully seventy metres past a number of roadblocks to lay on the crucial pass. The sides had turned around on level pegging after Faughs had grittily stuck to the task and in the process clawed back a seven-point deficit, and without a goal on the scoreboard. Boden had opened with a flurry of scores that included a real classy goal from Darragh Kenny. But two other names were primal in the discussion at the rail. Boden’s Adam Kelleher and Faughs James O’Brien were in scoring form for their respective sides, providing some good entertainment for the enthusiastic support.

Great credit is due to both sides for the quality of hurling they produced on a November surface. Add in the dark sky which dulled the light to the point that the floodlights should have been used (apologies to the COP). The conditions barely hindered the scoring displays of O’Brien and Kelleher. The latter’s best was his line-cut from a narrow angle which rose to just crossbar height and was parried for a point. O’Brien was impeccable from placed balls over the hour, as well as contributing a brace from play. Ryan opened the scoring and was quickly followed by Kelleher, Malachy Codd, Kenny’s goal and Kelleher again (Ryan assist). O’Brien burst into the action with a quality point followed by a converted free. Kelleher won a good possession, only to lose it in a tackle, recover the ball again and convert for a point. Boden’s Connell McGlynn was next to score and open the lead to 1.06 to a brace. This led to Faughs best spell, a run of six unanswered points from O’Brien and Liam Mostyn. In contrast, Boden ran up a series of four wides. Kelleher came good for Boden with more quality before O’Brien and Mostyn replied for Faughs. Half-time 1.08 to 0.11.

On resumption Boden went on the scoring spree that ultimately decided the spoils. Leon Kennedy opened the scoring, followed by John McGuire. Kelleher fed Kenny for a quality score, followed by Ryan’s goal. With the lead now at seven, Boden’s defence came centre-stage in limiting the Faughs threat. Impressive in the basics were Conor Lowe, Jack Lambert and Pearse Christie, dropping back from his usual attacking role. Another who looked the part was introduction Ryan O’ Dwyer with a quality point as well as some useful interventions. McGuire bagged a second score, but this paled against his overall workrate. Faughs gave of their best, but it was the individual display from O’Brien that stood out. Ryan and Kenny remained prominent for Boden, benefiting from the experience they have gained over the extended season.

Kelleher bagged a decent haul of scores, as well as finding others in better positions, particularly Kenny. Darragh himself gave a fine second half performance to add to his crucial early goal. Ryan was constantly on the move linking the play whenever he could. McGuire was the dominant mid-field man in the second half, but he was ably assisted by Christie in perhaps, a better positioning for him. Boden’s goalman Eoin MacPhaidin was rock steady behind the defence, particularly under the dropping ball. The defence as a unit had a solid second half with the half line of Lambert, Lowe and Sean Bury pushing up on the Faughs attack, when the opportunities came. Early on Lambert used his considerable stature to blast his way past three of Faughs, sending them flying like skittles, much to the support of the Boden line. Faughs contributed hugely to the game with the aforementioned O’Brien and Mostyn in top form. But they also had defender Joe Kenny prominent as well as young Conor Brennan and Colm Leahy. Raheny await in the final.

Thanks to John Kirwan for the photos. Click here for more

Eoin MacPhaidin, Luke Mulligan-Lynch, Barry McGuire, Hugh O’Sullivan, Jack Lambert, Conor Lowe, Sean Bury, John McGuire, Leon Kennedy, Darragh Kenny, Fergal Ryan, Malachy Codd, Connell McGlynn, Pearse Christie, Adam Kelleher, Enda Cashman, Timmy Cleary, Cian Corcoran, Josh  Corcoran, Eoghan Deighnan, Liam Irwin, Davy Keogh, David Monahan, Matthew Ormsby, Ryan O’Dwyer, Daire Sweeney, Cillian Wall.