Well done to our U16 Hurlers through to the ‘A’ Championship Final after a 4:20 to 3:08 win over neighbours Faughs this lunchtime in Pairc Uí Mhúrchú

Boden Abú!

Match Report – BBSE V Faughs – U16A Hurling Championship Semi-Final 5/10/2019

The  business end of the U16A Hurling Championship pitted our Boden lads against old foes and near neighbours Faughs in a last four decider…This is ‘THE’ proverbial Derby of our fixture calendar and more often than not, they tend to be hotly contested, close affairs with the players on either side familiarity with each other, a crucial element in an always mouth-watering clash of the ash when these two talented sides meet! 

This was the second time they would face-off this season…the first being the opening fixture on day one of the league campaign…Boden, reigning league Champs of 2018 versus the 2017 league Champs…Neither side wanted to give an inch to the other in the season curtain raiser but something had to give in the bragging stakes…it did…and on that day Boden struggled without a few key absentees and Faughs got their campaign off to the perfect start. In fairness to the Boden boys, they quickly put that disappointing performance behind them and went unbeaten for the remainder of the league campaign with some scintillating performances…but unfortunately, so did Faughs and they regained the league crown and bragging rights again ! Another bite of the cherry now presented itself for Boden however, when the championship semi-final permutations produced this tie…It was anticipated that should Boden progress through the Championship, they would cross paths with Faughs again at some stage and it was hoped that may be in the final for the ultimate show-down and with the greatest prize at stake.

Boden sailed through their round-robin group series with a 100% record and with impressive wins over St. Vincents, Na Fianna and St. Judes…with the victory away to 2018 Championship winners, Na Fianna at their Mobhi Road HQ a particularly pleasing result and performance. Faughs progressed from their group as runners up having drawn with Kilmacud Crokes who would secure top spot on scoring differential. Lucan Sarsfields and Commercials proved no match for either of these two heavyweights.

So then it came to pass…Boden V Faughs, with home advantage in Pairc uí Murchù on Saturday October 5th 

The forecasted inclement conditions arrived on que shortly after the match got underway at 13:00 but Boden got the perfect start with a fine point from the first attack when Michael McDonald slotted over a fine strike from wide on the right. It would be a sign of things to come from Michael who went on to give an outstanding Man Of The Match performance. However, within a minute, a fortuitous fluke from a long, high ball in, which deceived Boden keeper Conor Barnes and the Faughs full forward, gave Faughs an early two point advantage. Boden didn’t panic at this early juncture and responded with five scores from Rhys McDonnell to regain the lead by mid-way through the half. 

The Boden forwards, without the considerable presence of Evan Walsh on the day, were troubling the Faughs rear-guard and drawing frees from which Rhys just doesn’t miss! The expected Faughs fightback was quelled before it started as such as Boden’s dynamo Davy Keogh struck a super goal in the 16th minute and this was followed within seconds when a short puck-out was turned over and Rhys McDonnell rattled their net again which took the wind out of the Faughs sails. To Faughs credit, they didn’t throw in the towel and tacked on a couple of points to steady their ship but they were getting precious little from the sturdy Boden defence who have a perfect blend of guile and sheer physical power in the ranks that has been breaking the hearts of most teams all season. The ever dependable power house,  Alex Gavin was again dominant at centre-back ably assisted either side of him by Reed Barry who displayed awesome fielding in what were atrocious conditions and the stylish and consistent Josh Corcoran who delivers excellent counter attacking  ball into the Boden forwards. 

The full backline was operating without the excellent Mathew Ormsby who has been a key performer all season but missed out on this one due to a nasty shoulder injury picked up in the previous outing against ‘Judes.’  However, thankfully, Mathew’s absence didn’t weaken the team one iota on this occasion as the imperious David Gannon lead his full-back line with another outstanding display of craft, guile and down-right determination that always inspires those around him to be as defiant and industrious as he and the ever dependable Tom White and all-action Sean Bury were up to the task and to the fore in suffocating the Faughs attack time and again.

As the half drew to a close, busy corner forward Thomas Culleton got reward for his earlier endeavor when grabbing a lovely score and five minutes before the break, Cian Durkan struck for Boden’s third goal of the half to put serious daylight between the teams on the score board. Despite a double digit advantage at this stage, it had not all been one way traffic as Boden keeper Conor Barnes had been under pressure on a few occasions but stood up to everything thrown at him in another assured display. However, after a couple of points were traded, Faughs grabbed a lifeline when they managed to find the net on the stroke of half-time to reduce their arrears to nine points at the break.  Everyone knows that things can change quickly in hurling so Boden weren’t about to rest on their laurels. As Faughs turned up the heat after the restart, Boden’s engine room responded by going up a gear and Conor Casey was in his element in the thick of the dog-fight in the middle of the park doing what he does best and relishing every second of it. 

Connell McGlynn started to really impose himself on the game too grabbing the score of the match nine minutes into the second-half after a sweet passing move. Rhys continued to deliver with further scores from play and placed balls with Michael McDonald switching from defence to attack and vice versa as required and Davy Keogh also maintaining a high tempo and proving too hot to handle for the Faughs resistance. Hugh O’Sullivan at full forward had been experiencing a frustrating afternoon with little help from the referee who didn’t seem to spot the repeated pulling and dragging going on whenever the ball went in…but to his credit, he kept his counsel, resisting the urge to question the referees attention to detail and risk sanction and stuck to his guns in trying to set up others for scoring opportunities…Boden were after all in control of affairs generally…but O’Sullivan’s patience ultimately paid off when he tracked a long delivery into the square and with impeccable timing and precision flicked the sliothar into the net with an overhead stroke to hammer home the final nail in the Faughs coffin so to speak…Game Over ! Further scores from Michael McDonald, Davy Keogh and Rhys, who ended with an impressive personal tally of 1-14 on the day, saw Boden run out comfortable winners in the end despite a late Faughs consolation goal direct from a free.

The final score 4-20 to 3-08 and winning margin of 15 points did not flatter Boden one bit who went about their business with clinical and ruthless precision…this team is superbly coached and managed and now reaping the rewards for their hard work and commitment and reaching their undoubted potential at the right time of their season to give themselves a real chance of success in the Championship Final V Crokes…

That’s a whole other kind of challenge that awaits and thoughts will quickly turn to that now in preparation for another milestone target for this impressive team and outstanding bunch of young men of whom their club and families can be rightly proud!…For now though…bragging rights restored in ‘the Hood’  

Boden Abù ! 

Photos by Cliona Mellett. For more photos, see here