Vincents  1 – 9      BBSE   6 – 5

Saturday saw our U-16A’s make the trek across the city to face Vincents, in a game that was in essence a quarter final – the winner was into the Semi-Final, while the Shield awaited the loser.

In racing parlance the going was “good to yielding”, and the rain was falling steadily as we took the field. The grass was far too long, but to their credit, both teams tore into the exchanges with gusto from the start.

It turned out to be the veritable “game of two halves”.

Although Vincents scored the first point from a free, the remainder of the half was dominated for the most part by Boden. Our backs and midfield supplied a steady stream of good ball to our forwards, with Sadhbh in particular catching the eye, with her pinpoint reading of the breaks, and accurate deliveries up field.

The forwards made most of the opportunities count on the scoreboard. Jess worked tirelessly and Erica showed a welcome return from a recent injury, as did Saoirse Fitz in defence. We were comfortably ahead at half time, having scored six goals and only conceded one, and the girls looked forward to more of the same in the second half. That’s not exactly how things transpired.

Straight from the throw in for the second half, Vincents showed their mettle, and we knew quickly that this would be a battle to the end. Vins knocked over a couple of points and drove forward in waves, but our defenders were all heroic and defended as if their lives depended on it. Try as they might, Vins just could not breach our rearguard to get the goal they knew they needed, and we knew would really make things awkward for us.

Aoife marshalled the defence expertly, and Hannah at full back was steadiness personified. Behind them, Ally had her best outing of the year.

Up front, our forwards found the going much tougher than in the first half, but time and again Katie and others came back and gave some welcome assistance to a defence that was being stretched close to breaking point.

At the final whistle we had managed to maintain an 11 point advantage, but that margin does scant justice to a magnificent Vincents fight back in the second half, not does it indicate the pressure on Boden fingernails in that pressurised second half.

We have now qualified to play a fancied Faughs team in the semi-final in two weeks’ time. Further improvement will doubtless be needed for that encounter, but it’s a match our girls are looking forward to already.