Under 16 ‘A’ Football Championship Final 21/5/17, Ballyboden St Endas v St Vincents, O’ Toole Park, Crumlin.

Last Saturday saw a potential piece of history being recorded as the Ballyboden St Endas Under 16A’s took to the field in O’Toole Park against St Vincents. Just minutes after the Ballyboden B’s had lifted the ‘D’ Championship in style.

Unfortunately, the hand of history was not on our side as Vincents were to take the ‘A’ crown after an intriguing hours’ football. The Northside outfit were the first to settle and scored 4 points before the ‘Boden nerves were shaken off and they began to take a grip on the game. Indeed, once they got going, they would record 1-5 without reply.  The goal coming from the boot of the very active Conor Lowe.

After this purple spell however, Vincents were to hit two goals in the space of a minute which in hindsight defined the game and saw them lead by 7 at the break.

The second half was up and down with Boden getting back to within 2 points on one occasion. St Vincents kept their composure however and ran out winners by four in the end.

The disappointment of the team and mentors not to mention the huge ‘Boden support was immense. This group have now experienced two county final defeats which are hard life lessons for what is a great bunch of young players. One is judged by how you respond to defeat however and there is still a league there to be won. Fortunately, there is also Under 17 football to look forward to next year and who is to say that the third time won’t be the charm.

Many thanks to Miriam Doyle for the photos. For more photos, see here

Under 16 ‘A’ Football Championship Semi Final 22/4/17, Ballyboden St Endas v Skerries Harps, Prunty Pitch, Sancta Maria.

Saturday afternoon last saw a strong wind blowing from the car  park end of Sancta Maria towards Temple Roan.  Gaining the wind advantage proved to be vital as the Ballyboden St Endas Under 16s took to the field against Skerries Harps for their Championship semi final.

With the wind literally at their backs, the ‘Boden forwards led by Malachy Codd notched up a four point lead before Skerries could muster an attack. When they did however it was to score a goal and this followed by a quick point, meant the teams were level after ten minutes, despite ‘Boden’s dominance of possession.

Boden would go a further 3points ahead only for things to be repeated as Skerries got a second goal and ensured parity once again. Thankfully the half finished with the home team clipping on a few more points and a goal which was the pick of the scores of the first half.  Keeper Jake Turley jumped higher than his crossbar to ‘save’ a point and set up a whole team move which resulted in a goal from Cillian Wall.

Although leading by 1-13 to 2-1 at half time, the half time message was clear.  They would have the strong wind and teams don’t travel to any semi final to make up the numbers.  As happens with a lot of these encounters, the first ten of the second half would be crucial.  Thankfully, this team of players’ work rate can never be questioned and the proverbial shoulder was put to the proverbial wheel once again.  The intensity of the tackles was immense led primarily by the midfield turbo that is Pierce Christie.  Skerries were effectively pinned back from the ‘Boden half back line onwards.

The scores (of both kinds) kept coming and ‘Boden were to run out easy winners in the end with a score line of 4-18 to 2-6.  This was a big surprise to anyone who witnessed the league encounter between these two a few weeks back when ‘Boden had the upper hand with a lucky one point win. There was no need to call on Lady Luck last Saturday however.

This team now has to do it all again in two weeks time in the County Final.  After a defeat at the same point last year at U15 level, here’s hoping they can go the extra step next time out.  If the commitment, work and dedication shown on this occasion is matched or even improved on May 20th, who would bet against them?

Go for it lads!!

Many thanks to Miriam Dyle for the photos. For more photos, see here.

Under 16 ‘A’ Football Championship Quarter Final 22/4/17, Whitehall Colmcille v Ballyboden St Endas, Collins Avenue.

There was really only one team in this tie, as the Ballyboden St Endas Under 16 marched onto the semi final of the Championship with a formidable win over Whitehall. After an initial point from Whitehall, Boden took over to dominate the first half with a first class work rate on display. Cillian Wall latched onto numerous Whitehall kick outs to register a number of scores and really built the visiting team’s momentum. This momentum was maintained throughout the half by attack after attack being launched by both the midfield duo of Pierce Christie and Enda Cashman and the half back line of Cian Maher, Conor Harnrahan and Dean Ralph. Any Whitehall threat up front threat was marshalled well by full back Patrick Donleavy.

Half time saw Boden 0-11 to 0-4 up.

The second half continued like the first with Malachy Codd scoring a selection of exquisite points from a variety of angles. The proverbial nail in the coffin for Whitehall came with a goal from the scoring machine that was Cillian Wall after a great team move. Conor Lowe was everywhere in the second half as Boden went on to run out convincing winners on a score line of 1-22 to 0-6.

A great afternoon’s work gets this team through to a semi final versus Skerries Harps in a fortnight’s time on Saturday May 6th.

Under 16 ‘A’ Football Championship Opening Round 05/4/17, Ballyboden St Endas v Lucan Sarsfields, Prunty Pitch, Sancta Maria.

This was always going to be a close one!  Have met on a few occasions over the years, there has never been much between these two teams.  A recent league game in Ballycullen saw Boden nab a last minute goal and steal the game in the process.  But Championship is different and the intensity, skill level and abilities shown by both sides were a sight to behold. As one might expect, the game started tensely enough with nerves aplenty and it was Lucan who drew first blood with a point after 5 minutes. oden then got to grips and had a great spell scoring 5 on the trot.  This included some great shooting from Malachy Codd and Cillian Wall. Lucan were to have a subsequent good spell before Boden found the net in the 20th minute.  On the day the Gooch retired, our own John ‘Gooch’ McGuire played a ball through to Enda Cashman of which the Kerry legend would have been proud.  Cashman kept his cool to dispense the ball to the net after gliding pass their oncoming keeper.

Sarsfields did clip on a few more points to lead by the minimum at the break.

This Boden team prides itself on its work rate and when shoulders were needed to be put to the wheel, none were found wanting.  Pierce Christie and Enda Cashman at midfield were keeping the game going at an unrelenting pace, with Peter Gannon supporting them where needed.  Cian Maher and Dean Ralph were the twin engines on the flanks racing up from half back all evening. Up front Malachy Codd was piercing the Lucan defence at will.  The coolness of Patrick Molloy was called on to slot a few points from frees also.

Consequently, half way through the second half Boden had pulled in to a three point lead.  As one would expect, Lucan kept coming and Boden had to rely on a super full length save from Jake Turley with five left on the clock. Further attacks were thwarted in the dying minutes by the always dependable Joey Donohoe and the ever present man-of-the-match Enda Cashman. When referee Tommy Clinton finally blew the whistle after 4 minutes of additional time, the relief was immense, only over shadowed by the sense of achievement at coming out at the right end of a truly incredible game.

Whitehall now await the U16s in the quarter final on April 22nd. The dream lives on…..

Many thanks to Miriam Doyle for the photos. For more photos, see here