In contrast to the drawn match, conditions in O’Toole Park were wretched –grey skies, lashing rain, and a stiff breeze blowing into the road goal. The sod was consequently heavy, but in the circumstances the pitch was in excellent conditions.
Boden won the toss and wisely took advantage of the elements in the first half. Boden supporters significantly outnumbered the Lucan contingent, and they were given plenty of reasons to cheer as our girls hunted in packs and attacked in waves, putting Lucan defence under sustained pressure. We opened our account with a pointed free from Katie McDonnell, but the Lucan goal led something of a charmed life for a while. However the signs for Lucan were ominous as the Boden attacks continued apace. Finally the hoped for breakthrough seemed to arrive on 10 minutes after a goalmouth scramble, as umpire Tony Hassett decisively waved the green flag. However, all of Tony’s persuasive shills and charm did not sway the referee, as she proceeded to disallow the goal after a lengthy discussion with the umpires.
This setback only seemed to spur Boden on, and two goals in quick succession from Hollyn Kennedy and Ciara Woodcock were no more than their efforts deserved. Lucan were finding it extremely difficult to get beyond the middle of the field, but any time they did, they found the Boden rearguard absolutely impenetrable.
Then a point from Erica Tobin and a goal from Alanna McGarry extended the Boden lead. Just before the half-time whistle, a dropping ball into the Lucan square was finished to the net by the captain Muireann Delaney.
The score at the break of Boden 4-2 Lucan 0-0 might suggest that Boden were in firm control, but we were all wary of the expected Lucan onslaught at the start of the second half. Indeed three weeks earlier, Lucan did hit such a purple patch on the resumption that threatened to bury our girls, but we were having none of this time.
On the resumption, our girls took up where they left off. As expected our back line came under more pressure but Lucan found us a tough nut to crack. Then we made the vital breakthrough as Hollyn got in for her second goal, and at this stage Lucan must have feared the worst. To their credit they responded with a goal and a point, but Boden then decided that enough was enough and provided no more opportunities to Lucan. Instead, we controlled the remainder of the game and incredibly added another four goals – from Erica, Blathnaid Slater, Aisling Byrne and Kate McDonald.
That final score Ballyboden St. Endas 9-2 Lucan Sarsfields 1-1. A result that nobody could have seen coming, and it means that the Championship trophy will rest for the year with the Feile trophy in Pairc Ui Murchu.
This was an absolute panel effort, with all 21 girls contributing on the day and in the previous rounds. Lucan will doubtless be back, but as could be seen as the girls celebrated on the final whistle, this day belonged to Boden.