Weather forecast for Sunday, October 5th threatened all types of awful conditions as Ballyboden U15A hurlers finalised preparations for the 2014 Division 1 Hurling Championship Final. Just as well, we can rely on our weathermen to be unreliable, as both teams woke up to a perfect day for hurling. The cross-city trip from Firhouse Road to The ‘Neller was a breeze…so far so good, but what kind of reception awaited our lads on the Northside. Whitehall Colmcille were the opposition, in what might be considered a temporary home venue. They were likely to bring a huge crowd of support, particularly as they had qualified following an impressive win over local rivals St. Vincent’s in their semi-final…..a result that suggested their league form was no indicator of their Championship credentials and a clear signal that this team means business.
U15 hurler and guest match reporter, Mark McNamee, recovering from an unfortunate injury sustained in the earlier Championship qualifying rounds, takes up the story of the game:
Both teams started with intensity with Whitehall getting the first point. Shortly after Daniel O’Riordan ran from halfway for Boden’s first score, with an improvised kick over the bar under severe Whitehall pressure. Then came two goals in quick succession from Ben Kelly and Rob Donoghue to stretch the Boden lead. This was the start we wanted to quieten the vocal home support and put Whitehall on the back foot.
Whitehall showed their qualities in these early exchanges with their second, from an impressive snap shot from distance by Lee Gannon, making the score 2:03 to 0:02. Whitehall’s number 13 followed up to add to their account with a great point for his team’s third, but James Madden ran through to respond with his first goal.
A wonderful save from Boden goalkeeper Conor O’Donoghue denied Whitehall what looked like a certain goal. James Madden, proving to be a real handful for the Northsiders, scored his first point. Half-time score was 3:04 to 0:03.
Whitehall opened the second half with a point from a free. Shane Kennedy replied with his first point of the day. An impressive effort following a lightening run from midfield. He would go on to add another two before the final whistle.The difference between the teams after O’Donoghue converted a long-distance free and Madden’s second point was 12 points in Boden’s favour. With both teams showing signs of tiredness, it was time to introduce some fresh legs. Substitute Luke Basquel settled any chance of a late Whitehall comeback with 2 points following his introduction from the bench. Final score of the match came from a goal from James Madden, a fitting end to his day’s work and fully justifying his selection as Man of The Match.
Final score Ballyboden 4:10 Whitehall 0:05.
As Captain Sam Lally gratefully received the Championship trophy, last won by Ballyboden in 2004, with a rousing acceptance speech and a gracious “Cheers Lads” to the competition organisers, all that was left was an unexpected and sudden appearance of the bad weather predicted. An isolated and local icy shower directly over the head of Boden Mentor Joe Lalor, to the delight of the celebrating players, didn’t dampen his spirits. Instead we were all treated to a rendition of Joe’s self-penned and catchy pop ditty…”It’s All About The Bas”.
Meanwhile, coach David Curtin headed off to work out how to transfer this excellent U15 display to the seniors, while focus of Mentors Kelly, O’Donoghue and Normile switched to Div 1 League Semi-Final in two weeks.
Thanks to all supporters that made the trip over to encourage the lads, which is most appreciated, particularly U15B hurlers and mentors, and U15 football mentors.