Photos courtesy of Liam Cunningham
“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done”
Ballyboden St Enda’s 3-11
Kilmacud Crokes. 1-4
As the huge numbers of Boden supporters began to pack the terraces in Santa Maria, there was a feeling in the air that something special may be about to unfold and the courageous Boden Belles delivered a performance that will live long in our memories.
Even with Kilmacud getting the 2 opening points, once Alanna McGarry opened the Boden account in the 4th minute it was home side who dominated this game in every sector of the pitch.
Playing into a stiff breeze in the 1st half the Boden defence stood firm like rocks of granite and sent a message to the opposing forwards that it would be a long night for them. Corner backs Hannah Molloy and Aoife Allen again produced watertight displays and it felt like full back Aisling Gargan held up a sign saying “thou shall not pass”.
With a cold chill in the air, the Boden sharp shooters lit a fire that Kilmacud were unable to extinguish with Eva Cunningham finishing off a slick forward move by palming the ball into the back of the net and quickly adding a point to her tally.
Despite a lucky deflected goal for Kilmacud in the 24 minute Boden still controlled the game with midfielders Oliva Meagher and captain fantastic Helena McWalters showing the type of determination and conditioning that Michael Daragh MacAuley would be envious of. Their hard work payed off when they supplied the ball into the “pocket rocket ” Sarah Moore as she buried it past a helpless Crokes keeper to give Boden a 4 point cushion at half time. 2-3 to 1-2
As the 2nd half got underway the half back trio of Aoife Dwyer, Hannah Murphy and Joanne Munnelly not only had their defensive duties mastered but soon began to become an attacking threat by consistently punching holes in the Crokes defence and when Dwyer popped up to race into the Crokes half and calmly slot over a point there was a sense of belief in the team that this could be our night.
With the finishing line in sight wing forwards Aisling Byrne and Alanna McGarry began to show their silky skills by not only chipping in with 5 points between them but by putting immense pressure on the Crokes kick outs which enabled Boden to camp themselves in Crokes half for long periods.
With Boden’s superior fitness now evident it was left to the “twin towers” of Aoife Durkin and Bronagh Lynn who had linked brilliantly throughout the game to set up the Grand Finale as Durkin fired the ball past a dazzled Crokes keeper again. With watches being checked and double checked Boden’s inspirational goalkeeper Laura Smithers launched a monstrous kick that ended up in Durkin’s hands and she duly finished off the move of the game by pointing from 30 yards to deafening cheer from the Boden supporters.
As the final whistle sounded there was to be no tears of disappointment this time only tears of joy for a group of young footballers who had captured their first ever championship win.
The Management would like to express its sincere thanks to all the club members who gave us such terrific support throughout the season. To all the coaches and mentors of which there are many past and present who have put in so much time and effort over the years to help the girls reach the Holy Grail.