Under 16 Football A Championship – A Traditionalists View
Growing up in the 50’s, I believe that there are only two ways to play
football, direct and directertor (education was not my priority!).
That’s when a successful training session was measured by the amount
of bodies lying strewn in a heap at the bottom of a muddy hill. Laps,
laps and more laps, it made men of us. After the long hot summer, I
was expecting to see this undvie er 16 team ready to ‘hoof’ the ball up
the pitch while ‘bursting’ all in front of them. “Hoof it”, I say,
“Hoof it”.

These soldiers were lining out in the “First Round” of the 16A
football championship against neighbours, Ballinteer St. Johns, in
Marley Park. Who ever heard of a “First Round” in a championship, the
bloody County Board are going soft. The Championship was always about
gut renching disappointment and the taste of salty tears when beaten
in whatever round, but NO, not now-a-days, it’s all second chances and
back doors. The only ‘back doors’ in my day, was the good kick up the
‘back door’ you got before an open handed clatther from the manager.
“Good old days”, I say, “Good old days”.

This Boden team played a free-flowing style of football, that made me
dizzy trying to figure out who was running where. Well worked points
from David Kane and a goal from Ryan O’Dwyer cancelled out Ballinteers
early 5 point lead. I had a few choice words for the Boden
“Management” every time they passed me on the line. “Where’s the
traditional 3-3-2-3-3 formation?”, I roared, “It served me well back
in the day.” But my remarks fell on deaf ears”. “Deaf Ears”, I say.

Off the shoulder running from Luke Mulligan-Lynch, Daire Sweeney and
Eoin Behan into Boden’s two man full forward line of David Kane and
Luke Byrne wreaked havoc with the Ballinteer defence, leading to some
fine, well taken scores. “Dr.Cusack himself, would turn in his grave,
if he saw the bastardisation of our great game”, I said, to anyone who
would listen. “You’d want to be Anne Frank to live with him”, a parent
remarked about my words of wisdom, the bloody cheek of her.

Trailing 1-8 to 2-6 at half time, meant it was all to play for in the
second half. The managers spoke and the Jaffa cakes passed round, yes
bloody “Jaffa Cakes”, no less. In my day, it was a quick sip of sea
water and 40 press up’s at half time. “Molly coddled”, I say, “Bloody
molly coddled”.

As the 2nd half started, some “Robust” defending from Eoghan Gannon,
Harry Donaghy and Cian Leahy saw Boden snuff out some quality
Ballinteer attacks. “Burst them”, I say, “Burst them”.

The introduction of Alex Gavin, Rian Power and Richie O’Hallaran
brought an new impetus to the team. This assisted the eye watering
work rate of Harry Colclough and ‘ex hurler’ Daragh Kenny.

The game ebbed and flowed with the lead changing between the teams but
neither relishing the responsibility of holding on to it. It all meant
that there was just a boot of the ball in it coming into the last five
minutes. “A Boot”, I say “A Boot”

As legs began to tire, not even Messers, Monahan, Dunne, O’Hallaran
and Hickey could stem the tide of Orange and Black jerseys. But for
some fine saves by Master O’Dea in goal and scores from young Byrne
and Gavin the game was on a knife edge going into the last minute of
injury time.

Trailing by a point with the last play of the game, we cleverly
intercepted the Ballinteer kick out leaving Boden with a 3 on 1
situation. That’s when I blacked out.

When I came round, the final whistle had sounded and Ballinteer were
left with the slimmest of leads on a score line of 4-11 to 2-16

Thankfully, the lads still have two more games to play in the group
stages, so qualification is still in their hands. “This new format’s a
God send and anyone who says otherwise is Salking Thite”, I say,
“Salking Thite”

Back row: Joe Maguire (Injured), Richie O’Hallaran, Harry Colclough,
Rian Power, Oran Dunne, David Monahan, Eoghan Gannon, Ryan O’Dwyer,
Daragh Kenny, David Kane, Alex Gavin, Cian Hassett (Injured), Eamon
Front row: Dean Jackson, Kevin Hickey, Cian Leahy, Luke Byrne, Luke
Mulligan-Lynch, Daire Sweeney, Eoin Behan (captain), Harry Donaghy,
Michael McDonald.

In fairness, they’re usually a happy bunch but the photo was taken
AFTER the game. That’s a mistake I won’t make again……..

Next up: St. Vincent at home on the “Good Pitch” on 22nd September

Under 16 Football ‘C’ Championship
Our U16B footballers had a super win in Ballycullen when they hosted St Finians in the opening round of the group stage of Championship.
Well done lads.
Ballyboden 7:13 St Finians 5:09

Under 16 Football ‘D’ Championship
Our U16C footballers had a great win when they travelled to Howth to take on Beann Eadair in their opening game of Championship last Saturday afternoon. Well done lads!
Ballyboden 4:09 Beann Eadair 3:04